Sister Mary Clare Manhart rejoiced in nursing, counseling

Decades of work as a nurse and counselor allowed Sister of Mercy Mary Clare Manhart to serve numerous people, to be the hands and heart of Jesus for them.

“With a public health nursing and counseling background, I have been afforded opportunities to help and touch many people,” Sister Clare once said of her service, according to the Sisters of Mercy. “God has been good to me, and I can only praise the Lord!”

Sister Clare, who was a Sister of Mercy for 72 years, died March 31 in Omaha. She was 89.

Funeral services will be April 10 at St. Pius X Church, 6905 Blondo St. in Omaha, with a vigil service beginning at 9:30 a.m. and funeral liturgy at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha.

Sister Clare was born in Omaha, one of 12 children in the family of Paul and Eleanor (Steinauer) Manhart. She became acquainted with the Sisters of Mercy while attending St. Cecilia School and the former St. Mary High School in Omaha. She graduated from high school in 1951.

In 1952 Sister Clare entered the Sisters of Mercy, taking the religious name Sister Mary Ignatia. She made her first vows in 1954 and her perpetual vows in 1957.

Sister Clare earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1962 from the College of Saint Mary in Omaha. She went on to earn a master’s degree in healthcare administration in 1974 from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Sister Clare served at hospitals operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Omaha; Durango, Colorado; Centerville, Iowa; Portland, Oregon; Joplin, Missouri; and in British Guiana (now Guyana) in South America.

She then shifted her service to social work, earning a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1981. She put that degree to work in New Orleans; Baltimore; San Luis, Colorado; and Norfolk, Nebraska.

In 1995, she returned to Georgetown, Guyana, where she became a nursing instructor and counselor.

In 2002, she moved to Rosarito, Mexico, to care for the poor for 12 years.

Sister Clare is preceded in death by her parents and several siblings.

Survivors include her sisters Judy Manhart and Catherine Hogan; brother, Dr. Mark (Bonnie) Manhart; sisters-in-law Mary Evans, Eileen Manhart and Mary R. Manhart; brother-in-law, Ralph Herrman; numerous nieces and nephews; and the Sisters of Mercy.

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