Missionary Benedictine Sisters

Immaculata Monastery      Norfolk, NE

Pour into our hearts the flaming urge of your love.   M. Birgitta Korff, OSB

 
 

Early History of the Congregation in the USA

 
  Sr. Diemud, our first USA prioress

Beginnings

On July 31, 1923, a sapling was planted by four Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, Germany. They had been invited to Nebraska by Archbishop Jeremiah Harty of Omaha to minister to German immigrants. That fall the Sisters began teaching in St. John Berchman's School, Raeville, Nebraska.

The small community quickly began to sink its roots and grow. Within one year a second mission, Sacred Heart Hospital in Lynch, Nebraska, was established. In 1926 Raeville gained status as a priory, with Sr. Diemud Gerber, OSB, as the first prioress. The sisters opened Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1935. Five years later the priory center was transferred to Norfolk and named Immaculata Convent.

Expansion

Despite depression and drought, which plagued rural Nebraska in the '30s, the sisters made great sacrifices to continue to expand their ministries. They offered religious education in many parishes and staffed Catholic schools in Raeville, Madison, Wayne, Winnebago, Columbus, and at Assumption Academy in Norfolk. In Winnebago the boarding school (now a day school) provided a second home for many Native American children. Until today, the sisters continue to offer support and assistance in promoting the identity and culture of the Native American people.

Drawn by faith and filled with zeal, the community took on bold building projects to provide more Catholic health care in the rural Midwest. Hospitals were purchased and built in Graceville, Minnesota, (1945) and Wayne, Nebraska, (1975). A rising need in American society has been care for the elderly. This need is being addressed in Norfolk, where we opened St. Joseph Nursing Home in 1968 and Skyview Villa Assisted Living in 1988; in Minnesota we acquired Grace Home in Graceville in 1994 and Providence Care Center in Clinton in 1999.

Development

Through the needs of the Church and the changing talents of the community, the Spirit continues to call for adaptations in our ministries. The schools in Madison and Wayne continue to thrive under lay personnel. After twenty years as a school, Assumption Academy was converted into Skyview Medical Center. In 1973 the sisters responded to the cry of the poor of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky, tending to the physical and spiritual needs of the mountain people. This ministry was turned over to Catholic ministers in 1993.

Immaculata Convent, now known as Immaculata Monastery, has become a spiritual center for Northeast Nebraska, providing retreats and spiritual direction, and hosting Christians Encounter Christ, Engaged and Marriage Encounters, enrichment courses and many and various meetings.

Besides the health care and education ministries, the sisters are also engaged in college campus ministry, Hispanic ministry, domestic service, ecumenism, environmental concerns, justice and peace issues, parish ministry and religious education. Through the oblate community the sisters support the laity to live out our Missionary Benedictine values in our secularized world. The oblates support the sisters through their prayer and association with the community.

 
 

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Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Missionary Benedictine Sisters
Immaculata Monastery, 300 N. 18th St.  Norfolk, Nebraska 68701 USA
Phone: 402-371-3438
E:mail: [email protected]