Twenty-five years in the making, Prince of Peace church is the new home to Catholics on the West side of Kearney, NE. Led by RDG, the parish participated in the design preferring a traditional but simplified romanesque architecture. The plan is a cruciform symbolizing the whole community, the Body of Christ. The artwork, which is integral to the architecture, drew upon the Beuronese style which has historical ties to the faith and to Nebraska as seen in the artwork of the state capital. From the image of Christ as Pantocrator to the angels which surround the assembly, visual expression of liturgical truths are found throughout the church.
A second Catholic parish in Kearney was announced in August 1985 by Bishop Lawrence McNamara of the Grand Island Diocese. The Rev. John Schlaf was named pastor by the bishop effective January 1, 1986. The new parish was to be called Prince of Peace. On the weekend of January 11 & 12, Fr. Schlaf spoke at all Masses at St. James Catholic Church and then presided at a meeting that evening with about 130 parishioners in attendance. At that time a consensus was reached to rent the office building previously used by the Eaton Corporation at the corner of 11th Street and Avenue M. The 11,000 square-foot building contained rooms for offices, classrooms and a large area for worship, all on the first floor. Minor renovations provided additional classrooms and living space for Fr. Schlaf on the second floor.
The first Masses were celebrated February 1 & 2, 1986, and later that month a parish council was elected. At a general parish meeting the majority of parishioners favored purchase of the rented building over building a new church or looking for a new site. A price was negotiated and the building was purchased in May 1986.
In July 1993 Fr. Schlaf moved to Ogallala. Fr. Gerald Carlson took over as pastor of Prince of Peace parish. A rectory was purchased in January 1994. Fr. Carlson was moved to Greeley in July of 1997 and Fr. Michael McDonald was assigned to Prince of Peace until his transfer in July 2012. Fr. Paul Colling V.F. and Fr. Abraham Kaduthodiyil began serving the parish July 1, 2012. Fr. Abraham transferred to Valentine in 2014. From September 2014 – July 2016 Fr. Vidya Sagar Arikotla was assigned to the parish as assistant pastor.
Ron Ridder was ordained Permanent Deacon May 25, 2012 and served the parish until moving to Iowa in 2015. Thomas Martin was ordained Permanent Deacon in May of 2015 and currently serves the parish.
Sisters who have previously served the parish include: Sr. Grace Michael Perry, O. Carm., Sr. Mary Walling, OSM, Dominican Sr. Roberta Semper, Sr. Mary Chamberlain, OSM., Sr. Doris Durant, OSM and Sr. Jan Ludvik, N.D.
Prince of Peace Parish gathered at the Kearney High Auditorium and Kearney Catholic Cope Coliseum during the construction of the new church. The new building was dedicated August 5, 2011.
United in the sacraments as the Body of Christ, we the members of Prince of Peace Catholic Parish extend the welcoming arms of Jesus, opening the world to God’s presence through works of love, hospitality, mercy, and prayer.