Knights partner with Sisters of Mercy to pay tribute to deceased sisters

More than 500 deceased Sisters of Mercy are being remembered this Memorial Day weekend with flower-adorned crosses at their gravesites.

The remembrance was accomplished through a unique, time-tested partnership between the Sisters of Mercy and the Knights of Columbus Council #652 at St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha.

On Thursday, May 23, the Knights helped place the crosses on graves at Holy Sepulchre, Resurrection and Calvary Cemeteries in Omaha.


They have been collaborating with the Sisters of Mercy on this endeavor for decades. It all began because of a friendship between Sister of Mercy Eva Fritz and former Grand Knight Tom Schmitz.

“I’ve been friends with Sister Eva since the late 1960s when we both worked at St. James Children’s Home,” Schmitz said. “We reconnected in the late 1990s at an appreciation brunch the Knights offer for religious sisters in Omaha.

“I was also lucky enough to have been taught by the Mercy sisters,” he said in a statement released through the religious order. “It’s been a great honor to help them out in this way.”

The Sisters of Mercy began the project, but over the years they needed help in transporting and placing the crosses. Sister Eva and Schmitz’s friendship formed a partnership to continue to honor the late sisters.


Several years ago Sister Eva and her brothers George and Jim Fritz replaced wooden crosses with metal ones to make them more lasting.

The Knights have since helped create more crosses, with Knight and professional sculptor Mike Montag providing 35 newer ones.

Both the Knights and the Sisters of Mercy community in Omaha are thankful for the sisters they honor, who gave their lives to God’s service.

“I just look at all those crosses and I am in awe,” Sister Eva said. “It’s because of their blood, sweat, and tears we have so much and can do so much.”


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