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Notre Dame sister dedicated life to teaching


Notre Dame Sister Consolata Sonka, who served for 34 years in the Archdiocese of Omaha as an elementary and secondary school teacher, died Dec. 2 at the age of 100 at Immanuel Fontenelle in Omaha.

Her funeral Mass was Dec. 5 at the Notre Dame Convent chapel, and burial was at Calvary Cemetery, both in Omaha.

A native of Pierz, Minn., and a Notre Dame sister for 73 years, Sister Sonka spent 54 years in education, including time at Notre Dame Academy (1940-46, 1952-57), Assumption (1970-71), both in Omaha, St. Wenceslaus in Dodge (1971-72, 1974-76), St. John Nepomucene in Howells (1970) and St. John Neumann in Clarkson (1972-74, 1979-94).

Also serving in South Dakota and Iowa, Sister Sonka created a slideshow for praying the rosary that she presented to students, the homebound, ladies and prayer groups. Both in her active and retired years, she visited the elderly in private and in nursing homes to pray the rosary. For five years of this service at Brighton Gardens, an assisted living facility in Omaha, Sister Sonka received a Volunteer of the Year award.

After retiring in 1994, she continued involvement with prayer ministry and art projects, producing decorative pictures and gift tags for the gift shop at the Notre Dame Motherhouse in Omaha, painting landscape scenes and knitting baby booties for newborns.

Sister Sonka is survived by her sister, Theresa Ballard of Portland, Ore.; nieces; nephews; her Notre Dame Sisters and many friends.

Memorials can be directed to the Notre Dame Sisters in Omaha.

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