Bishop says people with religious spirit of all cultures shaped diocese
Published: August 23, 2012
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (CNS) -- The people of God who settled in the Diocese of Grand Island -- people of Czech, Polish, Irish, German, Bohemian, Scandinavian and Hispanic heritage -- came for a number of reasons, some economic and some related to religious freedom, said Bishop William J. Dendinger. "It's important to note that, whatever the reason," he said, "all had a religious spirit. Wherever a village developed, very soon after, a Catholic church started." Bishop Dendinger is the seventh bishop to head the diocese since its creation in 1912. He made the comments during a Mass of thanksgiving marking the 100th anniversary of the 40,000-square-mile diocese. Nearly a dozen dignitaries from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska processed into St. Mary's Cathedral in Grand Island to the sound of trumpets and timpani for the Mass June 21. It was the first of four anniversary Masses to be celebrated around the diocese. Logging nearly 17 hours in his car, Bishop Dendinger also traveled round trip 160 miles to Broken Bow, 280 miles to North Platte and 540 miles to Alliance for Masses. The Aug. 9 Mass in Alliance was the final one. Those in attendance at all the Masses received a medallion commemorating the centennial year and bearing the theme "The New Evangelization ... Proclaiming the Good News of Christ," chosen by Bishop Dendinger. "This is a great day to give thanks and to remember to thank God for all the blessings of the past 100 years and to remember so we can understand the present and look to the future," he said at the cathedral, which nearly filled to capacity with about 700 at the mid-day Mass.
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