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Newsletter of Mater Dei Seminary
October 2002

Other articles in this newsletter:
Persons for Whom Mass May Be Offered
The Morality of Prizefighting and Boxing

Dear friends and benefactors,

At the beginning of this month, our regular seminary classes were suspended for one day in order to lay to rest a very dear friend and great benefactor — Margaret Klabenes (1929-2002). Those who have attended Mater Dei Seminary over the past thirteen years, will remember the great kindness that Margaret showed to them whenever circumstances would bring them to our other church — St. Theresa’s in O’Neill, Nebraska. Whenever the priests and seminarians would visit the Klabenes farm, all without exception experienced Margaret’s great charity.

This was especially true at supper time. It is no secret that seminarians are “growing boys” with huge appetites, and there isn’t one seminarian who could ever forget the wonderful spread of food that she would provide on our visits and the overwhelming service and attention she would give her guests.

Besides her great charity, there is something far more important for which she and her husband, Raymond, will always be remembered. They were singly responsible for our acquisition of St. Theresa’s Church. Back when I was totally occupied with several Mass-centers in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Minnesota, and with the construction of Mary Immaculate Church in Omaha, our group of traditional Catholics in the O’Neill area had no permanent place for Holy Mass. Sometimes we had Mass in a conference room of a hotel or a bank; sometimes Mass was held in someone’s home. Nevertheless, Almighty God, in His Divine Providence, guided Raymond and Margaret to attend the auction of the old St. Theresa’s Church (over 100 years old) in Clearwater, Nebraska (some 25 miles southeast of O’Neill); this was the same church in which they had been married back in September 2, 1950.

No one bid on the church building, so Raymond and Margaret made an offer of six hundred dollars ($600.00) which was accepted. The auction was the easy part. The old church would have to be moved approximately thirty miles to a centralized location; property would have to be found; power companies would have to be contacted to lay down power lines in order to move the church. This was no small project! Were it not for Raymond and Margaret’s financial and practical assistance, we would not have St. Theresa’s Church today.

As I related in the eulogy at Margaret’s funeral, it was not merely some sentimental emotion which motivated this remarkable couple to establish St. Theresa’s. It was their firm belief and conviction in the traditional Catholic faith and their desire to have their children and grandchildren have access to the traditional Mass.

In these difficult times for the Catholic Church, I find great inspiration in the wonderful people whom I service. It is so encouraging to see the grace of God as it works in souls. In her later years, Margaret Klabenes had suffered the loss of both legs due to her diabetis. She was so resigned to the Will of God; her only regret was that she was slowed down from her housework.

One last consideration I would like to share is the spiritual consolation that came to Margaret’s husband, Raymond, on the very morning of the funeral. Six weeks prior to her death, Margaret had lost her wedding ring. As she suffered from carpel-tunnel syndrome, her hands would swell, making it necessary for her to remove her wedding ring on occasion. When it was lost, Margaret and Raymond prayed and searched everywhere for her ring. Lo and behold, right before the Requiem Mass, one of the grandchildren found the ring in the dirt at the bottom of the wheelchair ramp. Whatever one might think, I personally believe that this was no mere concidence, on the very day of her funeral.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Margaret Klabenes.

With my prayers and blessing,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Other articles in this newsletter:
Persons for Whom Mass May Be Offered
The Morality of Prizefighting and Boxing

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Printed copies of Adsum, a publication by the seminarians of Mater Dei Seminary for the reading enjoyment of friends and benefactors, are sent free of charge to all who request it. Most issues also contain photos of recent events involving the seminarians. If you would like to put on this mailing list, please use this form.

Mater Dei Seminary
7745 Military Avenue
Omaha, NE 68134
Phone: (402) 571-4404
Fax: (402) 571-3383
Email: Seminary Contact Form

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