Knowing ‘the closeness of Jesus’: Q&A with Archbishop George Lucas
In America’s interview with Pope Francis in November 2022, the Holy Father said that “the grace of Jesus Christ is in the relationship between the bishop and his people, his diocese.” We asked U.S. bishops to answer five of our nine questions. In these brief interviews, we hope to highlight and foster this relationship, and to offer some unique personal perspectives and spiritual insights of the shepherds leading our church.
Q&A with Archbishop George Lucas
Diocese of Omaha, Neb.
What is an event from your childhood that helped you to understand who God is?
I have a vivid memory of my first Communion. My parents and my teacher, a Sister of Mercy, helped me see that Jesus was present and wanted to be close to me. I believed them, and I still believe it. This experience of the closeness of Jesus has shaped my life as much as anything.
Describe a time that someone modeled God’s mercy in your life.
As a member of the Catholic Relief Services board, I was able to visit a large refugee camp in Uganda. I will never forget the care and the love shown by the aid workers to the individuals who had come to the camp with only what they could carry, which was often a child.
What’s something that people might not know about you?
Every spring I try to read a book about baseball. I’m currently reading Baseball at the Abyss. I’m a recovering history teacher and am currently enjoying the podcast “The Rest is History.”
What’s a lesson you’ve learned from the life of your favorite saint that is most applicable to your life today?
St. Joseph is one of my patrons. He has taught me that I will be part of the working out of the plan of God when I am close to Jesus. He gave great leadership in uncertain times by keeping that focus.
Who’s someone in your diocese, not necessarily someone in an official church role, whom you admire and have learned from?
I admire an owner of a business who employs several immigrants in what would be considered unskilled jobs. He meets with them individually to develop a plan for themselves (and their families) for moving to a better job and greater financial security.
Read more from our Bishop Q&A series: