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Saint Columbkille Catholic Church, built in 1982, and situated on the corner of 84th St. and East 6th Street in Papillion, Nebraska is the ever-growing spiritual home to a family of nearly 10,000 parishioners. Our third church building is a continuation of great blessings and answered prayers dating back to founding members, and born out of the dedication and sacrifice of its people. 

Our church bell, a symbol of the enduring quality of our community, is a meaningful legacy gift in memory of one of our earliest settlers of the late 1800’s, Catharina Schram. 

Inside the church, and reaching out into the community is a large and vibrant body of believers living out their faith and sharing the greatest story ever told on their journey to ‘Go and Make Disciples’.  

Our Story: From Pioneer Days to our Modern Day Church

From the very first chapter, the story of our parish is marked by the legacy of its people and their expressions of faith in response to God’s calling.   

Generation after generation has responded to advance our story, guiding the many expansions, renovations and remodeling campaigns which have been needed as our community of believers has grown.

Pioneer Church (1878)

In 1878, the first Saint Columbkille Catholic Church built on Washington and 5th Street in Papillion was long-awaited by the earliest Catholic settlers of 1863 and 1864. Before the church was built, they had received mass infrequently and irregularly by visiting priests assigned to our parish as their mission church, including Rev. John Curtis, Rev. William Kelly, and Rev. Otto Groenebaum. 

The first 13 families, having met in private homes and a Union Pacific railway section house for years, answered the call to raise funds for their house of worship by hosting numerous festivals and by contributing generously.

Village Church (1923)

By 1912, the church had grown to 50 families who recognized the need for a new rectory, church and school. The church borrowed $900 to purchase land in July of 1912, but it was the sale of donated land by the legacy gift of Robert McCormick that made the three acre purchase for the site of the St. Columbkille School, Sacred Heart, and larger church possible in the years to come. The school was built in 1916.

Forty-five years after building the Pioneer church, and with money donated by parishioners, a new church was built on Jefferson Street to accommodate the growing body of believers.

Modern Day Church (1982)

Our current church was built in 1982 and dedicated by Archbishop Daniel Sheehan. Seven full-time pastors have served our parish over the past 120 years.

  Fr. Henry Hoheisel: 1897-1940 
  Fr. Clarence Trummer: 1940-1956
  Fr. John Stears: 1956-1970 
  Fr. Robert Steinhausen: June 1970- June 1993 
  Fr. Steven J. Stillmunks: June 1993-Aug. 2003 
  Fr. Damian Zuerlein: June 2004-2016 
  Fr. David Reeson: 2016 to present 

More important than the land and the buildings the parish has called home, are the thousands of parishioners who for the past 140 years have not only learned about God, but have come to know Him and enter into a deep relationship with Him.  From the beginning, we have been blessed with strong spiritual leadership which have supported and served our parish well.  There have been countless Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations and Marriages in our church, and numerous parishioners have chosen to enter the Holy Orders as they were called.

The spiritual formation encouraged by our priests, religious lay teachers and volunteers profoundly influenced the lives that were touched. Children and young adults have followed the examples of excellent role models and have shown their love of God and support for our parish in many ways. Their inspiration will be passed on to future generations who will continue to show their reverence for God and support of their parish.   

From the very beginning, as the Lord has ushered in new disciples, we have always responded with the welcoming, loving arms of Christ, making room for new brothers and sisters at the Lord’s Table, and providing for the spiritual needs of parishioners.

Once again, we’re called.

Our mission to ‘Go and Make Disciples’ is to continually grow the body of Christ. Lead us, Lord, to recognize our place in our parish family story, and to write it onto new pages of history of Saint Columbkille Catholic Church.

A complete history of the parish is located at the parish office.  Please call the office at 402-339-3285 if you wish to read more about our history.