‘A New Chapter’: Grand Island ordains ex-pastor at Omaha’s Christ the King Church because the eighth Bishop of Life

Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt leaves St. Mary’s Cathedral during his ordination mass on Thursday afternoon on Grand Island.

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Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt’s mother, Helen Hanefeldt, and sister Pamela Reynolds, back, applaud during the ordination mass.


Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt symbolically lies on the ground during his ordination mass on Thursday afternoon.

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Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha puts a miter on Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt during the ordination mass of Hanefeldt.

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The Most Rev. Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio in the United States, speaks at the beginning of the ordination mass.


Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha puts a miter on Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt during the ordination mass of Hanefeldt on Thursday afternoon in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Grand Island. (Independent / Matt Dixon)

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Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt sings the Eucharist during the liturgy.

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Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt during the ordination mass.

By Jeff Bahr / World-Herald News Service

The first person to give communion to Rev. Joseph G. Hanefeldt after he became bishop of Grand Island was his mother.

Helen Hanefeldt, who lives in Creighton, was a guest of honor on Thursday at her son’s installation as the eighth bishop of the Catholic diocese of Grand Island.

Her husband Adolph died in 1998. But Helen Hanefeldt, who wore a red rose, was accompanied by other family members at the ordination of her son at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The new bishop, who will be 57 next month, grew up on a farm near Center and graduated from Creighton High School. He was ordained a priest in 1984 and appointed monsignor four years ago. He has been a pastor at Christ the King Church in Omaha since 2012.

Shortly after the fair, Hanefeldt said it was “an incredibly exciting day and I am so grateful for the support and prayers of all participants”. “It is the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life and one in which I will trust in the Lord for everything I have to do.”

Almost 800 people attended the installation fair, including 26 bishops and archbishops. Most revered George J. Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha, was the ordaining bishop. Most of them were coordinating bishops. Rev. Robert Gruss, Bishop of Rapid City, SD; and Rev. Lee Piche, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. About 180 priests and deacons sat in the pews.

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