Sister Ellen Marie Dolan


Sister Ellen Marie Dolan was cherished wherever she served in the archdiocese

Sister Ellen Marie Dolan served as a Sister of the Good Shepherd for more than 60 years, spending most of that time in the Archdiocese of Omaha.

Since the Helena, Montana, native moved to the Omaha area in 1968, she served as a counselor, liturgist, religion teacher and pastoral minister.

“In all her ministries she made lasting and true friends, … becoming a part of the Omaha and Bellevue communities and a cherished member of her church family,” said Sister Delores Kalina of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, headquartered in St. Louis. 

Sister Ellen Marie died July 13. She was 78.

A funeral Mass was held July 24 at St. Mary Church in Bellevue with burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Omaha.

Sister Ellen Marie entered the Sisters of the Good Shepherd at age 17 and professed her first vows in 1963. She worked at a residential treatment center in Denver until professing final vows in 1968. Then she moved to Omaha.

Sister Ellen Marie earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and sociology from Creighton University in 1974 and a master’s degree in theology and liturgy from the University of Notre Dame in 1986. 

She served as a teacher and dorm mother at Girls Town, a former Good Shepherd facility, from 1968 to 1972 and worked with autistic children at an Eastern Nebraska Mental Health group home from 1972 to 1976. She also was a counselor, liturgy coordinator and religion teacher at the former Pope Paul VI High School in Omaha from 1977 to 1982.

In 1982 Sister Ellen Marie began serving as pastoral minister and liturgist at the former Holy Family Parish in Omaha. From 1986 to 1992, she was liturgist and coordinator of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program at St. Bernard Parish in Omaha.

In 1993 she entered her final ministry, serving at St. Mary Parish in Bellevue, where she planned liturgies, prepared people for sacraments and “shared in the lives of the parishioners … This was pure JOY” for Sister Ellen Marie, wrote Sister Delores.

Sister Ellen Marie was preceded in death by parents, Alexine Lois and Edmund C. Dolan. She is survived by sister, Patricia (Lee) Block; niece; nephew; great-nieces; great-nephews; godchildren; numerous friends.

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