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EquipCast

Archdiocese of Omaha

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Sharing your Catholic faith with family and friends can sometimes feel daunting. Where do I start? How do I make an impact? Welcome to EquipCast, a weekly podcast from the Archdiocese of Omaha. We want to support your faith journey and equip you with the tools to express your faith authentically in your everyday life. Each week, we’ll discuss practical advice and experiences from real people sharing their mission with the world. Each episode is filled with encouragement and inspiration so yo ...
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Daily and Sunday Mass homilies as well as special events and talks. Recorded at Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Gretna, Nebraska - part of the Omaha Archdiocese. Pastor Fr. Jeff Loseke and Deacons Dan Keller, Dave Fischman, and Steve Hill serve the parish and can be heard on this podcast. Learn more about the parish at stcharlesomaha.com
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How would you transform your parish if you had a proven strategy to reignite faith and build a vibrant community? Today, I’m excited to share a piece of that strategy with you—a way to create a sense of belonging before we expect people to believe or behave like us. It’s all about fostering a communal approach to faith, where everyone feels include…
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Did you know that on average, there’s only one priest for every 2,000 parishioners in our archdiocese? With such a large group to guide, you might wonder how it could be possible for parish leaders to help their people grow in discipleship and move towards sainthood. The Clear Path framework is key to success, but the challenge is greater in our ru…
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Have you ever heard the universal call to holiness, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” and instead of feeling inspired, felt discouraged? Holiness is hard, especially when we strive for it alone. When we rely solely on our own strengths, we often fail. But when we pursue holiness within the Body of Christ, leaning on both our communi…
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As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the repeal of Roe v. Wade, the debate about abortion continues to divide us. Have you noticed, maybe even in your own conversations, that traditional pro-life messaging about the baby just isn't hitting home? What if I told you that by understanding the deep emotional and psychological needs of women considerin…
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Is it hard to talk about Jesus with the people in your life? As Christians, we believe that spreading the good news of Jesus is essential to our faith, but sometimes, finding the courage or freedom to do so feels insurmountable. But guess what? There is an awesome program created by Christ Community Church, called Reach One More, and it turns big b…
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Why do you help the poor? In a culture where lending a hand to those in need is often seen as a noble thing to do, it's crucial for us as Christians to understand the deeper motivation behind our actions. As believers, we serve the poor out of love—a love that sees Jesus in the faces of those in need. To delve into this profound aspect of service, …
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Wouldn’t it be nice if God performed some undeniable miracle and every person in the world converted? The reality is…he did. Jesus performed numerous miracles, and people still walked away from him (John 6). So, we must look to the ordinary moments. Moments with coworkers, family members, new acquaintances, and friends that may seem mundane at firs…
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Now that we’ve built a clear path, how do we make sure is survives? What comes next? In this sixth and final episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship, Jenny Wiswell and Fr. Marcus Knecht from St. Gerald discuss the phase of expansion. They emphasize the importance of recognizing and responding to the diverse needs of parishio…
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What do you do with ministries that existed before the clear path? By the time you see the fruit of changed lives in your parish, it’s likely that you will ask how you can help your non-clear path ministries serve the community’s mission and goal to make disciples. In this fifth episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship, Nicol…
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Once you have a clear path built, how do you communicate it to your parishioners? Often, our parishioners are living in the new reality of the clear path, but they don’t yet see the big picture vision for evangelization. In this fourth episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship, Jake Olson and Fr. James Keiter from Our Catholic…
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Now that you have a plan to transform your parish, how do you get started? Implementing the Clear Path to Discipleship can feel daunting when you start to understand the scope of the change that is necessary. In this third episode of the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship, Jonathan Sanchez-Hidalgo, Director of Evangelization and Disci…
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What does the Lord say about the plans you have for your parish? As you seek renewal for your parish community, are you intentionally asking for the Lord’s input? While many of us are prayerful individuals, praying collectively with a team about the strategy for becoming mission-oriented probably feels like uncharted territory. However, if we want …
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Does your parish’s current list of ministries help your people evangelize? It’s likely the answer is no. Most parish ministries were built during a time where people flocked to church. But the culture has changed, and our ministries need to as well. So today, I bring you the first episode in the series How to Build a Clear Path to Discipleship. Rac…
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Imagine if your parish provided a place for you to build relationships of trust with nonbelievers. Or if it had a ministry that proclaimed the Gospel and fostered conversions. What if your parish taught you how to evangelize and it gave you a space to celebrate and commiserate with others trying to do the same? Around here, we’d say that parish had…
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If you allow it to, the Eucharist can break you. “But, Jim, why would I want that? Sounds awful.” We all know that the Eucharist is transformative because it unifies us to Christ and his body. But if we truly enter into that Pascal Mystery, it means we also can be “broken and shared” with the world. Join me for this Coach’s Corner where I take a sh…
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Have you ever avoided prayer because you were angry with God? I get it. Wrestling with our emotions, especially anger, in our relationship with the divine can feel overwhelming. But here's the thing: God can handle our raw, unfiltered emotions. Today, I'm diving into a topic that hits close to home: expressing anger to God while keeping our faith i…
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Is unity between Catholics and Protestants really possible? Just imagine the incredible things we could accomplish if we could learn to collaborate. We could address social issues, promote justice, and serve those in need, all while spreading the message of God's love through evangelization. It's an exciting thought, isn't it? But, of course, in or…
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Did you know that only 8% of the people in our church pews can claim that they know the names of their 8 closest neighbors? As Christians, we aught to be on the front lines of the fight against what the Surgeon General calls and “epidemic of loneliness”. Omaha itself, with all its strengths, grapples with mental health issues, people feeling isolat…
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Have you ever found yourself saying sorry for something you didn't actually do? Like when your kid makes a mess in a store, or your team had to run extra laps in high school because of one teammate's mistake? The concept of taking collective responsibility isn’t foreign to us, but sometimes, we struggle with the idea of personally owning up to the …
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**Love builds a bridge over which truth can pass **How well do you love your neighbor? Love has this amazing power to change hearts and bring people closer to Jesus. Genuine love, expressed through compassionate actions and selfless service, has the ability to break down barriers, dissolve fear, and inspire individuals to open their hearts to the m…
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Do you feel like your religious education efforts are stuck in a rut, merely churning out sacramental milestones? Do you wish your families would experience true conversion and stop disappearing after confirmation? I know how difficult it can be to transform our most institutionalize programs, so I sat down with Fr. Tim Donovan, a priest who’s visi…
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Many of you listen to the EquipCast because you want to feel confident sharing your faith. We try to provide practical tools for this, and so we talk a lot about small groups, prayer, evangelizing adults, etc. But these are just tools, parts of a larger strategy to build flourishing parish communities. So, what does it take to actually transform th…
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Have you ever found yourself yearning for deeper connections and genuine togetherness in a world that often feels isolated? Our latest episode is all about uncovering the transformative power of missions in Guatemala. Join us as we explore the significance of presence, beyond just projects, and learn why authentic solidarity is essential in today's…
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Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a heated conversation and wondered how it even got there? Or maybe you've hesitated to bring up a sensitive topic, fearing it could spiral into an emotional rollercoaster? In our latest episode, we explore powerful insights on transforming controversial discussions into opportunities for understanding a…
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Do you ever find yourself seeking inspiration from secular books, podcasts, or lectures? I get it. Sometimes, the best guidance comes from unexpected places. But here's the thing, how do you know if what you are learning aligns with our faith? I've been pondering this too, and I'm excited to share some practical strategies on how to navigate this d…
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In this time of preparation for Christmas, do you find it hard to slow down? To appreciate the way Jesus comes to us? Small and humble. Well, I certainly do. I love Christmas, but I’ll be honest, I have conflicting emotions. I want salvation to be bright and loud! I want the world to be all better, and I want it to be all better now. And yet, the L…
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Have you ever met a contagious Catholic? I'm not talking about cold and flu season here – I mean meeting someone whose faith is so vibrant and inspiring that it makes you want to deepen your own spiritual journey. Well, today, I had the joy of chatting with one such individual. Marcel LeJeune helped create the world’s largest campus ministry at Tex…
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How important is it to care about what outsiders think of the Catholic Church? Discover the significance of bridging the gap between the Church and those who may feel distant. In this episode, we dive into Mallory Smythe's remarkable journey back to Catholicism, exploring her encounters with saints, the power of personal narratives, and strategies …
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Do you feel a desire to share your faith but worry about coming across as pushy or insincere? I get it. When I go into a relationship with the motive to evangelize, it can be hard to feel genuine. That's why I want to share some practical ways with you to engage others naturally, without any hint of proselytizing. In today’s episode, I delve into t…
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How much can a simple act of kindness impact someone's life? How can your involvement in community initiatives create meaningful connections? If you've ever felt a calling to connect with those in need, this conversation is for you. It’s a journey of faith, partnership, and service, guiding you to take the first step. Discover the profound stories …
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Ever wondered why prayer sometimes feels like you are talking to yourself? Do you ever look around at other leaders in your parish, thinking they've got it all figured out in the prayer department while you're struggling to keep up? Or maybe you just crave a deeper connection with God. Today’s guest, Jim Beckman, breaks open the art of prayer. Acco…
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How much does faith play a role in your professional life? Do you ever feel like you separate your “Christian self” from your “work self”? The endeavor to unite our relationship with Jesus with all aspects of life is an ongoing, imperfect, but vital journey to go on. Today, I had an incredibly insightful conversation with Lane Grindle, the play-by-…
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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your passion and vision are extremely compelling, but you're not the one calling the shots? Sometimes, our leaders might not tick all the boxes when it comes to vision, delegation, or communication, and it can be downright frustrating. But, effective leadership isn't just about titles. No matter whe…
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Do you ever feel like you don't have enough to give? Maybe there's debt to tackle, too many bills this month, or just not much left in the budget. But we know the Lord wants us to be generous! So, how can you increase your charitable giving when it seems there's nothing to spare? I had the pleasure of talking with Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira, fina…
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Have you ever had a moment that deeply touched your soul, making you feel connected to God and changing your life? We often think of monumental conversion moments, but what if I told you that such transformative encounters could be a part of your daily life—through prayer? Prayer is more than just speaking to God; it's about creating a sacred space…
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Ever felt the exhilaration of God's presence when using your unique spiritual gifts? Can you imagine what it would be like to discover and unleash your charisms for the benefit of your community? It's a journey of openness, spiritual growth, and the grace of God propelling us forward. Join me in an inspiring episode featuring Sherry Weddell, co-fou…
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Have you ever felt alone even when you are in a crowd of people? Do you desire to be known and seen by a community that shares your values? Our parish communities, which should be the place where we find belonging, are often too large to provide the experience of close-knit spiritual family. But, it’s not impossible! Come with me as I explore how f…
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In this fast-paced world, who doesn’t feel overwhelmed by busyness? There’s nothing quite so American as the stress we put on (and really, the stress caused by) doing more and thinking bigger. That’s why, today, I want to talk about a transformative insight that I just came up with: Less is More! All joking aside, this is an aphorism that has been …
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How life-giving is the volunteer work that you do for your parish? Is it draining or invigorating? Hopefully, some of you responded, “Invigorating!” But if you find yourself drained by the work of being missional, you are not alone. So many of us say yes to the work because it is good, or necessary, or because “Father asked me to”. Rarely are we as…
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The call to evangelize has been consistent and increasingly urgent from our Church leaders for the past fifty plus years. When you hear that call, have you ever felt like you aren’t enough? Like you don’t have the appropriate strengths or the right leadership qualities to offer? Well, you’re not alone. Fr. Mallon, author of Catholic pop-culture phe…
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Raise your hand if you feel confident that you can help your children develop a personal relationship with Jesus. If I could see you all, I bet there would not be many hands in the air. We know how to teach rote prayers, but helping our children truly connect with Jesus feels a tad outside of a parent’s control. The reality is that the Lord gives u…
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Why is sharing the source and summit of our faith rarely the first step to take when evangelizing? I want others to know and love Jesus. I know and love Jesus in the Eucharist, so why shouldn’t I jump straight to inviting non-believers to mass or adoration? While the Eucharist isn’t our opening act, we should by no means forget it entirely. The Euc…
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July 1st is just around the corner, and with that comes a new experience of parish life for every person in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Many of us will experience a reduction in mass times at our parishes, new uses for our parish structures, and interruptions to the routines that many of us hold precious. This disruption can be difficult to process, …
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Why is sharing our faith with the people closest to us sometimes the most difficult thing to do? We want the people we love to know the person we love: Jesus. However, conversations about faith are often taboo especially if our family or friends are fallen away Catholics. So how do we evangelize those who are closest to our hearts? Andre Regnier, a…
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Are you completely satisfied with every aspect of your life? Most people dream about changing some aspect of their life, but we’re often held back by the fear and anxiety that come along with doing so. Change often marks the end of something, and so it brings feelings of loss and uncertainty about the future. Not to mention, living in a time of tra…
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Do you feel like the Lord is calling you to something new, but you simply don’t have the space or time in your schedule? Or are the good and restful parts of your life being neglected because you are hanging on to old habits or commitments? Cutting back to the most essential things can be difficult. This is why in today’s Coach’s Corner I focus on …
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I know so many of you who are listening, like me, are trying to serve the kingdom. But how often do our own health concerns keep us from doing the promptings of the Holy Spirit? Sometimes, I feel weak intellectually, spiritually, and even physically. And when I stop to ponder how my physical health affects my mental/spiritual health and vice versa,…
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This year has brought a lot of ups and downs for the Archdiocese of Omaha. We, like many dioceses, are facing the reality of a declining number of people in our pews and a culture that is less and less Christian. With this desolating reality in mind, I keep coming back in prayer to one major consolation: Jesus is risen! The victory is ours! In this…
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Why wasn’t St. Thomas with the other apostles when Jesus appeared? I used to imagine that he was doing some mundane task like buying groceries. But, if we read the passage carefully, it’s likely he was absent because he didn’t want to be with the other apostles. Jesus could have appeared at any time; if Thomas was only “gone to the store”, he could…
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