Provincial President celebrates 60 years as a Sister

Celebrating 60 years of religious profession is Sister Margaret Hickey, daughter of the deceased Philip and Martha (Swetala) Hickey. Born in Omaha, Nebraska she received a Bachelor ‘s degree in Education from Duchesne College and her Master’s degree in English from Creighton University.

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. Therese’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. 

Notre Dame Academy

Elizabeth Moffatt remembers how during her last two years at Notre Dame Academy, Sr. Margaret noticed she was in need. 

“She helped me to break the incoming tidal wave of my life into manageable priorities. Not easy. But do-able with consistent effort. She gave me tools that I am still using today. She did that without nagging or belittling me, which was as amazing to me as it could be at that time. 

After Notre Dame Academy merged with Bishop Rummell High School to form Roncalli High School, Sr. Margaret taught there in the 70s, 80s, and early 2000s.

“I taught over 27 years in every grade (except 4th grade) from K to 12 and I feel in my position today I am still a teacher because I keep presenting not only to my sisters but also to the public to help them understand what we’re all about,” Sr. Margaret said in a recent video interview.

Provincial President

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, Formation Director during her years of teaching.

“The Notre Dame Sisters have called Sr. Margaret Hickey to leadership and she has faithfully served for 22 years.  Under her leadership, her vision and collaborative spirit have guided the Notre Dame Sisters to be women of risk and hope,” said Sr. Rita Ostry, who serves on the Sisters’ leadership team with Sr. Margaret. “She has inspired us with her deep contemplative approach to life as she serves not only the Province but the broader Omaha community.”

Sr. Margaret joins four other Notre Dame Sisters celebrating their jubilees this year — Sr Ernestine Havlovic, ND, and Sr Joan Polak, ND, are celebrating 70 years and Sr Irene Dvorak, ND, and Sr Corona Humpal, ND, are celebrating 60 years.