Father Joseph Faulkner, St. Wenceslaus, Wahoo, NE
Submitted by: Melissa Linscomb
Father had four Eucharistic processions blessing the 4 quadrants of town (Local priests brings Eucharist to streets during COVID-19).
He had the Angelus bells rung three times a day to remind everyone that the church was still there and prayer was being offered. He continued with the restoration of the church having the side altars installed. He had a choir of young adults sing traditional Catholic hymns for his live-stream masses. He also live-streamed daily mass and Stations of the Cross. There was a tremendous increase in confession times with very creative ideas to maintain social distancing. We had confession under a tree in the parking lot, in the school gym, in the basement. It seemed to never stop. And to the amazement of all, during the lockdown he learned the extraordinary form of the mass and celebrated a Solemn High on Trinity Sunday in celebration of the churches being reopened. He has increased the number of Sunday masses offered to allow all to return to mass while insuring the State's mandated rules on social distancing.
I saw a priest working hard to make all his parishioners feel comfort during the uncertain times we were living. He kept things going as close to "normal" as possible. The livestream mass was actually made as beautiful as possible even though it was devoid of a congregation. This amplified the understanding that the mass if for the glory of God and not man. Our parish has flourished during Covid in spite of all the sufferings in society. The return to holy hours, daily mass, and Sunday mass testifies to the fact that the parish of St. Wenceslaus has held on to their Faith.
As my statement above testifies, the Faith and spiritual life of the parish was made stronger. This is the mission of every priest. There were many truly Catholic practices and traditions that were reintroduced to our parish life. Many had not seen the Eucharistic processions, or heard the Angelus Bells, or heard the Victimae Paschali chanted in Latin! The choir has now been dubbed the "Corona Choir" and we have people traveling in to hear them sing, to see the restored altars, and to attend a Mass. It has brought our parish closer together. Working closely with Fr. Faulkner I can attest to the fact that he never stops. He works tirelessly. He has been covered in many articles during Covid and given interviews to different outlets. The town of Wahoo, Catholic or not, has been blessed during the Covid crisis thanks to Fr. Faulkner and all he has done.
Additional links: A priest learns the Traditional Latin Mass during COVID-1984, and Before and After: St. Wenceslaus in Wahoo, Nebraska