• firstgroup in america
    Called to the United States

    Requests for Sisters to work with Czech immigrants in America

  • 1910 fenton missouri orphanage
    The First Five Arrivals

    Qualberta Krivanec, Caroline Babacek, Qualbertina Vanek, Xavier Hava, and Nothburga Komrska in Fenton, Missouri to staff an orphanage for children of Czech immigrants.

  • st wenceslaus school in dodge nebraska
    More Sisters Arrive

    Within a year, Sisters begin staffing St. Wenceslaus School in Dodge, Nebraska. Sisters and candidates to arrive to America were Sr. Symphrosa Neuner, Gustava Melmer, Timothy Zinner, January Cemper, Alena Sedivy and Candidates Dorothy Pelnar, Frances Motys, and Anna Eisenmeir from Czechoslovakia;

  • peter
    An Important Centennial Birth

    Centennial of the birth of Rev. Gabriel Schneider, founder of the Poor School Sisters de Notre Dame in Bohemia

  • 1913 kids archival
    First Reception of Novices in U.S

    First reception of novices in Fenton, Missouri. Sisters called to staff St. Wenceslaus School in Spillville, lowa

  • 1913 chelsea
    Expanding the Teaching Ministry

    Sisters staff two more schools: St. Joseph School in Chelsea, Iowa and St. Ludmila School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • canadian scottish advancing during battle of the canal du nord in world war 1
    World War I

    World War I commences in Europe

  • map showing schuyler nebraska
    First Property Purchased in America

    Reception of novices in Schuyler, Nebraska; staff St. Mary art/sewing school in Schuyler

  • holy trinity brainard nebraska
    Move to Brainard

    Staff Holy Trinity School in Brainard, Nebraska

  • father flanagan in 1917
    Omaha & Father Flanagan

    Sisters begin assisting Father Edward J. Flanagan at his first Boys’ Home in Omaha, Nebraska

  • 1918 novices
    Influenza Outbreak

    Novitiate moves from Fenton to Cedar Rapids, then to Schuyler, NE. Outbreak of influenza across the United States, but no Sisters succumb to the flu

  • archive photo of usa certificate of naturalization
    Road to U.S. Citizenship

    Sisters begin receiving U.S. citizenship papers. Money and merchandise is sent to the Sisters and relatives in Czechoslovakia. A religious reception is held in Schuyler, Nebraska

  • 1920 seven oaks farm
    Purchase of Seven Oaks Farm in Omaha

    Sisters purchase Seven Oaks Farm in Florence, where the Motherhouse still stands today. Third group: Sisters Honorina Kojan, Regina Prusha, Hilda Dohalsky, and Osvalda Novacek arrive from Czechoslovakia; Sisters staff St. Adalbert School in Omaha; Sisters exit Fenton, Missouri, turning it over to another group of Sisters to continue the work.

  • 1921 assumption school
    Spreading Out to More Schools

    Sisters staff Assumption School in Omaha (photo) and St. John the Baptist School in Prague, Nebraska

  • 1923 saint wenceslaus school in wahoo nebraska
    Fourth group Arrives

    Fourth group: Sr. Archangel Rais and candidates Theresa Kucera, Marie Lejnar, Aloisia and Anastasia Bele arrive from Czechoslovakia; General Chapter held in Europe with Sr. Qualberta and Sr. Gustava with Sr. Symphosa as a substitute; Sisters staff St. Wenceslaus School in Wahoo, Nebraska

  • 1924
    First Death in America

    Notre Dame Sister Anna Sedivy dies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Plans to build Academy and convent at 35th and State Street commence

  • archive photo of notre dame academy
    Building Notre Dame Academy

    Breaking of the ground for the future academy and Motherhouse of the Notre Dame Sisters

  • black and white photo of notre dame academy
    Notre Dame Academy

    Notre Dame Academy is blessed and classes begin

  • 1927
    First Chaplain Assigned

    Rev. Anatasius Rebec is assigned as the first chaplain to the Academy and Motherhouse

  • 1927 rev anatasius rebec is assigned notre dame academy and motherhouse omaha
    First General Visitation

    Sr. Gustava Melmer (pictured right) welcomes the First General Visitation held in the United States by Mother Salesia Havlik and Sr. Ermine Halma

  • assumption school dwight nebraska
    Teaching Ministry Grows

    Sisters staff Assumption grade and high school in Dwight, Nebraska

  • gabriel schneider book and 1933 altar
    Publication of Biography of Gabriel Schneider

    Publication of “Gabriel Schneider, Founder of the Congregation of School Sisters of Notre Dame in Czechoslovakia” by Dr. Joseph Beran

  • black and white photo of marchers in camden new jersey during great depression
    Great Depression Response

    Sisters do not take a full salary to help parishes struggling with finances during this great United States economic crash.

  • 1933
    80th Anniversary

    80th anniversary of the founding of the congregation in Bohemia in 1853. Remember, only 60 years after becoming a Congregation, Sisters began coming to the United States.

  • 1927 rev anatasius rebec assigned to nda
    25 Years in the United States

    25 years celebrated in the United States; Visitation of Mother Salesia Havlik (Pictured middle) and Sr. Ermina Halma (pictured left) from Bohemia

  • 1915 st mary art and sewing class
    Elementary Grades Added to Academy

    Second addition to the building allows for elementary school. Sr. Clara Osvald teaches elementary school

  • porcupine reservation
    Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Sisters staff Our Lady of Lourdes in Porcupine, South Dakota (pictured above in winter)

  • black and white photo of germans walking by jewish business destroyed
    Nazi Germany

    Threat of Nazi Germany; Sisters begin sending supplies to families and Sisters in affected countries. Expansion of property at 35th and State Streets, Omaha.

  • photo of auschwitz I main camp
    World War II

    A number of Sisters in Europe are under arrest by Nazis. At least three Sisters die in concentration camps, but many more were held.

  • mother qualbertav
    Mother Qualberta Krivanec Died

    Mother Qualberta Krivanec, founder of the Notre Dame Sisters in the United States, died March 3.

  • st theresa's school omaha nebraska
    Education in Omaha

    Sisters staff St. Therese School in Omaha

  • bundesarchiv bild adolf hitler
    WWII Severed Communication

    WWII severed communication between Czechoslovakia and U.S., resulting in extension of term of office for M. Agnes Vampola

  • black and white photo of omaha flood

    The Missouri River floods and over 1,000 families evacuate in Omaha including Sisters living at St. Theresa’s

  • 1944

    Eight Sisters obtain their citizenship papers

  • black and white photo of sister standing outside
    Release from Concentration Camp

    Mother Fabiola released from Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in Mecklenburg, Germany. Three Notre Dame Sisters died at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in Germany: German Provincial Sr. Epiphania, Sr. Ernestine, the Provincial Assistant, and Sr. Susanna from Prague.

  • 1946
    General Chapter in Czechoslovakia

    Provincial chapter elect delegates, but the Sisters did not attend because of dangers and difficulties of travel across Europe

  • aliz le clerc
    Beatification of Alix LeClerc

    Co-founder of the Notre Dame Sisters in France in 1597 Alix LeClerc becomes “Blessed Alix”; American Sisters continue to send relief funds, cloth and food packages sent to the community in Europe

  • gottwald and stalin

    General Visitation trip of M. Zbislava Krumpova and Sr. Vlasta Ptak to the United States cancelled by communist government in Czechoslovakia

  • interior of church
    New Chapel & Blessing

    Blessing of the spacious and beautiful chapel on August 13.

  • 1952 flood
    Fundraising for the Academy

    Missouri River floods. “Friends of Notre Dame” organized to assist the Sisters – this is the first group who worked on fundraising and advancing the mission of the Sisters outside of the Congregation to raise funds for the Academy. By 1968 they had raised nearly $55,000 for their building and education fund.

  • 1950 congregation
    Largest Group - Founding Centennial

    Centennial of the founding of the Notre Dame Congregation. This is the peak of our growth in terms of new and living Sisters.

  • st john nepomucene school in weston nebraska
    Sisters Staff Schools

    Sisters staff St. Michael School in Harlan, Iowa and Sacred Heart School in Atwood, Kansas; Sisters staff St. John Nepomucene School in Howells, Nebraska

  • archive photo of original grotto
    Shrine to Saint Joseph

    Shrine to St. Joseph is built by Rev. James Hannan, SJ to commemorate the 50th Jubilee

  • 1958

    Kindergarten classes open at Notre Dame Academy, including boys! The kindergarten ran until 1962.

  • pope john XXIII 1959
    Golden Jubilee

    Election of Pope John XXIII; Golden Jubilee of the Constitution of the Notre Dame Sisters

  • old crest
    Anniversary of Arrival

    Sisters assigned to teach at Aquinas High School, David City, Nebraska ; 50th Anniversary of the first arrival of Notre Dame Sisters to the United States.

  • bishop neumann school in clarkson nebraska
    Sisters Grow into More Schools

    Sisters staff Bishop Neumann School in Clarkson, Nebraska

  • sr christine elias in habit
    Vatican Council II

    Pope John XXIII opens Vatican Council II in Rome; This began a major renewal in religious life including expanding ministries, changing the habits (pictured), changing they style of living, and a new constitution.

  • visit to guatemala in 1963
    Missionary Service in South America

    Sisters staff LaSalle High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; two Sisters sent as missionaries to Chile, South America (Marritte/Joan in Chile); Sisters adopt a modified habit

  • 1964 notre dame academy building
    New Academy Wing

    A new Academy wing is constructed to accommodate the increased enrollment

  • vatican council by lothar wolleh
    Second Session of Vatican Council II

    Second Session of Vatican Council II; adoption of vernacular in the celebration of Sacraments and Liturgy of the Eucharist. This not only affected the Sisters but this liturgical reform changed the way all Catholics experience Mass.

  • 1966
    Visitation After Communism

    General Visitation, after many years without due to communism, conducted by Mother Vlasta Ptak and Sr. Lydia Chlupa; local superiors elected by the Sisters; Superiors now selected by election rather than appointment

  • decorative cross
    Return to Baptismal Names

    First Provincial Assembly; post-Vatican Council activity: communion rail removed, Friday abstinence is personal responsibility, Sisters return to Baptismal name, changes in novitiate formation

  • 1968
    Communistic Uprising

    General Chapter cut short due to communistic uprising; small group living in Omaha Motherhouse; new constitution (Lay principal NDA/Srs. Council formed)

  • sisters outside in potato field
    Lay Dress Permitted

    Moon Walk by three astronauts; Sisters are permitted to wear clothing other than a traditional habit

  • 1970
    Return to Czechoslovakia

    Second Session of the 1968 General Chapter. Provincial Chapter. Mission to Chile completed

  • helping sick
    Beyond the Classroom

    In addition to education, the Sisters engage in CCD, tutoring, vising the aged, nursing and social work

  • 1972
    Omaha Archdiocese

    Ad Hoc Committee works toward the organization of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. After Vatican Council II the Council encouraged active participation in church ministries across the globe

  • 1973
    Vision Goal

    As a response to the renewal of religious life from Vatican Council II, Sisters write Vision Goal under the guidance of Sr. Marjorie Tuite, OP and Sam Beasly.

  • 1974 auction
    Notre Dame Academy Closes

    Notre Dame Academy close and merge with Rummel High School to form Roncalli Catholic High School; Photo above is the auction of the Academy’s furniture.

  • 1975

    Articles of Incorporation of the Notre Dame Sisters are renewed to reflect both Nebraska state laws and Canon Law

  • 1976
    10 Years Between Visits

    General Visitation of Mother Vlasta Ptak and Sister Lydia Chlupa

  • 1977
    Charism and Mission Statements

    Charism and Mission Statements composed. Infirmary is organized as an on-site healthcare center for Sisters

  • two women sitting and holding children on laps
    Shelter for Women

    Shelter for abused women opens offsite. Eppley Program for family members in drug and alcohol treatment opens at the motherhouse. Kitchen is renovated

  • nds logo symbol
    Adoption of Notre Dame Symbol

    The acceptance of a pin/penchant as an international symbol

  • 1980
    Chapel Renovation

    Legislative Assembly approves the renovation and renewal of the chapel according to Vatican Council II directives. discernment process for provincial leadership

  • 1981
    Peace and Justice Office

    Peace and Justice Office established. Polish and Vietnamese refugees housed at Motherhouse for two years. The third floor rooms are renovated so Sisters have individual quarters rather than living in dorms

  • 1982
    Sisters Provide Housing for Refugees sponsored by locals

    Sisters continue housing refugees from Poland and Vietnam

  • constitution of the congregation of the school sisters de notre dame
    Revised Constitution

    Revised Constitution approved by E. Cardinal Pironio, Prefect, November 20, 1983

  • 1984
    Generalate Visitation

    Mother Purissima Kazdova and Sister Sidonia Sviglerova visit the Omaha Province

  • 1985
    Sisters Choose Individual Ministries

    Sisters allowed to choose place of ministry with approval from their Provincial President. This allowed a more democratic process for Sisters to determine their own gifts and how to apply them

  • 1986
    Purchase of Twin Oaks Cabin

    Purchase of Twin Oaks near Fremont for retreats, renewal; and relaxation; Provincial Directory is revised due to changes in the Constitution

  • notre dame academy roof
    Fire to the Motherhouse

    Fire in the east wing attic causes damage to Sisters’ bedrooms. No one was hurt

  • 1978 catholic hispanic ministry notre dame sisters
    Catholic Hispanic Office Opens

    Sisters begin a Catholic Hispanic ministry in Omaha opening the Catholic Hispanic Office in South Omaha. Velvet Revolution in Europe overthrows Communist control changing the life of the Sisters globally. Berlin Wall is torn down

  • 1990
    General Visitation

    Celebration of 80 years in America; General Visitation by Mother Purissima Kazdova and Sister Sidonia Sviglerova

  • 1992
    Development Office

    Development Office organized. Pre-Feasibility Study conducted for use of former Academy

  • 1993
    First Memorial Mass

    First Memorial Mass to honor deceased benefactors

  • women in el paso at sewing table
    Expanding to Honduras

    First Development Dinner held; Volunteer Program begins; Sr. Joan Polak, ND, is named a Missionary to Honduras where she remains for 12 years, after which she took service groups from America

  • 1995
    Researching Needs of Local Seniors

    Plans for seniors “to age in place” in the local community discussed at Assembly. Plans begin for transitioning into housing for local seniors. 85 years in the US celebrated. Office of Religious Formation reorganized by the Archdiocese

  • 1996
    Notre Dame Academy demolished

    Notre Dame Academy demolished to begin making room for housing for low-income seniors

  • archive photo of ribbon cutting
    Low-Income Senior Housing

    Phase I of construction of housing for low income elderly; dedication of HUD I

  • 1998
    Phase II of Notre Dame Housing

    Phase II (Program for Association commitment) of the Housing Project begun. First time Sisters attending a General Chapter not wearing the habit

  • archive photo of ribbon cutting
    Dedication of HUD II

    Dedication of HUD II (photo of ribbon cutting) and Building III: kitchen, dining room and auditorium renovation for housing

  • 2000
    Growing Notre Dame Housing

    90 years in the US; former members attend liturgy, picnic, and conversation

  • smoke billowing from buildings
    9/11 Terrorist Attacks

    Terrorist attack on World Trade Center in New York, Pentagon in Washington, DC and plane crash in Pennsylvania claimed thousands of lives

  • safe homes logo
    Safe Homes Begins

    “Stir the Embers – Emblazing the Fire” celebrates 150th anniversary of the founding of the congregation in Czechoslovakia. Safe Homes Project established to serve women graduating from local shelter programs

  • 2004
    Mother Qualberta Award

    Sr. Methoda Piatnickova and Sr. Regina Vaskova of Slovakia accept Mother Qualberta Award for Mother Miriam Baumrukova at the Celebration of Spirit Dinner. Sisters hold 1st Soup Supper for Safe Homes to raise rent money for local women leaving shelters

  • 2005
    Pope Benedict XVI

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II in April

  • 10 years photo
    Associate Anniversary

    10th anniversary of Associate Program is celebrated

  • 2008
    Seven Oaks Awarded

    Seven Oaks of Florence named Community of Quality by the National Affordable Housing Management Association

  • 2009
    Motherhouse Converted

    Plans created for the redevelopment of the Motherhouse into more Notre Dame Housing apartments totaling 107, which it currently still has all occupied.

  • mary 101 tradition and influence cover
    100 Years in the US

    Sr. Mary Ann Zimmer publishes “Mary 101”. 100 years commemorated in the US; Notre Dame Motherhouse fully converted to housing.

  • 2011
    Anniversary Closing Mass

    Sr. Anezka Bednarova and Sr. Silvie Nemcova attend the closing of the 100th anniversary in the US

  • 2012
    Ribbon-Cutting for Last Apartments

    Ribbon cutting for the final phase Notre Dame Apartments. “Nuns at Work: Nebraska Stories” featured on Nebraska Television

  • popes shaking hands
    Pope Francis

    Pope Benedict XVI resigns; Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis on March 13

  • coalition on human trafficking brochure
    Coalition on Human Trafficking

    Coalition on Human Trafficking is established and includes the Sisters of Mercy, the Servants of Mary and the Notre Dame Sisters along with lay members

  • graphic featuring message about sex trafficking in hotels and motels
    Hotel/Motel Trafficking Program Takes Off

    Pope Frances declared a Holy Year of Mercy and issued encyclical Laudato Si; Conrad Hilton Fund provides grant to educate Hotel/Motel employees about trafficking

  • american national bank check for notre dame sisters
    Proud Legacy, Bright Future

    Advancement Office conducts a major gifts campaign entitled Proud Legacy, Bright Future to raise funds for the Sisters and their ministries

  • photo of statue and flower pots in grotto
    St. Joseph Shrine Enhanced

    St. Joseph Shrine enhanced with bricks having names of Notre Dame Sisters professed, and larger bricks of founders and quotes from each. Bench, shrubs and flower pots

  • sr mary kay at the border
    Travel to the Mexico Border

    Both Sr. Rita Ostry and Mary Kay Meagher travel to Assumption House in El Paso to assists people migrating. Mothers and Others advocacy group begins holding signs on 72nd Street in Omaha as a join effort with other congregations to bear witness to families seperated at the border. Omaha Archdiocese celebrates Arch Omaha Unite on June 8, the first time in modern history all local parishes came together under one roof