Father David Belt grew up in Emerson, a rural community of about 800 residents in Northeast Nebraska. He is the oldest of 6 boys. He attended Sacred Heart Grade School and Emerson-Hubbard High School. Upon graduation in 1978, he attended Wayne State College, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education Degree in December of 1982. Father Belt taught vocal and instrumental music at Allen Consolidated Schools in Allen, Nebraska, from 1983-1985. He entered the seminary at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of Saint Thomas, earning a Master of Divinity Degree in 1989. Ordained in 1990, Father Belt served for 2 years as associate pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Fremont, with teaching/ campus ministry duties at Archbishop Bergan Catholic School. He was then assigned as associate pastor of Saint Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha from 1992-1995. In the fall of 1995, Father Belt was appointed pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Wisner, with teaching/ campus ministry duties at West Point Central Catholic High School. It was also at this time that he began a program of study at Wayne State College, earning his Master of Science in Education Degree in 2000. He served as the pastor of Sacred Heart/Saint Mary’s Parish in Norfolk, and president of Norfolk Catholic Schools from 2000 to 2010. Father Belt was appointed pastor of Saint Patrick Parish and president of Archbishop Bergan Catholic School in Fremont in 2010 and now has been assigned to St. Stephen the Martyr as our new pastor.
Father Belt has worked with parish councils, school boards, finance committees, and other committees and ministries in the parishes he has served. He has also led retreats and workshops for parish councils, school boards, and Catholic school faculties in the Archdiocese. Topics include Catholic identity, role and purpose of advisory boards, strategic planning, and spirituality of parish/school leaders. Father Belt has served on External Visitation Teams for state and AdvancED accreditation for Catholic schools.
Over the next few weeks, Father Belt will be settling into his new office and the rectory. Stop by and welcome him to the parish.
Fr. Mark is a native of Blair, Nebraska, going all the way through the Blair Public Schools (Class of 1986). He entered the seminary right after high school, attending St. John Vianney Seminary at the College (now University) of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his BA in Philosophy while there. After graduating from St. John Vianney in 1990, he left the seminary for three years, in order to discern whether the call to priesthood was truly his. During his time out of the seminary he worked for Gallup in Lincoln, and taught 4th grade at Raton Catholic School in Raton, New Mexico, after which he discerned his call back to the seminary. He re-entered the seminary in 1993, attending Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained by Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss in 1997. He has served the Archdiocese as assistant pastor at St. Wenceslaus in Omaha and St. Mary’s in West Point. He was Administrator at St. Wenceslaus in Dodge and Sacred Heart in Olean, and pastor at St. Francis in Neligh and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tilden. We was Senior Associate Pastor at St. Cecilia Cathedral, before coming to St. Stephen’s on March 1, 2012. In addition, Father Mark taught high school religion for 10 years, at West Point Central Catholic and Pope John Central Catholic in Elgin. He enjoys classical music and baseball (not necessarily in that order), being an avid fan of Beethoven, the Cincinnati Reds, and whoever is playing the Yankees.
B.A., majors in Philosophy and Psychology, College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN (1975)
M.A., Educational Administration (1977), M.A., Psychology (1978), S.T.B. Theology (1978), The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Ph.L. (Higher Institute of Philosophy, 1983), S.T.L. (1984), Ph.D. Religious Studies (1988), S.T.D. Theology (1989), K.U. Leuven, Belgium M.A., Military Operational Arts and Sciences (National Security Studies), Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery, AL (2003)
1979, ordained Catholic Priest, Archdiocese of Omaha
1979 – 1982, Chairman and Instructor, Dept of Religion, Norfolk Catholic High School
1982 – 1988, graduate and doctoral studies in philosophy and theology, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
1984-1991, Instructor (Psychology and Philosophy), University of Maryland, European Division (Brussels, Belgium and Frankfurt, Germany)
1992 fwd, Air Force Catholic Chaplain at Biloxi, MS, Wichita, KS, Anchorage, AK, Nellis AFB Las Vegas, NV
2001-2002, Director of Curriculum Development and Instructor, U.S. Air Force Chaplain Service (professional continuing education curriculum design for 600 chaplain officers and 400 enlisted support staff, taught 10+ courses/year)
2002 – 2003, Student, Air Command and Staff College
2003- 2004, Catholic Chaplain, Bolling AFB, Washington, DC
2004-2006, Sr. Chaplain for AF Basic Training, Lackland AFB, TX, for largest worship program (5,000 in attendance weekly) and largest Religious Education program in Air Force (3,000 students weekly), most ecumenical in scope in entire Dept of Defense, close cooperation with Islamic, Jewish, Orthodox clergy/congregations
2006 – 2011, Sr. Chaplain, Tyndall AFB, FL
1 Oct 2011, retired as Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
Oct 2011 – June 2014, Sr. Associate Pastor, Christ the King Church
July 2014 – present, Sr Associage Pastor, St. Stephen the Martyr Church
1979-1981, Producer and Studio Musician (vocal, percussion, bass) for Michael Joncas’s North American Liturgical Resources CD “On Eagle’s Wings” and the Cooperative Music CD “Every Stone Shall Cry”
1992, author, The Trinity: An Analysis of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Expositio of the De Trinitate of Boethius(Studien Und Texte Zur Geistesgeschichte Des Mittelalters), Leiden, Brill, 1992
1992 – 2001, Four tours deployed to multicultural, military environments (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait)—four- to six months each tour
June – Oct 2011, Sabbatical, Missiology and Liturgy, St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute and Indian Spirituality Center, Bangalore, India
Spring Semester 2013, Lecturer, Dept. of Philosophy, Creighton University
Deacon Ernie Abbott
Deacon Denny Dethlefs
Deacon Jerry Kozney
Deacon Wes Kreun
Deacon Charles Martin Warwick