“Nothing great is ever done without much enduring.” – St. Catherine of Siena
We are a group of 31 consecrated Sisters involved in a wide range of service ministries. Guiding our areas of service are our charism “to meet unmet needs.” That translates into work including eliminating family violence, and our history of support for women and families. All this is balanced with our talents and resources, our commitment to the poor and to particular circumstances.
Many of the Notre Dame Sisters participate in a number of volunteer ministries outside of their assigned ministry.
We Notre Dame Sisters accept the call from God to reach out to people with unmet needs, to nurture in them a conviction of God’s love that they may recognize their own gifts in and through the limitations and pain.
FAith into action
We have worked in the Midwest for more than 100 years fighting for the needs of those in need. We began educating immigrant and rural girls. We then witnessed human trafficking and domestic violence effecting our communities. Our largest ministry began in 1997 when we converted our former Academy into affordable senior housing. The Notre Dame Sisters have quietly improved many communities over the decades, putting faith into action. You can read more about our impact below by clicking on our main ministries.
We Sisters take on individual ministries and work to improve lives one by one. We continue to work in schools, hospitals, correction facilities, immigration centers, sober and hospice houses, to name a few. Our Sisters in their 80s and 90s pray with and for others as part of our robust prayer ministry. Many of our Sisters continue to take on individual social justice causes and volunteer with other community groups. No one knows the entire breadth of work we Sisters have accomplished and continue to accomplish each and every day.
To read more about Sisters’ individual work and see interviews with Sisters, click here.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THOSE IN SPECIAL NEED.
We Sisters have always been risk-takers, in fact, it’s written into our vows. We, along with the Servants of Mary and Mercy Sisters all hold signs as a witness to the mothers and children separated from their families at the border. That’s right, every Thursday since June, 2019, we have stood there during rush hour to advocate for humane treatment of people crossing our borders. Sisters have often traveled to the US/Mexico border to serve people directly in migrant camps and elsewhere.
We have been working to make a difference in the lives of those in special need in Omaha since 1917. We have been at the forefront of social justice issues since before our arrival to the United States. Taking risks and meeting the needs of others has translated into decades of social justice work.
- After coming to the US in 1911 we began teaching in various Midwest states, eventually called to Omaha to help Father Flanagan with a new school for boys cast out of society. After working with Fr. Flanagan we began a school called Notre Dame Academy to serve girls. This school taught thousands of girls for more than 50 years, both borders and day students.
- In 1978, we saw the need for assisting domestic violence victims. This led to a program called “The Shelter” which we funded and staffed. The Shelter helped many women and eventually, we handed this off to the Archdiocese. Seeing that a need existed to help women after leaving a shelter we began a program called Safe Homes in the 1980’s. This program provides financial assistance for women and children leaving a shelter after successfully completing a program. This program continues today.
- Seeing the need for affordable housing for seniors we established Notre Dame Housing in 1997 in our former academy.
- Health and Wellness in Guatemala – Sister Mary Kay Meagher has been traveling there for decades now, and currently works with several groups in the Omaha area assisting with citizenship issues. A big focus in Guatemala is to help with clean drinking water for the community.
- Sister Theresa Maly has been an advocate for life and human dignity, along with all of the Sisters for many years. Sister Theresa currently works tirelessly with those on death row and incarcerated.
And these are but a few examples of how active each and every Sister is! Even those who are more homebound now have ministries, and I encourage each of you to talk with Sister Margaret about them.