CV NEWS FEED // A bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, recently received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his honorable leadership and work in the pro-life movement.
Local news outlet the Southern Nebraska Register reported on February 9 that Bishop Emeritus Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln received the award, presented by Nebraskans Embracing Life at its 50th annual Celebration of Life event.
Bishop James Conley, the current bishop of Lincoln, praised Bruskewitz at the event for his pro-life example.
“I pray regularly that I might be the same kind of witness to the dignity of human life that Bishop Bruskewitz is,” Conley said, according to the Register. “Throughout his priesthood, he has demanded justice for the unborn.”
“Bishop Bruskewitz thinks clearly and precisely, and he expects others to do the same. If a hospital, or university, or a political leader claims a Catholic identity, Bishop Bruskewitz expects them to act like a Catholic person, or a Catholic institution,” Conley said.
Conley added that Bruskewitz “has never feared persecution, or rejection, or even mockery. He’s stood for the truth and most especially for the unborn – because that’s what the Lord asks all of us to do.”
During Bruskewitz’s keynote address at the Celebration of Life, he talked about the importance of fighting the good fight, even if it will leave one with “scars.”
“I would exhort you, as I don’t think I have to, let us fight for God… Let us fight for life and in that give God His glory, for He will reign forever and ever,” Bruskewitz said, the Register reported:
Bishop Bruskewitz concluded his remarks referencing something a priest friend of his would say to him. The priest would tell him when we stand before God on the Day of Judgment, God will ask us “Where are your scars?” If we answer we don’t have any scars, God will say, “I put you on Planet Earth for all those years and you didn’t find anything worth fighting for?”
Bruskewitz was ordained a priest in 1960, and served as a pastor in the Milwaukee area until he became bishop of Lincoln in 1992. He retired in 2012.
“Bishop Conley applauded Bishop Bruskewitz for one of his more well-known pastoral actions as bishop of Lincoln: the 1996 excommunication of local Catholics involved with groups like Planned Parenthood and Call to Action,” NCR reported:
“He was looking after his flock,” Bishop Conley said. “These groups that advocate teachings contrary to the Church can lead people astray. He wanted the people of Lincoln to know clearly what was Catholic teaching and what was not.”
Bruskewitz also “encouraged the expansion of diocesan social services to include a professional counseling clinic with an accredited psychology intern program and St. Gianna Women’s Homes, refuges for domestic-abuse victims,” NCR wrote.
Bruskewitz also was in charge of St. Gregory the Great Seminary, which flourished under his care. He encouraged and supported religious communities established in his diocese, such as the Discalced Carmelites.
According to NCR, he also allowed the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) to start a seminary in Nebraska “dedicated to the preservation of the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy (also known as the Tridentine Mass of 1962).”
Additionally, Bruskewitz helped Scripture scholar Scott Hahn throughout his conversion to the Catholic Faith in RCIA and received him into the Church.
According to NCR, Hahn said, “[Bruskewitz] will stand up and fight, but he doesn’t have a combative personality. He never went out of his way to be a celebrity… The bishop was not a monarch or an administrator so much as a father.”