Past Pastor: Rev. Damien J. Cook
Having moved from Ohio to Omaha, NE, at the age of 6, Fr. Cook grew up in St. Robert Bellarmine Parish.
He graduated from Creighton University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, theology, and Latin and later obtained Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD.
Fr. Cook was ordained a priest in June of 1999 for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Fr. Cook served as a parochial vicar at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha from 1999 until 2002 and at St. Patrick Church in Fremont from 2002 until 2004.
Fr. Cook was installed as pastor of St. Peter Church on the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul on June 29, 2004. His last day as pastor of St. Peter Parish was on April 30, 2015. Fr. Cook was then transferred to become the pastor of Christ the King Parish in Omaha as of May 1, 2015.
Fr. Cook was also the director of the Respect Life Apostolate, the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of Omaha, from October of 2005 until July 1, 2012. To watch brief videos about Fr. Cook's vocational journey, please click here. To learn more about the Respect Life Apostolate, please visit its website here.
Future Pastor: Rev. John Broheimer
Fr. John Broheimer (pronounced “Bro-high-myrrh”) will become the next pastor of St. Peter Parish on August 17, 2015. Fr. Broheimer was born in Alaska, and soon after he moved to Fremont, Nebraska where he attended Bergan High School and graduated in 1992. He went to UNO where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1997. He served at St. Rose Parish as its Music Director and Business Manager before beginning his studies for the priesthood for the Omaha Archdiocese as a Pre-Theology student at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, in the fall term of 1998.
Fr. Broheimer graduated from Kenrick with various degrees: a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts with a focus on liturgy. Fr. Broheimer was ordained a priest by Archbishop Curtiss on June 7, 2003. He was first assigned to Mary Our Queen as a parochial vicar and then as parochial vicar at St. Cecilia Cathedral. He was assigned as pastor of both St. Francis of Assisi in Neligh, NE and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Tilden, NE in 2009.
Fr. Broheimer has a great sense of humor, loves people, and is a true gourmet chef. He has also served for many years as the chaplain to the entire Legion of Mary throughout the Archdiocese of Omaha. He is also an excellent writer and has written articles published in The Catholic Voice.
Fr. Broheimer will attend school for a couple of months to learn Spanish before beginning his assignment here at St. Peter as pastor on August 17, 2015. Until then, please pray for your future pastor by name and open your hearts to him.
Parish Administrator: Rev. Rheo Castillo Ofalsa
Fr. Ofalsa was born to his parents, Romulo and Melodia, in Honolulu, HI. After graduating from Mililani High School, Fr. Ofalsa attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, from which he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1999. He served with the 55th Civil Engineer Squadron and the United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE, where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and Captain and where he also received a Masters of Business Administration Degree through Bellevue University. Afterwards he served with the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron at the Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.
Following his service in the United States Air Force, Fr. Ofalsa began studies as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 2005. He attended Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, for philosophical studies and then studied theology in Rome, Italy, where he received a Pontifical Baccalaureate Degree in Sacred Theology through the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ for the Archdiocese of Omaha in June of 2011 and was briefly appointed parochial vicar to Divine Mercy Parish in Schuyler, NE, during the summer before returning to Rome for further studies. He finished his Pontifical Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome with a focus on Studies in Marriage and Family. Fr. Ofalsa currently serves at St. Peter Church where he was assigned as a parochial vicar on July 2, 2012 and a temporary Parish Administrator on May 1, 2015. On August 17, 2015, Fr. Ofalsa will depart to serve as a parish priest in the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Temporary Parochial Vicar: Rev. Oscar Perez
Father Oscar Perez was born on September 27, 1978 in the city of Barquisimeto, which is the capitol of the state of Lara in Venezuela. His parents are Simón Pérez Limardo and María Dudamel de Pérez. They have eleven children of which Fr. Oscar is the youngest.
Fr. Oscar attended primary and secondary schools in the city of Barquisimeto and in the year 1997 entered the Juan Pablo II Seminary for the Archdiocese of Barquisimeto to begin his studies for the Priesthood. In the year 1999 he journeyed to Rome to continue his studies in theology.
On March 19, 2002 he was ordained a Transitional Deacon and on June 28, 2003 he was ordained a Priest. After his priestly ordination Fr. Oscar Perez continued his studies for the licentiate in Fundamental Theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome.
In the year 2005 he came to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Omaha. His assignments during this time have been as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Omaha (2005-2008), Associate Pastor of St. Michael Parish in South Sioux City (2008-2011), Pastor of St. Michael Parish in South Sioux City (2011-2013), and Associate Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont (2013-2014).
To assist Fr. Rheo in Fr. Cook's absence, Fr. Perez will serve at St. Peter Parish as a full-time parochial vicar until the end of July, 2015, when he will receive a new assignment in Miami, Florida.
Future Parochial Vicar: Rev. Gregory Carl
Father Gregory Carl grew up in Gretna, Nebraska, the third of eight kids of his parents Deacon Bob and Jill Carl, who now live near Oakland, Nebraska. Father Carl was home schooled through eighth grade, and his family were early members of the Catholic Home School Association of Omaha. He attended several high schools before graduating from Seton Home Study School. He attended Iowa Western and Iowa State studying electrical engineering before responding to God's call to discern the vocation to the priesthood. He attended seminary at Conception Seminary College and Kenrick-Glennon School of Theology in St. Louis.
Father Carl has served as Associate Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, NE since he was ordained a Priest on June 2, 2012. There he had the opportunity to teach in Norfolk Catholic High School and to serve the Spanish-speaking community of Norfolk. Father Carl has assisted as a seminarian at Mass and at the Corpus Christi Eucharistic Procession with the community from St. Peter's and looks forward to the rich liturgical life of the parish. He expects to arrive at St. Peter's in late July, 2015.
In Residence: Rev. Nguyen Loi
Fr. Loi serves as the pastor of Our Lady of Fatima, the Vietnamese parish in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Since 2004 he has lived in residence at the St. Peter rectory.
The members of Our Lady of Fatima parish make their home at St. Peter Church and use the church and parish facilities.
Fr. Loi was ordained a secular priest on May 14, 1968 for the Diocese of Long-Xuyen, Vietnam. During his time as a priest in Vietnam he was once incarcerated by the communist government for 4 months because he would not renounce his fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church. He escaped Vietnam by boat in 1980 and arrived in the United States in 1981. He was invited by friends to Omaha in 1981 and has ever since cared for the Vietnamese-speaking peoples of the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Deacon John J. Zak
Deacon John Zak and his lovely wife, Mary, are the parents to 13 children and became members of St. Peter Church in 1988. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Omaha on November 1, 1998.
In addition to liturgical service at St. Peter Church, Deacon Zak is the director of the parish youth group and a catechist in the parish catechism program. He and his family are active in the parish.
Deacon Zak also works at Alegent Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, IA, as the team lead in respiratory therapy. He obtained a degree in respiratory therapy from the College of St. Mary in Omaha, NE, in 1978. He and his wife are also third order members of the Christ the King Lay Carmelites.
Deacon Gregorio Elizalde
Deacon Gregorio Elizalde was born in Mexico, and has been married to his beautiful wife Felicia since 1998. They are the parents of two girls, Diana and Anna. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon on May 2, 2015 by Archbishop George J. Lucas in St. Cecilia's Cathedral. He and his family have belonged to Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, Nebraska. In 2015 he was hired by the Archdiocese of Omaha as Manager of the Latino Ministry Office. While in Norfolk, he and his wife were in charge of Baptism preparation, RCIA in Spanish, Apologetics classes, Family Formation, quinceanera preparation, and helping with marriage preparation. Due to his new job in Omaha, the family will be moving to Omaha during the month of July, and he has been assigned to St. Peter Parish. He hopes to help the parish of St. Peter so that people can get closer to Jesus. Please pray for Deacon Elizalde and his family.
St. Peter Candidates for the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Omaha
Mr. Omar Gutierrez
Omar Gutierrez was born in Michigan, but he grew up mostly in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been wonderfully married to Miriam: their anniversary is August 28th, 2004. They have three children; the fourth is on the way. Omar's educational background is in theology with a BA from Franciscan University of Steubenville, the Angelicum in Rome and an MA from the University of Dallas. He currently works for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Because Omar works in the Chancery, Omar remarks that, "in that vein, I suppose, many have asked me whether I considered the Diaconate. After a specific prayer experience, I spoke to Miriam about it, and she has been very trusting... I’m looking forward to having a reason to study the faith again and to discuss it with Miriam. Though difficult, we have the support of many great families here at St. Peter’s and the example of the Engelkamps to keep us focused." Omar was accepted as a candidate for the Deacon Formation Program in the Archdiocese of Omaha in the fall of 2013. He is also the author of the very fine book: The Urging of Christ's Love: The Saints and the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. Follow Omar's thought-provoking articles on his website: Omar F. A. Gutierrez - Culture, Life & Spirituality.