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The joy of new motherhood brings many blessings, but it is also challenging, perhaps even more so now during the time of COVID-19.

In this week's Mental Health Minute, we're excited to introduce our revamped postpartum support group- Loving Hearts & Little Feet! This five-week series (September 28th to October 30th) will consist of educational videos released each Monday, followed up by a live online support group meeting from 9-10 am each Friday and facilitated by Ann Miller and Dr. Natalie Brei from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center.

by Ann Peters Miller, M.S., LMHP
Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center

“If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times, don’t do the laundry! You do not know what you are doing!”

Do you ever have a conversation like this at your house? According to John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, 69% of all marital disagreements involve an unresolvable, perpetual problem—a problem you have argued about for most of your marriage. Couples who are able to have dialogue (discuss it) as opposed to gridlock (where no progress is made) are in much better shape in their relationship.

Dr. Courtney Miller and Dr. Natalie Brei from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center discuss the meaning of postpartum, postpartum depression and support, and share information about our NEW postpartum online support group starting soon: "Loving Hearts and Little Feet"! More information about our group can be found at:

We're excited to announce the launch of our "Partners on the Journey" program! The Partners on the Journey marriage enrichment series combines a Catholic theology of marriage with the findings from scientific research to offer married couples both inspiration and practical help. Our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center is providing this wonderful series through our agency YouTube channel. You will need to purchase a workbook in order to access the video series (each couple needs just 1 notebook). Watch this week's Mental Health Minute for more details!

As summer winds down and you are blessed with an abundant garden harvest, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska is accepting produce donations for their food pantry.

Now that school is back in session (whether in the classroom or at home), our time is once again more structured, with tasks and deadlines. Dr. Natalie Brei from our ImmaculateHeart of Mary Counseling Center provides useful guidelines and tips for implementing a rewards system that motivates and teaches our children how to reach their goals in a positive manner.

We're excited to share our Zoom recording from the 8/20/2020 "New American Encounter" presentation!
Our dream is that this program (formerly known as "Adopt-a-Family) will be a connection point and the start of life-long friendships between Nebraskan neighbors. Watch this video to learn more about our newest Nebraskans and their need for your friendship... and your need for theirs as well.

Our careers, friendships, family connections, and romantic relationships are all impacted by our ability to communicate. The good news is, improvement is possible and doesn't have to be a complex process! In this Mental Health Minute, Nicolette Machado from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares a set of effective communication strategies to follow in our daily lives.

We're honored to have our CSS Lincoln thrift store, St. Louise Gift & Thrift, nominated in the "2020 Best of Lincoln" contest ( "Best Thrift Store" category). Your vote by August 31st will not only help raise awareness but also bring #HopeintheGoodLife to our Nebraska neighbors served by our programs and services. How? Winning the contest will increase awareness and sales for our store, which will then raise more funds for our programs... a win-win for sure! Thank you for your vote and support. Vote at before 8/31/2020 (click the blue title to go right to the voting page- we're a few pages in, in the "Best Thrift Store" category).

In this week's Mental Health Minute, Dr. Courtney Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares insight into post-abortive care for those affected by abortion and highlights the important work of Project Rachel- a Catholic resource for services (

Everybody wants to have a happy life but really, what does that mean? In this Mental Health Minute, Dr. Jeff Vance from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center explores three types of happy lives: the pleasurable life, the good life, and the meaningful life.

Help us raise much-needed funds and you might just win $5K in cash!

Here are the results from our 2020 CSS Golf Classic.

While people across the nation may still feel disconnected due to social distancing, Katie Patrick, regional director of social services for Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS), shared several updates on how CSS is performing the Works of Mercy in response to the call of God.

Dr. Courtney Miller and Ann Peters Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center were guests on the August 3rd Spirit Catholic Radio "Spirit Mornings" show. They shared information about a post-abortion healing conference they recently attended and gave details about IHMCC’s important work with Project Rachel and mental health therapy for women and others affected by abortion. These services are focused on forgiveness, healing, and hope.

In this Mental Health Minute, Ann Peters Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares encouraging words for those grieving the loss of an infant through miscarriage, neonatal death, or stillbirth.

Whether you're sorting through closets for back-to-school or wondering what to do with your garage sale leftovers, we have the perfect solution for your clothing castaways! Bring them to one of our conveniently-located trailers. Whether recycled or reused, we'll use your donation to bring #hopeinthegoodlife to our neighbors served by the programs and services of CSS.

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska is seeking a compassionate, creative individual with strong analytical skills and an entrepreneurial spirit dedicated to serving families facing financial insecurity and those seeking employment.

Your support of our event helps us provide Hope in the Good Life to people of all faiths across southern Nebraska. With the prayers and support of our donors, staff and volunteers, last year we provided:

* $1.8 million dollars in overall cash and in-kind assistance yearly. This can go from help in paying rent, providing shelter, providing money for food, electricity, water, a bus ticket, car repairs, medical bills, and anything else that life throws one’s way.
* 59,000 sack lunches provided to the hungry and homeless of the Hastings and Lincoln areas.
* 3,715 counseling sessions assisting over 377 individuals & families with trauma, depression, grief and more.
* 21,900 nights of lodging and safety provided for abused women & their children through St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes.

Your participation in this event helps make our work possible. Browse our silent auction items, register to bid, and place your winning bets before August 7th!

Nicolette Machado from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center introduces us to 5 foundational components we can use in our homes to establish a connection between children and parents: PLACE (playfulness, love, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy).

CareerLadder connects skilled immigrants and refugees to career pathways, digital resources, and a professional network while fostering economic opportunity and restoring dignity through work. The tools developed by CareerLadder are applicable statewide and will be shared by partner agencies with communities across Nebraska including Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska.

In the next phase of the Challenge, we have the opportunity to INCREASE our funding another $125,000. To do this, we need your help! Vote between now and 7/30 at:

We’re excited for the opportunity to invest further in economic opportunity in our community! Thanks for your support.

Our elderly population is especially at risk if they are infected by the Coronavirus. So they are being asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing. That is a lot to ask – mostly now when it has been going on for so long of a time and no end in sight.

Isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to the elderly. In this segment, Ann Peters Miller offers insight and ideas to help support the elderly.

What is leisure and its relationship to our mental health? In this mental health minute, Dr. Peter Martin from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center defines, explores, and offers insight into the important connection between leisure and our mental health.

In this "Always Hope" podcast, Dr. Peter Martin from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center defines perfectionism and discusses why perfectionism is on the rise among young people. He tackles cultural images that unintentionally perpetuate it, what Jesus meant when he said “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect,” differentiating mercy and justice, and lastly offering some practical strategies to overcome perfectionism in your life.

This Counselor's Corner blog post by Dr. Natalie Brei explores the importance of mindfulness and outlines 5 simple ways to get started: Breathe in the Spirit, Five Senses, Mindful Walk, Three Notes of Appreciation, and Setting an intention for the day.

Summertime 2020 presents unique challenges for our mental health. How can we utilize self-care for our mind, body, and spirit as we navigate this unusual summer? In this segment on Spirit Catholic Radio, Dr. Courtney K. Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares insight into this important subject and explains the value of "being in the present moment" and supporting our children during the summer months with predictability, positivity, and presence. Also, Courtney shares a preview of July's designation as "Minority Mental Health Awareness Month" and reminds the listeners that counseling services are available via telehealth.

In 2019, the Lincoln New Americans Task Force (NATF) conducted a first-of-its-kind survey of Lincoln’s immigrant and refugee community regarding health and wellness, civic engagement, housing, education/English, economic development, and community social spaces. Over 20 partner agencies and institutions affiliated with NATF participated in the survey creation and distribution in the Lincoln community, including Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska. More than 500 immigrants and refugees living in Lincoln completed the survey, which was administered both on paper and online in English, Vietnamese, Arabic, Spanish, and Karen. Overall, the findings affirm that many immigrants and refugees value living in Lincoln and trust many of the city’s key institutions. They are eager to learn English, and many bring professional credentials and related skills from their work abroad. However, Lincoln’s immigrant and refugee community also face significant economic and social barriers related to income, housing, access to effective healthcare, and employment.

Click the image to read the entire report.

The latest edition of our quarterly agency newsletter features information about our COVID-19 relief efforts, a thank you from Father Fulton, a planned giving story, and more!

Starting today, June 20, Steve Sousek is on an ambitious mission — running 520 miles across Nebraska to raise $52,000 for women in crisis and unborn children. Oh, and doing it all in 10 days.

To our many #GiveToLincoln supporters... your generosity helped us surpass our Give To Lincoln Day goal by nearly $40,000! Father Fulton has a special message to share about how your contributions will help us bring #HopeInTheGoodLife to our neighbors in Lincoln and Lancaster county. Thank you!!!

We're now accepting golf registrations and sponsorships for our 2020 CSS Golf Classic & auction! Our event is on August 7th at Hillcrest Country Club in Lincoln

Route from Colorado border to Iowa border aims to raise $52,000 for women in crisis and unborn children

LINCOLN (SNR) - Steve Sousek is on an ambitious mission — running approximately 520 miles across Nebraska to raise $52,000 for women in crisis and unborn children. Oh, and doing it all in 10 days.

CSS Executive Director Fr. Justin Fulton is featured in this article on the success of 2020 Give To Lincoln Day.

Dr. Courtney Miller, Director of our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center, spoke on Spirit Catholic Radio's Spirit Mornings and gave valuable insight into maintaining our mental health during our transition back to community integration.

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, the Salvation Army, and other local charities are stepping up for Nebraskans struggling to pay their rent, mortgages, and utilities as the end of another month approaches.

by Nicolette Machado, LCSW
Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center

You hear your notification sound go off and you can’t focus. You see the red notification button in the upper right-hand corner of your app and experience a strong urge to clear it. You post a photo or a story on your social media page and keep checking back for likes over and over again.

You feel as if something is missing when you can’t access your phone. You realize you missed a large part of the story your family member was telling you, or the lecture your professor was giving because you were scrolling through Instagram.

CSS is partnering with the F Street Neighborhood Church to distribute 70 cleaning kits to veterans and 40 cleaning kits for the Asian Community and Cultural Center who will distribute to elder refugee clients. Extra cleaning kits will be distributed by CSS to recent refugee arrivals.

(CSS/SNR) – Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) announced April 22 that $200,000 in COVID-19 relief is being distributed to help the poor and vulnerable in southern Nebraska, specifically to help those impacted by the pandemic needing help with rent, utilities, food and cash assistance. 

“Jesus Christ Himself was born into poverty without a home, resources, or adequate shelter,” said Father Fulton, executive director of CSS.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, CSS announced today that $200,000 will be released to help the poor and vulnerable in southern Nebraska, specifically to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic needing help with rent, utilities, food and cash assistance.

A fund set up to provide economic stability and help meet the basic needs of Lincoln residents disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic has distributed a second round of grants to 12 local nonprofit organizations including Catholic Social Services, the mayor announced Saturday.

LINCOLN (SNR) – When the Lincoln-area schools closed March 16, a chief concern for many was the knowledge that some students depend on meals provided at their school during the day.

As public schools, charities, and even businesses stepped up to help families in need, Pius X High School in Lincoln did, too – creating a family food bank that has now joined up with Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS), to provide an even better response to more needy families.

(CSS/SNR) - Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska needs your help.

In the group’s ongoing response to COVID-19, they have set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund. All donations will go to help those most affected by the pandemic, including the hungry, underemployed, and unemployed of southern Nebraska.

Dr. Courtney Miller

(SNR/CSS) - During a time when difficult decisions are being made by Church and community officials in response to the current health situation in our community, it is easy to experience a strong emotional response and to feel a myriad of feelings such as unsettled, anxious, depressed, scared, overwhelmed, angry, lonely, and confused.

This is a very challenging time for communities with a lot of unknowns, uncertainties and unchartered areas.

LINCOLN (CSS/SNR) – “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….”

The well-known Serenity Prayer is one many faithful refer to in times of confusion, doubt, and pain. The Serenity Prayer calls people to stop fighting oneself and others, to live life in the present moment, and to navigate times of uncertainty and suffering by placing trust in God’s plan, allowing Him to bring comfort and peace.

By Reagan Scott

(SNR) - The holiday season can be a time of great joy when friends and loved ones come together to celebrate the season, but studies have found that the holidays can also bring stress, feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

When these feelings arise, seeking help from a medical professional can help combat what have been dubbed, the “holiday blues.”

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  • Acts of Mercy performed last year


  • Cash and in-kind assistance provided across southern Nebraska last year


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