Historic
Timeline

  • 1907
    Called to the United States

    Requests for Sisters to work with Czech immigrants in America

  • 1910
    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.

  • 1911
    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;

  • 1912
    An Important Centennial Birth

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

  • 1913
    First Reception of Novices in U.S

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

  • 1914
    Expanding the Teaching Ministry

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

  • 1914-1918
    World War I

    World War I commences in Europe

  • 1915
    First Property Purchased in America

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

  • 1916
    Move to Brainard

    Staff Holy Trinity School in Brainard, Nebraska

  • 1917
    Omaha & Father Flanagan

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

  • 1918
    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

  • 1919
    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
    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
    Spreading Out to More Schools

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

  • 1923
    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

  • 1925
    Building Notre Dame Academy

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

  • 1926
    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

  • 1929
    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 .

  • 1930
    Teaching Ministry Grows

    Sisters staff Assumption grade and high school in Dwight, Nebraska

  • 1931
    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

  • 1932
    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.

  • 1935
    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

  • 1936
    Elementary Grades Added to Academy

    Second addition to the building allows for elementary school. Sr. Clara Osvald teaches in the newly-opened wing

  • 1937
    Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Sisters staff Our Lady of Lourdes in Porcupine, South Dakota

  • 1938
    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.

  • 1939-1945
    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.

  • 1939
    Mother Qualberta Krivanec Died

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

  • 1941
    Education in Omaha

    Sisters staff St. Therese School in Omaha

  • 1942
    WWII Severed Communication

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

  • 1943
    Flood

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

  • 1944
    Citizenship

    Eight Sisters obtain their citizenship papers

  • 1945
    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

  • 1947
    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

  • 1948
    Communism

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

  • 1951
    New Chapel & Blessing

    Blessing of the spacious and beautiful chapel on August 13.

  • 1952
    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.

  • 1953
    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.

  • 1954-1956
    Sisters staff St. Michael School in Harlan, Iowa and Sacred Heart School in Atwood, Kansas; Sisters staff St. John Nepomucene School in Weston, Nebraska

    Sisters Staff Schools

  • 1957
    Shrine to Saint Joseph

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

  • 1958
    Kindergarten

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

  • 1959
    Golden Jubilee

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

  • 1960
    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.

  • 1961
    Sisters Grow into More Schools

    Sisters staff Bishop Neumann School in Clarkson, Nebraska

  • 1962
    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, changing they style of living, and a new constitution.

  • 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
    New Academy Wing

    A new Academy wing (2 large) is constructed to accommodate the increased enrollment

  • 1965
    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

  • 1967
    Return to Baptismal Names

    First Provincial Assembly; post-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)

  • 1969
    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

  • 1971
    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
    Notre Dame Academy Closes

    Notre Dame Academy close and merge with Rummel High School to form Roncalli Catholic High School;

  • 1975
    Renewal

    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

  • 1978
    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

  • 1979
    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

  • 1983
    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

  • 1988
    Fire to the Motherhouse

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

  • 1989
    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

  • 1994
    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

  • 1997
    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

  • 1999
    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

  • 2001
    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

  • 2003
    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

  • 2006
    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.

  • 2010
    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

  • 2013
    Pope Francis

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

  • 2014
    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.

  • 2015
    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

  • 2017
    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

  • 2018
    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

  • 2019
    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.