Mercy High School’s Mercy Day, celebrated at the school on September 22, (the official date is September 24), is the annual event that honors the day that the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Catherine McAuley, opened her house in Dublin. The celebration included a Mass and program by seniors educating other students about McAuley’s life. A highlight of the program is the unveiling of the seniors who portrayed McAuley. This is considered one of the biggest honors students can receive and is voted on by the senior class.
This year’s four Catherine McAuleys depicted three virtues in Catherine’s life—humility, advocacy and hospitality as well as the younger Catherine..
Lauren Ramaekers illustrated Catherine’s life of humility. She plays softball, soccer and is part of the Show Choir. Lauren is a member of National Honor Society (NHS) and Divina, a prayer group that meets in the chapel, and was a Student Council representative her freshman and sophomore years as well as a member of the May Court during her sophomore year. She also sang in the Mercy Singers and was in “Miracle on 34th Street,” her freshman year.
“Being chosen as Catherine gave me a real spiritual boost and confidence that my approach to life is right,” she said.
Lauren went on last spring’s immersion service trip to the Dominican Republic and that journey helped her formulate plans for the future. She wants to attend Creighton University and major in Biology and Spanish, enter pre-med, become a surgeon and use those skills to serve others.
Highlighting Catherine’s life of advocacy, a time when McAuley took her vows and started her missions, was Abigail Jones. A second year cheerleader, she is a Student Ambassador and a member of NHS. She also was a member of May Court her freshman year and Nocturne Court her sophomore year. Abigail is active in Divina and each summer she serves as a junior counselor for Camp Fun and Faith. Her sister Erin graduated from Mercy last year and also portrayed Catherine McAuley, her younger sister, Clara, is a freshman and her mom, Kathy Daley Jones ’88, is executive assistant to the president.
“I am honored that my classmates see God through me. I have strived to be an example of His grace,” she said.
The senior hopes to study pre-med or courses for a physician’s assistant in college.
Portraying the virtue of hospitality was Anne Jandrain. She is a member of Operation Others Core Team and NHS. A leg injury, while running Cross Country and Track freshman year, has sidelined Anne from competition but she serves as the team manager for those sports. She was a member of the May Court her freshman year, Nocturne Court her sophomore year and Prom Court her junior year. She volunteers each year at the Our Lady of Lourdes Festival and her two older sisters, Christine ’07 and Mary ’16 graduated from Mercy. Mary also portrayed Catherine McAuley.
“There are so many nice girls here that this honor has truly touched me. I try to treat everyone with kindness and compassion,” she said.
Molly Bartek-Miller portrayed the younger Catherine. She plays soccer, is on the swim team and is member of Operations Others Core Team. She was on the Nocturne Court her junior year and her sister Clarice graduated in 2015
“This is a very special honor. I try to be positive and make people smile wherever I go and my classmates appreciate that attitude,” she said.
At the end of the play an invitation was issued by the Class of 2018 to all Sisters of Mercy and Mercy High School graduates in the audience to come to the front of Franey Hall to sing the Suscipe of Catherine McAuley.
Officers were elected and four new Board members were appointed by the Sisters of Mercy, Midwest Community, to the Mercy High School Board of Trustees in September. Mercy is a sponsored institution of the community.
Mercy’s Board officers are: Nicole Jesse ’80, Co-Owner, LaCasa Pizzeria, President;
Bob Gonderinger, Attorney, Croker, Huck, Kasher, Dewitt, Anderson & Gonderinger, LLC, Vice President; Frank Mihulka, Attorney, Woods & Aitken, Treasurer; and
Sr. Corrine Connelly, RSM ’58, Sisters of Mercy, Secretary.
Joining the Board are Daniel Padilla, Business Banking Officer, First National Bank of Omaha; Theresa Franco ’74, Vice President Cancer Center Clinical Operations & Radiology Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center; Larry Good , Owner/President, P. I. Midwest; and Leanne Prewitt ’97, Creative Director, Ervin & Smith.
Padilla has been in the banking industry for 23 years and has been in his current position since 2008. He is responsible for prospecting, managing and growing profitable account relationships with business customers in the Latino Market. A Business Administration graduate of the Universidad Mariano Galvez, Guatemala City, Guatemala, he has served and is serving on numerous local boards. They include College of Saint Mary, Latino Center of the Midlands, Latina Catholic Scholarship Fund, Catholic Charities, Small Business Network Loan Committee and Collective for Youth to mention a few.
Franco, the first recipient of the Distinguished Woman of Mercy award in 2016, is responsible for comprehensive cancer care program development. With over 30 years’ experience in cancer care, Franco is the Clinical Leader overseeing the development of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center on the Nebraska medicine campus. She has published, presented nationally and internationally on a variety of cancer program topics, and has served on several advisory boards to improve cancer care delivery. A member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Best Practices Committee since its inception, Franco also serves on the NCCN Board.
Her resume also boasts other board memberships including Creighton University College of Nursing Alumni Board, the American Cancer Society, and the Josie Harper Hospice House. She previously served on Mercy’s Alumnae Council and is also a recipient of numerous awards in nursing and leadership from other groups.
Good’s career spans 40 years of operating and running his own companies. P. I. Midwest, started in 1989, works with over 300 companies and is one of the largest distributor of The Predictive Index System. He has a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Finance from Creighton University.
A long-time supporter and volunteer for Mercy, he previously served on the Board for nine years and he has been a member of the school’s annual Golf Fest Committee for several years. The 1969 Creighton Prep graduate is receiving the Alumnus of the Year from that school this year. He has is also member of the Council of Regents at Prep and on the Board at St. Augustine School.
As the Creative Director for Ervin & Smith, Prewitt leads the team of designers, writers and content makers who produce results-driven work for clients. An Omaha-native, she returned to the Metro from New York City where she led global brand campaigns at Blue State Digital, Story Worldwide, mcgarrybowen and Tribal Worldwide. She has extensive multidisciplinary experience and has provided creative direction and copywriting for brands like Unilever, Chase, Royal Caribbean, Colgate, Google, Alcon and MetLife.
The 1997 alumna of Mercy graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in Advertising and minors in Marketing and English.
Mercy High School President, Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM and Board member, Larry Good, will be recognized at Creighton Preparatory School’s Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction, on Wednesday, October 25.
Sr. Dee will receive The Sword of St. Ignatius, an honor given to a person who has striven to demonstrate exemplary service for the Greater Glory of God (AMDG). The sword symbolizes the unique spiritual virtues associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola--courage, loyalty, and service to the Catholic Church.
Larry Good, Mercy Board member, a 1969 graduate of Creighton Prep, and President of P.I. Midwest, will receive the Alumnus of the Year, an award given to an individual who embodies the values Prep aspires to instill in its graduates through a commitment to living a life devoted to serving others.
You can register online now for the 2017 Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction at www.creightonprep.org/loyola.
Looking for some scrumptious food and to support a great cause? Each fall Mercy has a food sale to help fund the Negotiated Tuition Program. Each year 82% of Mercy families receive more than $1.6 million in tuition assistance.
The kickoff for this important fundraiser is Thursday, September 21. Red Wheel frozen food provides a variety of items from appetizers to entrees to desserts.
Make your selection and order now through a Mercy student or send orders directly Mercy High School, 1501 S. 48th Street, Omaha, NE 68106, Attn. Kathy Jones. All orders must be pre-paid. Orders will be due Wednesday, October 18th, with the pickup of items on Tuesday, November 7th.
Mercy High School’s 26th annual Driving for Excellence Golf Fest broke several records on September 11. The event had the most golfers ever, 204, raised the most money ever, $70,000, and the event had more sponsors/patrons than ever at 57. The money will be used to support the Negotiated Tuition Program that provides tuition assistance to students based on each family’s unique needs and income.
Prizes were awarded to best foursome on men’s, women’s and mixed teams, putting, drive, longest shot on the fairway and more. Attendees also took chances in a raffle for prizes ranging from a drone, to fit bit, to golf merchandise and more.
Women’s First Place Team: Jesse Gonderinger Sullivan ’05, Emily Gonderinger ’09, Christine Gonderinger’12 and Jackie Roseland.
Mixed Flight First Place: Annie Messersmith, Patrick Bresnahan, Bobby Knowles and Kathy Burnham.
Men’s First Flight, First Place: Todd Thorson, Scott Thorson, Bob Danielson and Jerry Tjards.
Men’s Second Flight, First Place: Brad Muse, Bart Qualsett, Scott Schneider and Kevin Kusleika.
Fifty-seven sponsors, patrons and numerous volunteers helped to defray costs of the event.
Skinner Modern Artisan Baking
Sponsor: TD Ameritrade
Sponsor: P. I. Midwest
American National Bank, BG Peterson Company, Catholic Mutual Group, Core Bank, Creighton University, DA Davidson, Good Lawn, Inc., Holland Basham Architects, Jamco Abatement Service, Kendall Law Office, Lockton Companies, Mangelsen’s, Morrissey Engineering, P. I. Midwest, Pogge Real Estate Team, Putting Plus, NP Dodge, Sisters of Mercy, Sunridge Village LLC, TD Ameritrade, UBS Financial Services, John Wingender and Family ( In loving memory of Jeanne Agnes Burnett Wingender ’68), and Woods & Aitken.
Banner Sponsors: Farmers Insurance (Rebecca Vermuele Agency) and Right at Home.
DJ Sponsor: Pinnacle Bank
Grill Sponsor: Knights of Columbus Council of 6249
Swag Sponsors: Hy-Vee, Ideal Pure Water, Marathon Ventures, Roberts Advertising, Streck, and Sunridge Village, LLC.
Golf Patrons: Mike Albers, Gary Allgeier, All Makes, All Wired Up Electric, Richard & Heidi Anzalone, Ron & Judy Jarecki Boner ’79, CFO Systems, Control Services, Creighton Federal Credit Union, Fastsigns, Frank Stoysich Meats, Gavilon, Goldberg’s Bar & Grill (132nd & Center,) Mike & Marnie Goltl, Larry & Shirley Good, KPMG, La Casa Pizzeria, Frank & Mihulka, The Optimas Group, Eric & Deb Peterson, The Players Club at Deer Creek, Regal Awards, Connie Ryan’70, and Jim Wingender.