Meet Mater Dei: our neighbors across the street

LilyWeindel

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Views from Military • Mary Immaculate Church is on the corner of 78th and Military Ave., housing both Mater Dei Academy and Seminary.  This parish has been a staple of the neighborhood since 1989. Photo courtesy of  Mater Dei.

Located on 78th and Military Ave., Mary Immaculate Church has been a presence in our neighborhood since 1989. The parish includes both Mater Dei Seminary and Mater Dei Academy. Before its arrival in Omaha, the parish was originally located in Spokane, Washington.

The parish is a traditional Catholic church, operating under the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen. Unlike the Archdiocese of Omaha which most Marian girls are apart of, this congregation does not recognize Vatican II, according their website, which occurred in from 1962-1965 with new updates and revisions to the Catholic Church.

Mater Dei Academy is a school with about 100 students, ranging from kindergarten to grade 12. This school is 32 years old, and emphasizes their Roman Catholic faith, along with academic achievement and appreciation of the fine arts. Their core staff is composed of both priests and traditional Catholic sisters. “Mater Dei Academy is dedicated to excellence in both education and the salvation of souls,” Fr. Carlos Borja, a graduate of both the Academy and Seminary, said. They have boarding facilities for both boys and girls and also have an archery team, which are three time state champions.

Both boys and girls are able to attend the Academy, but when the students enter middle school, they are divided into single gender classrooms. There are also multiple schools around the country staffed by the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, including ones in Arizona and Michigan.

The Seminary, founded in 1984, runs under Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas and is run by the same congregation as the academy.  “[The Seminary] was specifically established for the education and formation of traditional Catholic priests who are trained to offer exclusively the Latin Mass,”  Carlos said. “We offer a six-year theological studies program and our students are full time students in preparation for the reception of Holy Orders in the traditional rite.”

With daily mass and many opportunities for different Catholic practices, such as Reconciliation and Vespers, Carlos said those are done with the main purpose of “assisting students to cooperate with divine grace, become true and perfect Christians, affecting transformation in Christ.”

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