Our Bishops


Most Rev. George J. Lucas

Most Rev. James D. Conley

Most Rev. Joseph Hanefeldt

Archbishop of Omaha
Diocese Website
Bishop of Lincoln
Diocese Website
Bishop of Grand Island
Diocese Website


Tom Venzor
Executive Director
Michael McHale
General Counsel/Policy Analyst

Lauren Garcia
Communications and Outreach Specialist
Marion Miner
Associate Director for Pro Life & Family

Our Organizational Structure


The Nebraska Catholic Conference is a federation. A written constitution is its organizational document. The members of the federation are the Archdiocese of Omaha, the Diocese of Lincoln, and the Diocese of Grand Island. Each diocese is under the authority of a Diocesan Bishop. The Bishops serve as the officers of the Conference.

In addition to its officers, the Conference is composed of one representative from each of the three dioceses in each of the following categories: Education, Social Services, Health, Public Affairs and Pastoral Ministry. Also, each diocese may have two representatives of the laity. All positions are appointed by the respective Diocesan Bishop. The appointees include priests, women religious and laity.

Policies and positions of the Nebraska Catholic Conference are determined, after study and discussion, by a majority vote of the members. However, no policy or position is adopted unless it has an affirmative vote from each Diocesan Bishop. Thus, the Conference, as a state-level agency, acts from a position of unity and coordination. When the Nebraska Catholic Conference does not hold or act upon a position on a certain issue, each Diocesan Bishop is free to speak out publicly or act upon that issue as he sees fit, either on his own behalf or on behalf of his diocese.


Our Activities and Responsibilities

I. The Nebraska Catholic Conference serves as an accessible channel of information between government and the institutional Church, interacting with all three branches:

  • Legislative: NCC monitors the actions of the Nebraska Legislature, commenting, when appropriate, on bills and amendments and advocating positions on various proposals. The Conference is registered as a principal with the Clerk of the Legislature and is represented in that capacity by staff members who are registered lobbyists. The Conference is an information resource for legislative committees, individual legislators, and legislative staff.
  • Executive: NCC monitors the administrative activities of the Governor’s office and state agencies, giving special attention to rules, regulations and administrative decisions that impact upon the Conference’s areas of interest and concern.
  • Judicial: NCC monitors court rulings and other legal advisories (e.g. Attorney General’s opinions). The Conference may on occasion facilitate intervention in court cases or act as a friend-of-the-court by filing legal briefs on behalf of the positions and constituencies it represents.

II. The Nebraska Catholic Conference informs and advises the dioceses, parishes, other Church organizations and interested individuals concerning the public-policy processes, activities of the political community and the moral and social dimensions and implications of public issues.

III. The Nebraska Catholic Conference promotes public understanding of the Church’s teachings and concerns about morality, justice, health, welfare, education, and human rights.

IV. The Nebraska Catholic Conference is active on public-policy issues at the federal level. NCC often communicates with members of the Nebraska delegation in the U.S. Congress, either on behalf of its own particular interest or as a “grassroots” representative of its national counterpart, the United States Catholic Conference.

V. The Nebraska Catholic Conference also operates the state office of the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities.

Catholic Dioceses of Nebraska Statistics

Omaha Archdiocese
Lincoln Diocese
Grand Island 

• 230000 Catholics
• 140 Parishes & missions
• 2 Catholic Universities
• 53 Elementary Schools
• 17 High Schools
• 18,911 students attending Catholic schools
• 11 Catholic Hospitals
• 4 Catholic Homes for Seniors/Assisted Living

• 97552 Catholics
• 134 Parishes
• 27 elementary Schools
• 6 High Schools
• 6,958 students attending Catholic schools
• 2 Seminaries
• 4 Catholic Hospitals
• 4 Catholic Nursing Homes

• 54000 Catholics
• 76 Parishes and Missions
• 7 Elementary Schools
• 3 High Schools
• 1,484 students attending Catholic Schools
• 2 Catholic Hospitals



Prayer for the Nebraska Catholic Conference

Eternal Father, You call us to engage the world so that Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, might be made visible in the words and actions of Your servants. Through the good work of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, may the light and grace of the Gospel shine upon the many difficult problems, questions, policies and issues that arise in our secular world, which so often does not recognize what is good and true and beautiful.  Grant to all of those who work in and with the Nebraska Catholic Conference, on behalf of our citizens who are often denied justice in our culture, the charity, courage and perseverance they need to do Your work in serenity, joy and peace.  We invoke the intercession of Blessed Mary and all of the Saints and the Holy Angels, who stand ready to carry out Your divine will. We ask all in the power of the Holy Spirit and through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen

St. John Fisher, pray for us.  St. Thomas More, pray for us.  

Click here to download and print a copy of the prayer.