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					                                               Giving Thanks to God: A Christmas Gift Idea
                                               Many of those we love have very little need for more material possessions. This Christmas consider giving a
                                               gift that returns thanks to God for all the blessings you and your loved ones have received. Send a gift to the
                                               General Fund of the Notre Dame Sisters in honor of someone who means a lot to you. You will be honoring
                                               someone you love, and at the same time helping the Sisters give to those less fortunate a little of the blessing
                                               that God has poured on you. The person you have chosen to honor with this gift of thanksgiving to God will
                                               receive a card just before Christmas. (See sample to the left.)

To send this special gift, fill out the form below and return in the envelope provided to: Notre Dame Sisters, 3501 State Street, Omaha, NE 68112-1799

GIFT AMOUNT ENCLOSED $ ____________________ (Make checks payable to the Notre Dame Sisters. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.)

Your name ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________ City _________________________ State ________ Zip+4 ______________________

Phone _________________________________________________________________________________ e-mail __________________________________________________

How do you want the card signed? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name of person honored __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Where is card to be sent: Address __________________________________________________ City __________________________ State ______ Zip+4 _____________

                                             NOTRE DAME SISTERS                                                                                   Non-Profit
  Notre Dame Sisters                            3501 State Street                                                                                Organization

                                                                                                                                                  US Postage
                                              Omaha, NE 68112-1799                                                                                   PAID
                                                                                                                                                 Omaha, NE
           VOL. XXIII, NO. 2                                                                                                                    Permit No. 500

   3501 State St, Omaha, NE 68112
           (402) 455-2994
        Fax: (402) 455-3974
      e-mail                  RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
         Published 2x yearly
        and 1x yearly as the
        Annual Report by the
         Notre Dame Sisters’
        Development Office.

  Editors: Mary Sanford Wood
           Sr. Josita Hanus, ND
           Joseph Duda

                                                   PAGE 1

                                                   What does it mean to the Notre Dame


                                                   PAGE 1
                                                   Sr. Phyllis Ann

                                                                                                                               PAGES 2 & 3
                                                                                                                              Featuring Sisters and

                                                                                                                               their ministries and
                                                                                                                              those who have gone
                                                   PAGE 2                                                                         to eternal life.
                                                   From the Desk of the
                                Notre Dame                                                                                               Notre Dame Sisters
                                  Sisters                                                                                               CHARISM STATEMENT
                                                                                                                                        We, the Notre Dame Sisters,
                                                                                                                                          are called to be women
                                                                                                                                       of faith and prayer, living like
                                                                                                                                       Mary in dependence on God.
                                                                                                                                           Rooted in community,
              ®                                                                                                                       we are sent to share our gifts in
                  DECEMBER 2008            •     3501 State St, Omaha, NE              •     Vol XXIII No 2                           joyful, loving service to others.

COMMUNITY                                                                                                                             DATES TO REMEMBER
What does it mean to the Notre Dame Sisters?
                                                                                                                                        Christmas Eve Liturgy

ommunity life is an intentional commitment to living a
shared life for the sake of the Gospel. It calls each Sister to
                                                                  those whose lives are bro-
                                                                  ken by poverty, addiction,
                                                                                                                                      Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008
                                                                                                                                       Call in December for time.
faithfully develop and nurture a vibrant prayer life, individu-   mental illnesses, etc. This is
                                                                                                                                          February 16, 2009
ally and communally. It invites each Sister to embrace the        a constant reminder of the
                                                                                                                                             4:00-7:00 p.m.
daily life events with compassion, honest dialogue, open          need for reconciliation and
                                                                                                                                        Soup Supper for Safe
communication, forgiveness, love and support. And above           healing and those whose
                                                                                                       Sr. Theresa Maly, ND                       Homes
all, it challenges each Sister to courageously proclaim God’s     lives seem to lack any
message of love, peace and justice to those in need.              sense of community. It is                                                         ~
Whether Sisters live in groups of twos, threes, sixes, or         important for Sr. Theresa to                                                  The 2009
alone, deep commitment to this way of life is what bonds          join the staff, volunteers                                            Development Dinner
them together. This supportive, caring lifestyle is what then     and any one who chooses                                                    will be held on
becomes a leaven in society touching those with whom they         to come, in the celebrating                                              Sunday, March 29
minister, the neighborhoods where they live and the people        Eucharist each week at the                                          Roncalli Catholic High School
they meet.                                                        Worker House. This group                                                          ~
     Sr. Madonna Schwarte is one example of living a shared       is nourished with the Bread
                                                                                                                                              May 3, 2009
life within the Notre Dame community. She plans to join the       of Life around a small table
                                                                                                                                       Pork Dinner Fundraiser
small group of Notre Dame Sisters who live at Immanuel for        used as an altar, that
                                                                                                                                          for Retired Sisters
prayer, as well as be present with the Sisters at the Courtyard   moments earlier held the
for Liturgy. In addition, when she leaves work she often stops    bread that was shared with                                                        ~
at Immanuel Courtyard on her way home. Sr. Agnes Marie            the hungry who came to                                                Notre Dame Academy
Ostry and Sr. Perpetua Kubicek wait for Sr. Madonna to wash       eat. To share food in an         Sr. Madonna Schwarte, ND                Alumnae Reunion
and set their hair. Sr. Madonna also visits Sr. Edwardine         atmosphere of loving com-                                                  June 27, 2009
Rezek and Sr. Lucille Jelinek frequently. She makes it a prior-   passion not only nourishes the body but the spirit as well.
ity to ask these Sisters about their needs. Often she makes a     Theresa also experiences community in her full-time work at
trip to a nearby store to pick up small items, perhaps soap or    the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, where she
toothpaste, and tries to get what they need to them quickly.      connects sponsors with children and older adults in margin-
Sr. Madonna feels happy and privileged that she has an            alized countries helping to create a worldwide community of
opportunity to be of service to these Sisters. In these kind      love and compassion through prayer, letters and financial
and quiet ways, Sr. Madonna helps nurture the sense of the        benefits. Theresa feels truly blessed to share the richness of
larger Notre Dame community.                                      her Notre Dame community within the context of her home
     Sr. Theresa Maly is another example of how this com-         life, ministry, volunteer service, and other relationships.
munity life is lived in her place of ministry. Sr. Theresa and         Both Sr. Madonna Schwarte and Sr. Theresa Maly partici-
her two housemates have chosen to live their life in com-         pate in community life as Notre Dame Sisters, proclaiming
munity in close proximity to the Holy Family Catholic             God’s message of love, peace and justice to those in need.
Worker House in Kansas City where she serves her homeless         The Sisters’ deep commitment to living a shared life for the
                                                                                                                                       ARE YOU RECEIVING
sisters and brothers as a volunteer cook and friend. She is       sake of the Gospel gives them the support that helps them              A TAX CREDIT?
often brought face to face with the isolation and loneliness of   make a difference in society.
                                                                                                                                   Are you among the two-thirds of
                                                                                                                                   Americans who don’t itemize
                                                                                                                                   income tax returns? If so, you’re not
                                                                                                                                   receiving a tax benefit for your char-
                                                                                                                                   itable deduction. If you are over 70-
                                   Sr. Phyllis Ann                                                                                 1/2 and have a traditional IRA or
                                                                                                                                   Roth IRA, Congress has enacted a
                                                                                                                                   law that will allow you to make tax-
                                   Open to the Future                                                                              free contributions directly from your
                                                                                                                                   IRA. This provision will be good for
                                       My time at Seven Oaks of Florence as Manager was a special time. Seven Oaks                 the 2008 and 2009 tax years.
                                   continues with great staff and residents. What am I doing now in my ‘retirement?”
                                       I am a part of Home Instead “Senior Care.” This is a trusted non-medical source             Potential Benefits for you:
                                   of companionship and home care for the elderly. As a care-giver I am an important               • You will not be paying tax on
                                   part of assisting the elderly in maintaining their independence in the comfort of                 money that you must remove from
 Sr. Phyllis Ann Hayek,
ND works at the Notre              their own homes as long as possible. In addition to my part time work for Home                    your IRA (up to $100,000 per
   Dame Sisters Soup               Instead, once a week I volunteer at the Hospice House – the Josie Harper Residence.               year.)
  Supper, a benefit for            There I help in providing care for persons at the final stage of their life.                    • If you have reached the 50 percent
transitional housing for               What about my retirement goal of relaxing and reading at least one book a                     charitable giving limit but would
  women and children               month? I’ve gotten help with that by joining the Florence Library Book Club. Time                 like to give more, donations from
  leaving the domestic             goes by and it is good time. I continue to be open to the future and what it will bring.          your IRA are excluded from the
    violence shelter.                                                                                                                limit.
                                                                                                                                   • If your income has increased and
                                                                                                                                     consequently your tax deductions
                                                                                                                                     have decreased, you can keep your
                                                                                                                                     annual income down by making a
                                                                                                                                     charitable contribution from an
                                                                           May the Blessings of                                      IRA and thus perhaps qualify for
                                                                             Our Savior and                                          other tax deductions.
                                                                            Lord Jesus Christ                                      Talk to your professional tax advisor
                                                                           Be With You Today                                       about this opportunity, or for more
                                                                               & Always!                                           general information contact Notre
                                                                                                                                   Dame Development Director Mary

                                                                                 The Notre Dame Sisters
                                                                                                                                   Wood at (402) 455-2994.
     From the Desk of the President ...
                                     Dear Family and Friends,                               • courageous in speaking out against injustice of any kind, no matter
                                                                                               what the cost
                                       Advent! Christmas! What a beautiful sea-             • attentive especially to the neglected and those society ignores or iso-
                                     son filled with so many memories and feel-                lates
                                     ings. I can remember the excitement and the            • inclusive in our love for all
                                     amazement each Christmas morning when                  If I embrace Christmas, the gift of Jesus, I embrace the values that Jesus
                                     Dad would call to us upstairs, “It’s               taught and lived! I am called to live like Jesus, to be Jesus in our world
                                     Christmas!” We stumbled out of bed with            today! That’s a tremendous challenge! That’s what Christmas is about.
                                     incredible speed and eyes half open, the               Christmas is a special day for us as Notre Dame Sisters. It was on
                                     adrenalin flowing rapidly! By the time we          Christmas Eve in 1597 that our Notre Dame congregation was founded.
                                     reached the living room we were “bug-eyed”         Our foundress, Alix LeClerc, had a dream that our Lady appeared to her,
                                     with wonder and surprise! What joy! Gifts! It      holding the Child Jesus in her extended arms, saying, “Take this Child and
                                     was the greatest of miracles!                      make Him grow until He becomes great!”
        Sr. Celeste Wobeter, ND
                                       As we grow older our experience of won-              This is the Christmas call to us as Notre Dame Sisters. Isn’t it also the
           Provincial President      der and amazement takes on a new form. We          Christmas call for all of us? Take this Child Jesus, reflect on his life and mes-
           Notre Dame Sisters       ponder anew the greatest gift, the gift of Jesus    sage, allow that life and message to grow in you, in your families, your
                                    – GOD-WITH-US! Year after year we marvel            neighbors and co-workers, your church, your world.
     at this unbelievable gift of God taking on our humanness and living here               May this Christmas be filled anew with wonder and amazement and
     among us. What a mystery! I wonder if maybe the only appropriate                   challenge as you ponder the gift and message of Jesus! As we stumble our
     response is to be “bug-eyed” with amazement throughout the entire                  way half-awake during this Advent-Christmas Season, may we allow God’s
     Christmas Season and every day of our lives!                                       love and generosity to fully open our eyes to the wonder of this incredibly
         Each Christmas Season invites us to unwrap this gift of Jesus one layer        wonderful season!
     at a time. Gradually, as we reflect on Jesus, God’s gift to us, we grow in our         Each of you is remembered in special prayer by the Notre Dame Sisters
     awareness of how truly amazing this gift is. I find that it is a bit like look-    throughout this Christmas Season! May you and your loved ones have a
     ing through a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope doesn’t change, but a new             blessed and joy-filled Christmas!
     beauty reveals itself with each turn, not unlike our developing appreciation
     of the gift of Christmas.                                                          God’s love and peace to each of you,

     Jesus. Who is Jesus for me? For the world?
     Jesus came in human form to manifest God’s love and compassion for us
     – in concrete form. Jesus models for us the way we are to live:
         • respectful of the dignity of every person and all creation                   Sr. Celeste Wobeter ND
         • compassionate and caring for the alienated, the struggling, the poor         Provincial President of the Notre Dame Sisters

          Be sure to visit our website and on-line magazine at w w w.

         Sisters Plan for Affordable
               Elderly Housing
                                                                                                                      SISTER ANNUNCIATA MICEK, ND
      Ministry and Stewardship are core values for the Notre Dame                                                                        1912-2008
  Sisters. As everyone looks at the economy, so do the Sisters. They are
  dealing with fewer and aging members and a large Motherhouse
  building. A priority is to insure that the building will be used for min-                                               Sister Annunciata was born in Verdigre,
  istry into the future.                                                                                              Nebraska, and soon after her family moved to
      Their first concern was those Sisters needing health care. After                                                Beardsley, Kansas. After attending elementary
  much consultation, it became apparent that the community was too                                                    grades in Atwood, Kansas, Victoria, as she was
  small to care for these Sisters at their headquarters. The cost of                                                  then known, came to Notre Dame Academy in
  remodeling the building for accessible bathrooms and wider doors,                                                   Omaha and graduated from there in 1929.
  and the cost of staffing around the clock was prohibitive. The Sisters               Soon after, she entered the Notre Dame Sisters and professed her vows on
  needing health care have been transferred to Immanuel Fontenelle or                  August 13, 1934.
  Immanuel Courtyard. There they have been warmly welcomed and                              Her places of service in Nebraska were in Omaha at Assumption School,
  are enabled to continue living their religious life practices while                  Notre Dame Academy, and Blessed Sacrament Grade School; Dwight
  receiving excellent health care.                                                     Assumption Grade and High Schools and Neumann High in Wahoo. In Kansas
      The next issue was the cost of upkeep on a building that was too                 she served at Sacred Heart School in Atwood. Very talented and versatile, she
  big for their requirements without the Sisters needing healthcare liv-               taught religion, English, science, and Spanish. At the time of her retirement,
  ing there. Presently, the Notre Dame Sisters are working with a devel-               she had served for a total of 54 years in some area of education.
  oper to create 30 more units of affordable, elderly housing (some for                     Sister Annunciata’s love for travel took her on many trips to visit relatives
  the Sisters) and to relocate their administrative offices within the                 in Kansas, Colorado, California, New Hampshire, and Arkansas and on sight-
  building. When finished, the new apartments will be managed along                    seeing tours to South Dakota and Wyoming. When she was no longer able to
  with the 77 units now composing Seven Oaks of Florence.                              travel, many nieces and nephews made regular visits to her.
      The Sisters are thinking positively about getting the funding for                     Important to Sr. Annunciata through the years was her prayer life and
  this! When they have funding, they will need to move out for about a                 especially the Centered Prayer form which involved her with a group of
  year during the remodeling. Presently the Sisters are investigating dif-             women weekly and took her to many workshops and retreats in this style of
  ferent sites to live for a year. They would like to have at least three              prayer.
  Sisters living together, if possible. One Sister has called this “our year                In October of 2007, Sister Annunciata moved to skilled care at Immanuel
  of exile” before returning to the remodeled apartments in the                        Fontenelle in Omaha. There she quickly became friends with many of the
  Motherhouse.                                                                         residents and delighted them and the staff with her wit and humor, traits that
      All of these plans are intended to help the Sisters to continue to               have been with her all her life. She loved to tell stories and jokes. Some came
  be about ministry, to live simply, and to be good stewards.                          from her teaching experiences, some from her voracious reading, and some
                                                                                       from her own quick thinking.
                                                                                            It was this gentle, light spirit that saw Sr. Annunciata through cancer,

                                    Merry Christmas                                    pneumonia, minor strokes, and difficulty walking, especially in the last years
                                                                                       of her life.
                                                                                            Those who know Sr. Annunciata well would describe her as prayerful, full
                                        from the                                       of life, adventurous, fun loving, simple, unassuming, and with a soft-spoken
                                                                                       gift of entertaining others.
                                   Notre Dame Sisters!                                      Sister Annunciata is survived by the Notre Dame Sisters, one of whom is
                                                                                       her niece, Sr. Phyllis Marie Heble, and many other nieces and nephews.

Page 2                            Notre Dame Sisters Bulletin • December 2008
Sr. Cynthia                                                                              Sr. Phyllis Marie
Develops Campus Ministry                                                                 Pastoral Minister
                                                                                             My ministry is one of being a pastoral minister
                                                                                         and a spiritual director. As a pastoral minister, I meet
                                                                                         with parishioners who wish to come and discuss
                                                                                         areas in their lives of pain and confusion. People
                                                                                         come in to talk about a divorce, a troubled child-
                                                                                         hood, lost friendships, disappointment with their
                                                                                         children, their struggle to forgive, and so many other
                                                                                         painful experiences. I have found that listening with Sr. Phyllis Marie Heble, ND
                                                                                         compassion and support is what so many people
                                                                                         need. They need a safe place where they will not be judged and will be accepted.
                                                                                             One day a young pregnant high school girl came to talk with me about a letter
Sr Cynthia Hruby, ND (second from right) participates in welcoming new                   she had received from her boyfriend, who was in prison. He was breaking off his
students after the local parish Mass during the Wayne State College                      relationship with her and no longer wanted to marry her. This young girl, I’ll call
Freshman Orientation Weekend.                                                            her Susan, was heart broken. She had believed that if she moved into an apartment
    My ministry is with young adults, specifically young adults attending                after she had her baby, her boyfriend would then move in with her and his baby.
Wayne State College. This is my 8th year in Wayne. I just completed the                  They would get married and live happily ever after. At this time, Susan was living
renewal of my campus ministry certificate, a sign to myself that I believe               with a foster mother. When she left, I was sad. I was sure my words had not con-
God continues calling me to be present in higher education.                              vinced her to forget her boyfriend. Several months later I received a call from Susan
    My focus in ministry is to develop a leadership team, a sort of pastoral             asking me to find her a baby sitter since she and her foster mother were going to
council. They are more than advisory. They are a “force to reckon with.” I               court for her adoption by her foster mother!! The boyfriend was out of the picture,
am responsible for training them in the “big picture” that moves them                    Susan was completing high school and was planning to become a nurse. She want-
beyond the student club mentality to ministry with their peers.                          ed her child to be proud of her. God’s grace always abounds if we are open to God’s
    The greatest example of how my work makes a difference in the lives of               gifts.
these leaders is that they confidently take on new responsibilities and work                 In Spiritual Direction, parishioners share their relationship with God or lack of
with new students to help them succeed with projects. The greatest chal-
                                                                                         relationship. I listen to the issues in their lives where they feel God has abandoned
lenge is to weather the storms of personal differences and to build in a tran-
                                                                                         them, and where they are angry and lost. Together we look at the mystery we all
sition of leadership.
    Over the past seven years, I have seen much personal growth in student               face, “Why does God allow suffering in our lives?” Often we have to forgive God for
leaders. For those who like numbers, our leadership circle has increased                 not finding an answer that takes away our anger and pain. In faith we conclude that
from three students to nine. Our “registered” student list has increased from            Jesus taught us we are deeply loved by Him, and that new life can come out of our
about 40 to 365. Over 50 participate frequently in various activities. A                 sufferings—a resurrection. People also come to grow in prayer and an ever growing
glimpse of our success can be found reported in our annual newsletter found              awareness of God’s presence in their lives. It is always awesome and a privilege to
online at                              walk with someone on their spiritual journey.

                                          SISTER SALLY ANN                                                                 SISTER IMMOLATA SKALA, ND
                                          MCREYNOLDS, ND                                                                                    1914-2008

                                    Sister Sally Ann McReynolds, ND, dedicated                                                  Sister Immolata Skala, a Notre Dame Sister for
                               all of her life to education and loved to learn. After                                      67 years, died on Monday, July 28, at Immanuel
                               graduating from Notre Dame Academy in Omaha,                                                Fontenelle in Omaha. She was 93 years of age.
                               she entered Duchesne College from which she                                                      Sister Immolata was born in Mahnomen,
                               earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She would                                              Minnesota to Frank and Agnes Skala. She
                               later earn a Masters Degree from Notre Dame
                                                                                         received her education in Clearwater and Steel Counties in Minnesota and
University. Her teaching career included assignments at Notre Dame Academy,
                                                                                         then assisted her uncle with farmwork for a few years.
Neumann High School in Wahoo, Nebraska, and Roncalli Catholic High School
in Omaha. In addition to her teaching assignments she also spent a few years                 In 1938 Helen Skala joined the Notre Dame Sisters as a candidate, became
on the Leadership Team of the Notre Dame Sisters and served as Director of               a novice in 1939, and pronounced her vows on August 13, 1941. Sister
Formation for the Order. She was part of the International Constitution                  Immolata’s 57 years of service included cooking, laundry, sewing, gardening,
Committee which helped to formulate the community's new Constitution in the              and school lunch management. Her services took her to South Dakota,
'70s.                                                                                    Nebraska, and Iowa. From 1959 to 1974 Sister Immolata managed the cafe-
     In 1978 Sister Sally Ann began studies in Theology at Catholic University in        teria for Notre Dame Academy where she became famous for her cinnamon
Washington, DC, and earned a Masters in Theology in 1980. She immediately                rolls and homemade pizza.
began studies for a Doctorate in Theology and completed this work in 1988.                   After Notre Dame Academy closed in 1974 Sister Immolata assumed various
After serving as a graduate and undergraduate theology professor at Marquette            duties at the Notre Dame Motherhouse and specialized in raising watermelons
University for one year, Sister Sally Ann was hired as theology professor at Seton       and muskmelons. Because of her love for prayer and reading, Sister Immolata
Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, a position she held until 1991.
                                                                                         often attended workshops and seminars on prayer with great writers such as Fr
     In the fall of 1991 Sister Sally Ann became theology professor at St. Mary
                                                                                         George Maloney, SJ and Fr. Basil Pennington. In her spare time she loved to cro-
College in Leavenworth, Kansas. During this time she also served as Assistant
Professor of Theology in the Institute for Religious Studies in the Kansas City,         chet, quilt, and write letters to her family. By 1996 she was preparing blankets for
Kansas diocese. During this time she conducted Bible classes for the inmates at          Emergency Pregnancy Services, a service she offered for many years.
the Federal prison in Leavenworth.                                                           “Retirement” for Sr. Immolata included assisting in any way she could,
     At the end of her ministry at St. Mary College in Leavenworth in 2003, Sister       especially with a small garden. She enjoyed visits from family members and
Sally Ann returned to Omaha and gave major attention to her ailing parents               trips to Minnesota when she was able. She delighted in extra time for prayer
while researching the life of Mother Fabiola, the General Superior of the Notre          and for story telling which she enjoyed and delighted many.
Dame Sisters who had been incarcerated by the Nazis in World War II. She then                In November of 2007, Sister Immolata moved to Immanuel Courtyard,
began research on the effect of Communism on the Religious and the Church in             Assisted Living. Her ministry continued there as she produced clothing pro-
Eastern Europe. She also was part of the teaching staff of the Bible School of           tectors for the residents, selling them at a minimal cost so all could afford
the Omaha Archdiocesan Catholic Biblical School. In 2007 she became a pro-               them. She enjoyed the various activities at the Courtyard and established
fessor of Theology at Creighton University.
                                                                                         many friends in her almost eight months there.
     Sister Sally Ann was the daughter of Clinton and Mary Shields McReynolds,
                                                                                             Sister Immolata was dedicated to her family and to her community, always
both deceased. She is survived by: her brothers Father Eugene McReynolds,
OSB, a teacher at Boys Town; Tim (Jan) McReynolds of Omaha; and Mike                     involved in their various activities. She could produce laughter with her great
(Marilyn) of St. Paul, Minnesota; many nieces and nephews; the Notre Dame                story-telling and her many jokes that delighted and entertained. Others were
Sisters and numerous friends.                                                            always first in her mind, meeting her own needs last. The quietness of her
                                                                                         death reflected the gentle, quiet spirit she offered to others in her many years
                                                                                         of living and serving others.

                                                                                        Notre Dame Sisters Bulletin • December 2008                                       Page 3

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