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The October Prep Pulse


Jesuit Reflection

When I think about priesthood ordination, I have in mind one word: transition. Let me explain it to you.

I arrived in Omaha a year ago as a new ordained transitional deacon. In the first year in the United States, I experienced the kind and warm welcome from all of you in Omaha. Thank you!

You were interested in my Polish legacy, language, history, food, and general heritage. As a consequence, I talked a lot about communism, conjugations, and declinations in Polish, and of course, about pierogies. After the short chit chat, we usually moved to my Jesuit status, and that’s where the problems started. “So, are you Father?”, “No, I’m ordained deacon”, “So you’re not Father”. As a result, I ended up explaining to you my whole Jesuit life, step by step.

Each time the pattern was quite similar. Oh, I tell you, being a transitional deacon demanded from me long explanations. Now, life is much more comfortable, when I meet a new person I introduce myself as Father Damian. That’s it, no need to add anything else. A father is a father; he presides to the Mass, listens to the confessions, and does all of the priestly ministries. Everyone knows it. 

I became a priest in June 2019, and what shocked me the most after that was a change in people’s approach. Just one example, the majority of my colleagues switched over from a casual “Damian” into much formal “Father”. I’m still getting used to it, and I entirely understand that’s the way you show respect to a priest. However, it’s an entirely new reality for me.

Another significant change is that people trust you, and I mean really TRUST. It is not like people didn’t trust me before, but now they get into much detail about their “dark side of the moon”. Moreover, it happens faster, and the conversations are much more profound. I feel like a priest transition opened a door through people can enter and bring whatever they want, especially if it happens in the confession. 

During my summer pastoral work in the Polish parish, I spent a lot of time in the confessional. It was a wonderful experience because I could meet another person with extreme vulnerability. I had always thought that the priest was in a position of authority, but now when I am on the “other side”, I don't see it in the same light. I’m not a confession specialist and I often don’t know what to say. Nevertheless, God works in his own way, and believe me, as a confessor, I receive as much pardon and peace as the person who asks for it.

Fr. Damian Czerniak, SJ


School News


Future Family Nights Scheduled for Prospective Prep Parents and Students

Do you know prospective Prep families who want to learn more about the school? Please let them know about the Future Family Nights scheduled in November and December (see schedule below).

They will learn about the admissions process, testing, scholarship opportunities and financial aid options. They will also hear current students talk about life at Prep and answer questions.

Future Family Nights will be held in the Carta Hall of Fame Room (near the Heider Center entrance on the east side of campus) from 7-8:30 p.m. on the following days:

  • Wednesday, November 6 – RSVP by November 5
  • Wednesday, November 13 – RSVP by November 12
  • Monday, December 2 – RSVP by December 1
  • Monday, December 9 – RSVP by December 8

For more information, please email Josh Luedtke, Director of Admissions, or call 402-548-3872.


Nebraska All-State Band Members Announced

Congratulations to Moises Acevedo, Aidan Boone, Joe Buckley, John Dickas, Will Ernatt, Nick McGill and Sean Patterson on receiving this prestigious honor. The bandsmen spent about six months, including over the summer, preparing audition materials.

A total of 29 Prep musicians auditioned for the Nebraska All-State Band, and they are listed here:

Moises Acevedo


Matt Kielian

Anthony Boone


Marcus Kreiner

Aidan Boone


Jason Larson

Jack Brannan


George Lee

Gavin Brown


Matt McCaslin

Stanley Brueske


Nick McGill

Joe Buckley


Ethan Noon

Will Condon


Paul Owens

Henry Davis


Sean Patterson

Anthony Diaz


Jacob Quiros

John Dickas


Aidan Rhodes

Liam Doyle


Joe Romero

Will Ernatt


Howard Selden

Daniel Hansen


Joshua Townley-Thomas

John Heldridge




Cross Country Runners Selected for Metro All-Academic Team

Congratulations to John Burns, Cade Neubauer, James Chapman, Henry Slagle, Jack Schembari and Thomas Franco (not pictured) on being selected for the Metro Alll-Academic team. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors with at least a 3.8 GPA who were Varsity A in the Metro Conference Meet this year were eligible.

“These six runners are not only our top cross country runners but they are high-achieving students,” said Head Coach Fr. Bob Tillman, SJ. Prep finished sixth at the Metro Conference Meet last week.


Tennis Team Wins Metro Title, Six Named Metro All-Academic

Congratulations to Head Coach Dr. Jerry Kowal ‘79 and the tennis team for their win at the Metro Conference championships on Thursday, October 10. Highlights included victories by Gavin Forster at No. 2 singles and by Daniel Kowal and Josh Morales at No.2 doubles.

Six team members were also named to the Metro All-Academic team. Congratulations, Andrew Doehner, Gavin Forster, Daniel Kowal, Mac Nelson, Josh Morales and Nathan Ramachandran. The honor goes to current sophomores, juniors and seniors who carry a cumulative 3.5 GPA, are members or this year's or last year's tournament teams, and are positive contributors to their teams.

“At Prep, we have outstanding athletes, but we emphasize the student part of student-athlete and these tennis players are a great example of that,” said Coach Kowal.


George Brett Recalls a Hall of Fame Career at Sports Night

Kansas City Royals legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer George Brett was the featured speaker at the 28th Annual Sports Night on Tuesday, September 24.

During an interview on stage with ESPN baseball analyst Kyle Peterson ‘94, he fondly recalled playing minor league ball for the Omaha Royals 35 years ago when he was paid just $800 a month. Among many other topics, George also mentioned that winning the 1985 World Series and being able to play for the Royals his entire career were especially meaningful.

Thanks to all the attendees and sponsors who made the evening a great one!


Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteer for BASH 2020

Commit now to be one of the 500 volunteers who will make our 50th BASH fundraiser a success on Saturday, April 25 for the students who rely on financial assistance to attend Prep. 

Soon, we’ll need lots of parents to help with acquiring auction items. Later in January, to sell raffle tickets, help with decorations and write descriptions for the catalog. In late April, to set up auction items, serve drinks at the event, and help with tear-down and cleanup

This is a great way to give back to Prep and meet great people!


Sign up for Eucharistic Adoration

One Friday a month, parents are invited to the Skinner Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to volunteer for an “hour of power” before the Blessed Sacrament. Sign up today! 

On those days, park in the east lot and enter through the Administration entrance then sign in at the reception desk. The receptionist will direct you to the chapel.

Thank you for considering to serve the Prep students and the faculty and staff in this way.


Upcoming Events


7th Annual CP Corporate Trap Shoot – Saturday, October 19

A reminder that the annual corporate fundraiser for the CP trap program takes place this weekend and will include a raffle and auction items. If you have already registered for the event and need additional information, email Emily Lischer or call 801-819-3735.


Mother-Son Mass and Breakfast – Sunday, October 20 – RSVP Today

The Mother-Son Mass and Breakfast takes place this Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Windsor Ballroom at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Hotel and Conference Center (12520 Westport Parkway).

This special occasion is for Prep moms and sons of all faiths. Students may also bring a sister, aunt or grandmother, or sit with a friend and his mom.

If you have not already registered, please register online now. In order to confirm accommodations with the caterer, all reservations must be received no later than today (Wednesday, October 16).

There is no assigned seating.

If you have questions, please email Grace Cominoli or call 402-393-1190 Ext. 401. Thank you!


Jr. Jays 12th Man Club Meeting – Tuesday, October 22

Fathers of current student-athletes in the Prep football program and Prep alumni are invited to the final Jr. Jays 12th Man Club meeting of the season at Cunningham’s Pub and Grill at 10904 West Dodge Road.

A social hour at 6 p.m. will be followed by a presentation from defensive coordinator Brian Mohnsen at 7. Cost is $10 at the door for those attending for the first time. Plan on appetizers and a beverage ticket. A cash bar will also be available. Those who have attended one of the two previous meetings are already paid up for this one.


Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction – Wednesday, October 23

Celebrate with the Prep community at the 2019 Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction. On that night, the following will be honored in the Sullivan Center:

  • Sword of St. Ignatius – Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
  • Alumnus of the Year – Patrick J. Duffy ‘90
  • Ancilla Domini – Karen Van Dyke
  • Hall of Fame – Robert J. “Bob” Carlisle ‘76
  • Hall of Fame – Cindy Heider

$60 per person. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6 followed by dinner at 7.

Make your reservations today and see the names of former honorees

Email Grace Cominoli with questions or call 402-393-1190 Ext. 401.


Open House for Prospective Students and Families – Sunday, November 3

All Omaha area 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and their families are invited to attend the Creighton Prep Open House on Sunday, November 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to meet Prep students, faculty, Jesuits and alumni. The event will include a clubs and activities preview, Q&A with faculty and administration, compelling demonstrations and tours.

Please encourage prospective Prep families who are interested in learning more about Prep to register and attend. Walk-ins are welcome, too!


Alumni Memorial Mass – Sunday, November 10

Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends of Creighton Prep,

The Church has a wonderful custom of setting aside November as a special time for prayerfully remembering our deceased loved ones. We believe it is especially appropriate to remember them during the Eucharist, which is a sign of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Therefore, the Creighton Prep Jesuit community will remember your loved ones in two special ways as we celebrate the Eucharist.

We ask you to join us as we gather as a Prep community on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the Henry L. Sullivan, SJ Campus Center for the Alumni Memorial Mass. Although the Mass is for all deceased members of the Prep community, it is especially for our former students who have died during the past year (between the dates of October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019). Please park in the west lot and note that refreshments and pastries will be served following the Mass.

We also invite you to share in our prayers by sending us the names of your deceased relatives and friends through a prayer request on our FaithCP site. We will place those names at the altar in the Skinner Chapel during the month of November when we will pray for you and your intentions during our daily community Eucharist.

  • Click HERE to register for the Alumni Memorial Mass.
  • Click HERE to send us the names of your deceased relatives and friends.

These prayers and Masses are our gift to you. It is our privilege to minister to you in this way.

We pray that God will continue to bless you for your wonderful commitment to Creighton Prep and your unfailing support of the mission of Jesuit education in Omaha.

In the Lord,

Fr. Tom Neitzke, SJ
Creighton Prep


Save the Dates – Christmas eBASH – November 12-December 9

Save the dates on your calendar now for Christmas eBASH, starting Tuesday, November 12 and running through Monday, December 9! During that time, you will be able to bid on a great collection of Prep-themed items and Christmas season specialties while supporting Creighton Prep!


Operation Others Fall Events Schedule

The fall events schedule for Operation Others has been posted to the Prep website. In addition to the annual magazine and gift drive happening now, there are a number of other events you can get involved in to support the cause. Among them, the annual turkey drive will take place on Saturday, November 23, and delivery weekend is scheduled for December 19-21.


Prep Notes


Please Remember – Obituaries for the Month of September

Please remember the recently deceased members of the Creighton Prep community noted here. If we have missed a notice or you wish to receive more obituary information, please contact Terri Haller


Give to the 2019-2020 AMDG Annual Fund

Your contribution to the AMDG Annual Fund provides the needed dollars to help make the dream of a Prep education a reality for more than 1,000 young men each year, giving them the opportunity to become men of faith, scholarship, leadership and service.

You should have received a mailing on the campaign recently. In the envelope that was enclosed, please consider returning a gift or a multi-year pledge. Or donate at CreightonPrep.org/Give now. Thank you!

For additional information or to discuss a gift or pledge, please contact Director of Annual Funds Taylor Stormberg ’09 at 402-393-1190 Ext. 308 or via email.


Purchase a Junior Jaybacker Basketball Season Pass

Choose from a family pass or a two-person pass for the basketball season only, which includes admission to all regular season home games (including non-varsity games) and admission to Junior Jaybacker events.

By purchasing a Junior Jaybacker season pass, you will:

  • Enjoy great high school sports.
  • Be part of the 141-year-old Prep athletic tradition.
  • Avoid long lines for tickets.
  • Save money!

For questions, contact Dan Schinzel or Kath Harmon.


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