St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser for St. Augustine Mission | Local News

It will be like a homecoming for the Reverend Mark Beran.

Years ago, Beran lived in Fremont and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church was his parish.

Today, Beran is director of the St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago. The mission is primarily a Catholic K-8 school serving reservation children from Omaha and Winnebago.

Beran will return for a visit to Fremont on Wednesday, July 13, when the church will hold a fundraiser for the mission. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Delaney Hall in the church at 3400 E. 16th St.

The public is invited to a meal and learn more about the mission. Tickets are $50 each and are available online at or by calling the parish office at 402-721-6611.

Beran said a young man will play a Native American flute at the event and a family may perform a dance. He said the Knights of Columbus group will be grilling steaks for the event.

People also read…

Funds raised will support St. Augustine’s Church and primarily the Catholic school, which is about an hour’s drive north of Fremont on US Highway 77.

“We try to be there and help people,” Beran said. “Reservations are still struggling with poverty and addictions and we want to share the goodness of Christ with people and we do that primarily through education. We also help with a food pantry and thrift store and other means – whatever we can do to uplift the people of the tribes and honor their culture.

Beran said around 110 boys and girls, aged 5 to 13, attend the school.

He hopes local and area residents will attend the fundraiser.

“It’s a great way for people in Fremont to experience the Native American culture that’s right here in Nebraska and to bring us all together in faith,” Beran said.

Beran expressed his gratitude for St. Patrick’s, which he said is hosting the event.

“It was really their idea,” Beran said. “They wanted to bring people together, so I’m really grateful to Father (Walter) Nolte and all the staff and people at St. Patrick,” Beran said.

St. Patrick’s assistant office manager Crystal Sixta cites the thoughts behind the event.

“The Archdiocese of Omaha strives to be missionary, focusing outside of the needs of our own parish,” Sixta said. “We hope this evening will be a success in helping St. Augustine not only maintain its religious education, but also preserve the Winnebago language and culture.”

Mother Katherine Drexel founded St. Augustine Indian Mission School in 1909. She died in 1955. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Blessed Katharine Drexel, now Saint Katharine Drexel.

The school has continued to teach and encourage students over the years. Its website states, “Our school provides a nurturing, faith-filled educational experience that serves as the foundation for a life lived in service to Jesus, the church, and the community.”

Beran’s connection to Fremont began years ago.

Her family moved from Los Angeles to Fremont in 1993, weeks after graduating from high school.

“The parish has always been a great prayer support for me from my days in the seminary to the last 20 years as a priest, they have prayed for me and supported me along the way and I have always appreciated that,” Beran said.

Beran is looking forward to the event, adding:

“St. Patrick is my home church and so it’s nice to have that connection to my home church and to bring people from different cultures together and get to know and understand each other better.

Comments are closed.