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Creighton Honors Alumnus with Priest Service Award

The Rev. James R. Golka, pastor, St. Patrickís Church, North Platte, Neb., will receive Creighton Universityís Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan award on Jan. 19, during Creighton's Priests and Brothers Annual Dinner and Basketball Game. Attendees come from dioceses in Nebraska and Iowa.

A Creighton alumnus, Fr. Golka has served as the pastor of St. Patrickís in North Platte since 2006 where he also has responsibilities for North Platte Catholic Schools. A passionate advocate for education, he serves as director of the Ongoing Formation of Clergy and Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Grand Island, assessing the needs of priests and designing continuing education programs for them. He served nine years as director of the diocesan high school summer retreat program and also serves as chairman of the Personnel Board. Seeing a need for pastoral ministry to the emerging Hispanic communities within the state, Fr. Golka learned Spanish and studied the culture, bringing an added dimension of sensitivity and understanding to his work. Fr. Golka also mentors international priests coming to the Diocese.

Fr. Golka grew up in Grand Island, Neb., and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a bachelorís degree in theology from Creighton University and a masterís of Divinity and a masterís of Arts in Sacramental Theology from St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

The Archbishop Sheehan award recognizes a priest or a brother from the Archdiocese of Omaha or nearby dioceses who has distinguished himself for service to society, to the Church and to Catholic education, all of which were hallmarks of Archbishop Sheehan's career. Creighton established the award to honor Archbishop Sheehan, who died in October 2000.