Diocese of Nebraska Celebrates First Anniversary of the Foundation of The Benedictine Service Corps

Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska
Posted Sep 16, 2019

New novice received for Incarnation Monastery in Omaha. Br. James Dowd, OSB Prior, Bishop J. Scott Barker, Brother Jerry Thompson, n/OSB.

“I am not a guy who throws around the word ‘miracle,’” Bishop Scott Barker pauses, looking out at the new faces of the community of The Benedictine Way, “but the fashion in which the Benedictine Way has evolved in just one year – the way this community has grown in numbers and in prayerfulness and in faithfulness — is a miracle of God!”

Three new young adults are received into the Benedictine Service Corps, Victoria Sparkman (from Diocese of Kansas), Gage Woodyard (from Diocese of Kansas), Beau Mohon ( from Diocese of Kentucky).

The joy in the room is palpable; people from all around the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska have come to celebrate the Foundation Day of Incarnation Monastery a year prior, and to welcome the new members of the community of The Benedictine Way.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the community of The Benedictine Way grew from three people living humbly in North Omaha to ten residential community members and four non-residential Oblates, welcoming a novice monk, three new young adults to the Benedictine Service Corps, and four Oblates. This diverse group of people came together to form a Benedictine community dedicated to living and working together in prayer, service, and community. Members of The Benedictine Way serve the greater Omaha area in a variety of ways, staffing feeding ministries, serving non-profits like Magdalene Omaha and Restoring Dignity, and reaching out to low-income families in North Omaha.

Four new Oblates are received as Oblate-Candidates in The Benedictine Way; Abby Zimmerman, Robin Bruneau, Phil Bruneau, John Joseph Ybay. Photo: Kyle Smith

“This next year will be focused on outreach,” said Br. James Dowd, Prior of Incarnation Monastery and The Benedictine Way, “we’ve been blessed with grants from The Trust for Meditation, United Thank Offering, and Young Adult and Campus Ministries that will allow us to expand and develop our ministry.” Among the planned outreach efforts are a health and wellness program based out of Church of the Resurrection, relief for food insecurity in North Omaha, and a contemplative outreach program for churches in low-income communities.

Br. James said, “We could not have done it without the immense support from the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, and the contributions of many individuals. We’re so excited about the growth that our community is achieving. It’s such a blessing to be living in prayer, service, and community among so many.”