The Notre Dame Sisters host several events throughout the year.
The following is an overview of upcoming events. Make sure to mark your calendar!
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s alumnae reunion. See videos and photos of the event here.
March 21, 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 pork dinner has been postponed until spring of 2022.
The Sisters host a traditional Czech Pork Dinner at St. Phillip Neri’s on 30th & Mormon Streets. All funds raised at this event support the Notre Dame Sisters’ Retirement Fund.
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.
Five Notre Dame Sisters celebrate jubilees; 320 years of religious service across the Midwest between them
Five Notre Dame Sisters with 320 years of religious service between them, are celebrating jubilees this year: Sr. Margaret Hickey, Notre Dame Sisters Provincial President is celebrating 60 years along with Sr. Irene Dvorak, ND, and Sr. Corona Humpal, ND. Sr. Ernestine Havlovic, ND, and Sr Joan Polak, ND, are celebrating 70 years. We will be releasing blog posts about each individual Sister in the coming weeks.
Sr. Ernestine Havlovic, ND
Generations across Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas know Sr. Ernestine . She has been a beloved teacher at nine schools and a principal at five schools across three states — that’s 51 years of teaching and 31 years as a principal. Two incredible achievements were her tenures from 1978-1994 as principal and teacher at Blessed John Neumann, Clarkson, Nebraska, and from 1994-2002 as a teacher at St. John Nepomucene, Weston, Nebraska.
Sr. Joan Polak, ND
While Sr. Joan was born in Brainard, Nebraska, she travelled far from the Midwest, making her Central and South American ministries some of the most impactful in her life. Her first mission was in Chile, South America, from 1963 to1967 and then she served in Honduras from 1994 to 2005. In between she worked diligently as a social worker from 1969 until 1982 with the Douglas County welfare departments and from 1982 to 1991 with the Nebraska Department of Social Services.
Sr. Irene Dvorak, ND
Sr. Irene spent more than 25 years teaching in Omaha and Iowa at St. Therese School, St. Adalbert School, St. John the Baptist School (in Prague, NE) St. Michael’s in Harlan, lowa, Mary, Queen of Apostles in Council Bluffs, lowa. Sr. Irene then embarked on a career path of teaching religious education at St. Philip Neri in Omaha and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Genoa, Nebraska and taught CCD at St Patrick’s in Elkhorn.
Sr. Margaret Hickey, ND
Many people know Sr. Margaret as a teacher (although they may remember her as Sr. Phyllis), as her education legacy stretches across Omaha — Beginning at St. Theresa’s in Omaha in 1963, she spent a few years at St. Michael’s in Harlan Iowa, before returning to Omaha to teach at Notre Dame Academy, where she had attended high school. She then taught at Roncalli High School in the 70s, 80s, and early 2000s.
Sr. Margaret served as Notre Dame Sisters Provincial President an impressive three times — 1977-1983, 1998-2005, and currently from 2013-2022. Still, Sr. Margaret managed to also act as Spiritual Director, organist, team member, Associate Director, and Formation Director during her years of teaching.
Sr. Corona Humal, ND
Math approved to be an incredibly fruitful major for Sr. Corona, as her ministry from 1963-1993 was education: She started teaching with seventh graders at St. Adalbert’s Grade Schools in Omaha before moving to teach at Howell’s Grade School. She then taught at St. Wenceslaus Grade School, Spillville, Iowa before becoming a high school Math teacher at Notre Dame Academy, Wahoo Neumann High School, and Roncalli Catholic High School.
After 30 years of teaching in and around the Omaha Metro, she continues to serve people right here. As a resident of Notre Dame Housing in North Omaha, Sr. Corona manages the gift shop with items made by residents, including many of her beautifully crocheted blankets, shawls, and dolls. She volunteers at NDH for their food programs for residents, and gets out in the community serving St James Seton School in the Kids Care Program.
Prime Day is an easy way to support the Notre Dame Sisters!
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon’s annual Prime Day event will be held June 21 and June 22, kicking off summer with two days of epic deals and the best savings Prime has to offer. The shopping extravaganza will deliver Prime members over 2 million deals across every category, including fashion, home, beauty, electronics, and more, along with the best in entertainment benefits and never-before-seen exclusives across Prime Video, Amazon Music, Prime Gaming, and more. Prime Day kicks off on June 21 at midnight PDT (3 a.m. EDT) and runs through June 22 for Prime members
Prime Day 2021 will feature can’t-miss deals from top brands including Levi’s, iRobot, Samsung, and Redken and more than a million deals from small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon.
Prime members will again be able to support small businesses this Prime Day, with more than a million deals from small and medium-sized businesses. Members can shop across local Black-owned, woman-owned, military family-owned, and many more small businesses. For Prime Day and throughout the rest of 2021, Amazon will spend more than $100 million to fuel the success of small businesses selling on Amazon, including promotional activities to encourage customers to shop with them. Prime Day provides small businesses with an opportunity to market their products to millions of Prime members around the world who are excited to shop for great deals.
- 48-Hours to Save this Prime Day: Prime members have the chance to shop two days of epic deals this Prime Day on June 21 and June 22. Prime Day will offer exclusive access to limited time offers, new product launches, and top entertainment to help them spend less and smile more.
- Over 2 Million Deals Globally: Prime members in participating countries will enjoy over 2 million deals around the world throughout the two-day epic deals event, including on top fashion, home, and beauty products, as well as toys, sporting goods, pet supplies, electronics, Amazon brands, and Amazon Devices.
How does this support the Notre Dame Sisters? If you use Amazon Smile while shopping for all of these deals, the Sisters will receive donations based on your purchase. Amazon Smile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. Amazon Smile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.
Also using Amazon Smile you can support our Wish List and purchase gifts directly for the sisters that they have personally requested right here.
We truly appreciate all of the support the Notre Dame Sisters receive throughout the year, and Prime Day is a way to support our ministries while going about your daily life!
Volunteering at the US/Mexico Boarder: takeaways from a crisis
Sr. Rita Ostry and Sr. Mary Kay Meagher, Notre Dame Sisters, each took trips to El Paso, Texas this spring to support efforts in assisting new migrants to the US. Above is a live conversation with these Sisters along with St. Pius X parishioners Margaret and Tom Hoarty about what they saw, learned, and brought back with them. As referenced in the presentation, here is a link to find your elected representatives so you can share your concerns about the border crisis with your legislatures. We will provide more stories, resources, and information in the coming days. For now, please watch and learn more, and share it with your community!
Below is the poem also referenced at the end of the presentation.
Home By Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire:
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
and even then you carried the anthem under
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
or the insults are easier
than your child body
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
I don’t know what I’ve become
but I know that anywhere
is safer than here
Joy of Giving is strong in Omaha!
Thank you all SO much for helping us make the first Joy of Giving Day a success. Thank you especially to those who made cheer pages, shared Facebook posts, and created interest with your friends and family!
The intention of Joy of Giving is to unite us all in archdiocese’s vision of “One Church” by providing a new opportunity to unify and amplify the significance of our Catholic community. Called to receive God’s gifts gratefully, we share them, lovingly, in service to one another. Through our joyful and faith-filled response, we can unite to impact and inspire countless lives through the great work of our many Catholic entities.
Notre Dame Sisters raised $1,845 from 25 donors
(finished in 39th place out of 80) in 24 hours.
Notre Dame Housing raised $1,170
(finished in 49th place out of 80 local Catholic charities)
Guatemalan migrant community in Omaha offered vaccinations and information in their language
May 14, 2021, Omaha, Neb. — An effort is underway to get COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of the people who are underserved in Omaha. The migrant community in town who may not have information in their local language, is critical to reach out to in order for all people to be safer, sooner.
112 people we vaccinated Sunday, May 23 at Guadalupe Hall at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and 56 people were vaccinated at St. Francis of Assisi Church the week before.
“Having more of our migrant community vaccinated would mean that our entire community is safe and healthy,” said Charlie Petro, Executive Director of Ixim. “It’s great for people with easy access to get a shot and go back out to restaurants and normal life, but that’s not everyone. Vaccinating everyone means that we can all get back out in a safe and healthy way.”
Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity is an archdiocesan ministry cultivating relationships of friendship, faith, and solidarity between the Archdiocese of Omaha and the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
In partnership with OneWorld Community Health Center, Ixim offered the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination clinics in South Omaha to help get the shot into the arms of people who may otherwise have difficulty signing up for an appointment through a government or pharmacy online portal.
“Why go out of our way to reach out to migrants about the vaccination? Because many people do not have the English-language skills or the access to technology in order to learn about vaccinations and make an appointment,” said Mary Kay Meagher, a nurse and Notre Dame Sister who has volunteered with Ixim since 2003. “Everyone is as worthy of this life-saving vaccine as anyone else is.”
Ixim has been reaching out to the Mayan and larger Guatemalan community for weeks, going to churches, reaching out on Spanish-language radio stations and handing out flyers across South Omaha.
“We’ve been getting community leaders to hand out flyers with us to encourage people to get the shot,” said Mr. Petro.
No appointment, ID, or any information were required to get the vaccine; anyone and everyone was welcome.
“We noticed, this time last year, we had an incredible number of cases in our community,” said Mr. Petro. “The migrant community at large has been greatly impacted by COVID. We are still seeing infections spreading in the migrant community, due to many factors.”
“Reaching out to diverse communities is what we do at OneWorld,” said Chief Executive Officer, OneWorld Community Health Centers. “We want to make sure everyone has access to quality health care. It is especially important right now to be protected from the virus. We are very proud to partner with the Mayan community and Notre Dame Sisters to make vaccines available. This is lifesaving!”
That is why a vaccination campaign has been prioritized. It is the hope of Ixim that COVID-19 related deaths in the migrant community end, when vaccinations cause the infection rate to decrease.
Check out our Sisters' cheer pages!
See which Sisters are raising funds for what! Sisters made cheer pages for the Archdiocese Joy of Giving Day May 19!
Sr. Joy Connealy
I am raising funds for the Notre Dame Sisters in order to provide upkeep of the grounds of this historical property. Just as Father Flanagan saw the potential in this land; just as Mother Qualberta improved the land and welcomed students; just as modern Notre Dame Sisters added onto the school to welcome senior citizens, we are now preparing for the next several decades of caring for this property. We are getting the entire retaining wall replaced on the West side of our property, a $100,000 project!
Sr. Marie Alice Ostry
We believe that it is important to continue spiritual support to the women as they branch out on their own in the Safe Homes program. That’s where I come in! I provide grocery vouchers during our “Keeping On” portion of the Safe Homes program. “Keeping On” gives the woman a support system to lean on and connects them with information on community resources that are available.
Sr. Mary Kay Meagher
We Sisters have many personal ministries that we constantly work at. Among my social justice ministries, I am proud of my work with Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity, an archdiocesan ministry cultivating relationships of friendship, faith, and solidarity between the Archdiocese of Omaha and the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.Sr. Celeste Wobeter is raising money for Notre Dame Housing, the largest of the Sisters’ ministries.“As a graduate of Notre Dame Academy, I remember walking these same halls, bustling with student chatter and full of energy. As a Sister, I developed a new relationship with the space as our Motherhouse. Now, I call it home. In fact, I get to live in what used to be my high school Geometry classroom!”Sr. Margaret Hickey is raising money in hopes of adding to the very robust programming at Notre Dame Housing, and wants to highlight the food pantry:“We expect more participants to utilize this food pantry even after COVID-19 has passed. In 2020 we built a new Enrichment Center on-site to accommodate more people and store more food.”
What is the Omaha Archdiocese Joy of Giving Day?The Archdiocese of Omaha is delighted to announce the launch of Joy of Giving, a 24-hour day of giving set to benefit organizations of the Archdiocese. Joy of Giving directly speaks to and celebrates the archdiocese’s vision of “One Church” by providing a new opportunity to unify and amplify the significance of our Catholic community and its impact across 23 counties.
The intention of Joy of Giving is to unite us all in support of the organizations that have always given to us. Called to receive God’s gifts gratefully, we share them, lovingly, in service to one another. Through our joyful and faith-filled response, we can unite to impact and inspire countless lives through the great work of our many Catholic entities.
Notre Dame Housing invites you to Celebrate Summer!
Swing by the Old Mattress Factory
and Celebrate our Most Valuable Place –
Notre Dame Housing!
Drop by with your friends and family for food and drink while enjoying CWS and the Swim Trials on the large screens, right in the center of the action – and support Notre Dame Housing’s commitment to seniors in North Omaha. Your support will help ensure NDH continues to make a difference in the lives of so many.
This is the opening of the college baseball finals and the finals of the second wave of the 2021 swim trials, so there will be plenty to enjoy!
Join us June 18th
any time from 5-9 p.m.
at The Old Mattress Factory at
501 North 13th Street, Omaha
Buffet dinner and all drinks included!
Sponsor the event!
- MVP Sponsor- $5,000
- Prominent placement of name/logo on all printed and online materials and 10 tickets
- Gold Sponsor – $2,500
- Logo on website and social media and 10 tickets
- Silver Sponsor – $1,000
- Logo on website and social media and 5 tickets
- Underwriter – $250
- Name listed on website and 2 tickets
For additional information about sponsorships or the event, contact Sandra Koch at email@example.com
- MVP Sponsor- $5,000
Pork Dinner Postponed until 2022
The annual Czech pork dinner has been postponed until spring of 2022.
Knights of Columbus councils at Mary Our Queen and St. Philip Neri parishes in Omaha sponsor this event every year, with Knights preparing and serving the food.
Each year, the dinner raises about $12,000 for the sisters’ ministries.
The event features live Czech music provided by Notre Dame Sisters and local Czech bands and entertainers. They also sell crafts, including embroidery and crochet items, and baked goods, including famous kolaches made by the sisters.
We can’t wait to see you again soon for a great afternoon with traditional food and music. Czech in with us in 2022 for details for the next event!
Here is a great video of the band from 2005:
Here are some great photos of our Pork Dinners from years past:
Alumnae Reunion September 11, 2021We are thrilled to announce our first in-person event in more than a year!Enjoy a reunion at Notre Dame Housing (previously Notre Dame Academy).We will honor the following classes:
More information coming soon.*Gathering and light refreshments at 3:30 p.m.
- 1931 – 90th anniversary!
- 1936 – 85th anniversary!
- 1941 – 80th anniversary!
- 1946 – 75th anniversary!
- 1951 – 70th anniversary!
- 1956 – 65th anniversary!
- 1961- 60th anniversary!
- 1966 – 55th anniversary!
- 1971 – 50th anniversary!
*Tentative Mass in the chapel at 5 p.m.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.