The Notre Dame Sisters host several events throughout the year.
The following is an overview of upcoming events. Make sure to mark your calendar!
March 21, 2021
In March, our friends, loved ones, and supporters near and far will gather online to show their support for our Notre Dame Sisters community and our ministries.
Info coming soon.
The Sisters host a traditional Czech Pork Dinner at St. Phillip Neri’s on 30th & Mormon Streets. All funds raised at this event will support the Notre Dame Sisters’ Retirement Fund. More info about the 2021 dinner coming soon.
Every year the St. Pius X Men’s Group supports our Safe Homes program by putting together a delicious pancake breakfast. It is a free event with a donation to Safe Homes.
Thank you to everyone who attended, making 2020 such a successful year.
Safe Homes works with social workers from local agencies, who all agree that financial stability after escaping domestic violence is the difference-maker between staying independent and going back to an abuser. We provide one-time financial assistance for first month’s rent, deposit, or utilities for women who are ready to launch their lives free of the violence. $500 provides first-month’s rent. $250 provides first-month’s utilities. $100 provides a food voucher.
In 2018, we sponsored more than 112 women with 150 children.
This kind of support is crucial to women, and the need is growing right here in Omaha. Arrests in the Omaha Metro area for domestic violence are up 49% over the past three years, and half of those arrested had previous assault charges, according to the Women’s Fund of Omaha. Moreover, our partners in six local shelters anticipate a 5-10% increase in women seeking shelter from violence in 2020.
Sisters raise a record $140,000, benefitting people across the Omaha Metro and beyondApril 6, 2021 — $140,000 was raised at our Celebration of Spirit event March 31. Although held virtually, The Most Reverend Archbishop George Lucas of the Omaha, Nebraska Archdiocese welcomed guests. Dick and Julie Bea Pierson were honored with the Mother Qualberta Service Award. The silent auction, with mostly hand-made gifts raised $19,000.“We are incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support during such a strenuous year from individuals and sponsors,” said Sr. Margaret Hickey, Provincial President of the Notre Dame Sisters. “No one knows the future, but 2020 and 2021 have been nearly impossible years to plan. We just didn’t know if and how much financial support we could count on from people and businesses during the pandemic. We were surprised and honored that people saw the need for our ministries and decided to continue to fund our work.”The Notre Dame Sisters work mainly in the Omaha Metro area (where they settled in 1917) where they established nonprofits and programs like Notre Dame Housing for low-income seniors in the area, Safe Homes for women leaving local domestic violence shelters, and the Coalition on Human Trafficking, educating local industries to see the signs of local human trafficking and report it. Additionally, Sisters take on individual ministries as educators, caretakers, advocates, and prayer makers.In honor of their American Foundress, the Notre Dame Sisters established an award in her name. Each year the Sisters nominate a person or group who possesses the following qualities: witness to faith in God and love for people, service to others, a pioneering spirit, partnership with the Notre Dame Sisters and excellence in teaching others. Dick and Julie Bea Pierson received this award for their 50+ years of actively supporting their community together. From their active role in St. John’s parish in Valley, to sponsoring students on the Winnebego Reservation, or Micah House in Dick’s hometown of Council Bluffs, to the Omaha Community Foundation, and so much more, the Piersons have touched so many parts of the Omaha Metro.“Both Dick and Julie Bea Pierson are an incredible example of citizens, parishoners, parents, you name it,” said Sr. Margaret Hickey, Provincial President for the Notre Dame Sisters.The Sisters thank all those who donated to the auction, purchased meals or raffle tickets, and especially sponsored the event, especially Home Instead Inc., Colonel and Mrs. Timon Oujiri, and the Byron and Linda Stigge Foundation.
Join us for a climate-themed 'Expand Your Horizons' April 15!
THURSDAY, April 15, 2021,
AT 7 PM CST – 8:30 PM CST, on FACEBOOK LIVE
Presented by Mark Welsch of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.Join us for a live event!We will provide an opportunity to “breathe with and for the earth” as we enter Spring 2021. That’s what our Earth has been doing in its orbit around the sun. This “orbital breathing” is called the 100,000-year Milankovitch Cycle, named after a scientist from Croatia-Serbia. He hypothesized in the 1920s that variations in the solar radiation reaching the Earth strongly influenced the Earth’s climatic patterns.In 1856, decades before Milankovitch, a women’s right activist named Eunice Foote demonstrated the effect of solar radiation on gasses. She exposed different gasses to solar heat. Carbon dioxide itself became heated and took much longer to cool. She applied her findings to the Earth’s atmosphere, concluding that “an atmosphere of that gas would give to our Earth a high temperature.” Her revelation appears to have been the first of its kind, but it went more-or-less unnoticed for 150 years, until 2010 when her paper was discovered by a retired geologist. During the 1970s, scientists observed rapid earth warming and sounded an alarm: human activity contributed to a “greenhouse effect.”If “global warming” follows natural climate patterns, what can be done about the apparent “runaway climate change” caused by greenhouse gasses? This will be addressed by our April EYH keynote speaker Mark Welsch, Co-Leader of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Omaha Chapter Volunteer. CCL works with everyday people to empower them to work together for climate economy solutions. Their priority – the carbon-fee and dividend proposal – is a laser focused action plan for environmental justice and sustainable living.
- Keynote “No More Free Pollution” by Mark Welsch, Nebraskans for Peace Omaha Coordinator and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Omaha Chapter Co-Leader.
- Panelist from Omaha Together One Community Action Team: Clyde Anderson on Nebraska legislation
- Panelist students from Creighton University Sustainability Program: Caroline Adrian and Emma Yackley with student perspective and action.
- Panelist from Elders for the Earth: Carol Windrum on actions that honor the planet.
Join us for Expand Your Horizons
Allow us to guide you through your feelings of grief caused by destruction and death, to invite you to compassion, and to guide you to choose life and hope. Join us for a compelling reflection and prayer with local advocates on issues of abortion, the death penalty, the pandemic, natural disasters, and refugee resettlement. We thought the topic of life and its challenges, especially after what the nation faced in 2020, was a perfect way to discuss and commemorate life.
• Sr Stephanie Matcha, ND – advocate on Abortion and Death Penalty issues
• Sr Marlene Bakken, ND – retired teacher in Iowa, reflects on natural disasters: Derecho and the pandemic
• Sr Celeste Wobeter, ND – hospice minister will give perspective on grieving during the pandemic
• Mr. Preston Love, Jr.– systemic racism and need for a clear vision.
• Theresa Wiggs, Notre Dame Sisters Associate and OTOC activist, with refugee youth will discuss refugee resettlement in Omaha
Save the date for this year's Celebration of Spirit!In March, our friends, loved ones, and supporters near and far will gather online to show their support for our Notre Dame Sisters community and our ministries.Enjoy our live auction feature handmade items from our Sisters and our program of updates on the people we serve through our ministries.Join us for a gathering we look forward to every year, and help us feel your presence of spirit as we remain socially distant and safe.More info and registration coming soon.
Celebrating Advent Differently This Year
Here are some new Advent Actions to coincide with your calendar. Use your Advent calendar to encourage daily actions:
Pray for global peace and individuals around the world whom you have never met.
Monday and Wednesday:
Attempt small random acts of kindness – pay for someone’s drive-through order behind you. Call a friend. Pick up some litter.
Tuesday and Thursday:
Work on your inner-self. Focus on patience, kindness, word choice, self-talk or other small areas of improvement.
Help out around the home. Do a small chore for someone else that wasn’t on your list to do that day.
We were thrilled by the turn-out for our poinsettia sale!We were thrilled by the turn-out for our poinsettia sale!Friends, neighbors, and businesses all made a difference in the lives of local women. We raised more than $1,300 for our Safe Homes program and were able to spread some holiday cheer!The Safe Homes Program provides a “Path Forward” for hundreds of women and children leaving domestic violence shelters in Omaha. We provide startup funds for utilities and rent for one month and follow-up support.Thank you especially to John and Wende Kotouc who purchased poinsettias for American National Bank Employees, Harold’s Koffee House which will have our poinsettias on their tables, and Home Instead who graciously gave poinsettias to the people they serve. John A. Gentleman Mortuary will adorn their chapel with our poinsettias, Physician’s Mutual order some for their offices, and Hiller Electric also supported the endeavor. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this success!
Stephen Patrick O’Meara Honored For His Commitment to End Human Trafficking in the Midwest
O’Meara was honored with the Mother Qaulberta Service Award for bringing attention to the human trafficking happening all around us, even when no one in Nebraska believed it was here
This former prosecutor in Nebraska and Iowa with a specialization in human trafficking and child welfare, is quick to cut off anyone who tries to list his accolades.
“God prepared all of this to happen,” Stephen Patrick O’Meara affirmed. “I was not an outgoing kid, but I later realized how God prepared me to be a lawyer.”
After Creighton Law School and a brief stint as a tax attorney, O’Meara soon moved to the Iowa District Attorney’s Office where he spent 15 years specializing in child neglect. In fact, he went back to Creighton to strengthen his knowledge in the area, earning a degree in social work and public affairs administration.
When the federal government mandated that each state have a human trafficking division, O’Meara was the obvious choice to establish the office in Council Bluffs. This is where O’Meara strengthened relationships with other warriors for child welfare and founded the NE/IA Child Exploitation Task Force. O’Meara’s first case in the area continues to stand out in his mind.
It was toward the end to already illustrious career (that O’meara reiterates was all God’s plan), he found Sr Celeste Wobeter, ND, and the Coalition on Human Trafficking.
“Because the Coalition was a faith group of Sisters it was recommended for me to join. Celeste keeps me working! Started the hotel/motel program together,” O’Meara said.
O’Meara began the Hotels/Motels Program with Sr Celeste in which the Coalition on Human Trafficking trained employees in the service industry, garnering major attention on the program and the issue. Elected officials, managers in the service industry, law enforcement, and the general public began supporting the Coalition.
“Iowa is not immune from human trafficking as we sit at the crossroads of I-35 and I-80,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who noted a trafficking ring recently was broken up in her hometown of Osceola.
So far, the Coalition has conducted trainings in more than 150 hotels and motels in Nebraska and Iowa. They have expanded as far as Sioux Falls and Des Moines and into greater Nebraska like York and Grand Island. Now, others are reaching out – OPPD, security companies, and bartenders are looking for training. Creighton students are hanging our information in bathrooms all over town, and are getting a great response.
“Once people recognize that they themselves can do something about this, they get energized for our cause,” Sr Celeste said. In fact, the Coalition is in the process of conducting 12 trainings in a 13-county area with OPPD with groups from 75-150 men “who are so incredibly attentive and grateful and ask great questions. They see the need and are grateful for the information, and we are grateful to teach them how to realize, recognize, and respond,” Sr Celeste continued.
If you would like more information, photos, or interviews, please contact Molly Mullen with the Notre Dame Sisters at email@example.com.
Join us to celebrate the memory of Sister Phyllis Marie Heble
We celebrated the memory of Sister Phyllis Marie Heble November 4th and 5th at Notre Dame with burial in Calvary Cemetery. Sister Phyllis Marie Heble, a Notre Dame Sister for 64 years, died at Immanuel Fontenelle in Omaha, NE, on Sunday, October 27. She was 87 years of age.
Services were as follows:
Monday, November 4th at 4 p.m.
Visitation from 6-7 p.m.
Vigil service at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial:
Tuesday, November 5th at 10 a.m. at Cavalry Cemetery (7710 W Center Rd)
The Notre Dame Sisters of the Omaha Province Issue a Public Statement on the Treatment of Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers
We speak out for those suffering on our border and in detention centers. We join with the many religious, non-governmental organizations, and citizens calling for the Federal Administration and US Congress to take action to end the inhumane treatment of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers arriving in the United States.
We call specifically on Congress and the President to address these immoral conditions. We promote legislation that includes family reunification, a path to earned legalization, worker protections, and an effective border policy that is humane rather than punitive.
Notre Dame Sisters
Congratulations to our 2019 Jubilarians
Sr. Celeste Wobeter, ND – 60 Years of Religious Profession
Sr. Celeste Wobeter, born in Elberon, Iowa, to Celestine and Frances Wobeter, attended a country school in Iowa, and graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Omaha. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from Duchesne College in Omaha and a master’s degree in mathematics from Seattle University.
Sister served as a teacher at St. Therese’s in Omaha, St. Wenceslaus in Dodge, Wahoo Catholic and Neumann High Schools in Wahoo. She was pastoral minister at St. Patrick’s Parish in Fremont from 1981 to 2003. For her Notre Dame community, sister was formation director, a member of the leadership team and president of the community. She has been a representative on the international constitution committee and a delegate to the General Chapter delegate in the Czech Republic. Sister is also a spiritual director, retreat director and hospital chaplain. She currently is a part-time chaplain for CHI hospice and part-time with the Coalition on Human Trafficking, and chair of the Training and Education Committee of the Coalition.
Sister Celeste will celebrate 60 years of religious profession in early August, 2019.
Sr. Cynthia Hruby, ND – 50 years of Religious Profession
Sister Cynthia Anne Hruby, daughter of Tillie (Dostal) and Dominic D. Hruby, will celebrate 50 years of religious profession August 4, 2019. Her Butler County family moved from Linwood to Clarkson where she began her education in a country school then continued as a boarder at St. Wenceslaus in Dodge. She transferred to Sts. Peter and Paul and later to St. John Nepomucene in Howells. She completed her Catholic elementary education as one of the first graduates from Bishop Neumann School in Clarkson. Secondary education at Notre Dame Academy in Omaha included three years in the Aspirant Program, the first step in the formation provided to young women interested in joining the sisters. She continued in their program during college and made first profession of vows in August 1969.
Sister earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and Natural Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1972 and a Masters in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in 1982. As ministry options developed, she earned several certificates, including the Youth Ministry and the Advanced Studies in Youth Ministry Certificates from the Center for Ministry Development in Connecticut, the Family Ministry Certificate from the Omaha Archdiocese, and the USCCB Campus Ministry Certificate. In 2006 she completed a Master of Science in Education/Counseling-Student Affairs Practice from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.
Sister’s ministry included teaching, grief ministry, and college campus ministry
Sister Mary Kay Meagher, ND
Sister Mary Kay Meagher, daughter of Anthony & Margaret Meagher, will celebrate 60 years of religious profession in August, 2019. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marillac College ad her Masters of Science in Nursing from Loyola University in Chicago.
The major part of her ministry in the nursing field was in various positions in hospitals, clinics and community health sites. She was Executive Director of Indian Chicano Health Center for five years, worked as a Nurse Practitioner in several local clinics and five years at One World’s first school based clinic. She was Assistant Professor of Nursing at Creighton University School of Nursing for 13 years. She also served in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala), Nigeria in Africa, Bolivia in South American and a refugee camp in Thailand.