Skip to main content

Get Informed

Agency News

Reaching out to others in many ways

Story by Randy Porter

(SNR) - It’s not strictly because of the pandemic, but people throughout the Diocese of Lincoln are showing they care about others by many acts of kindness with renewed vigor.

Pope Francis appealed for a “culture of care” in his message for the 2021 World Day of Peace released Dec. 17. The pandemic merely presented a need for treating others with charity and people across the diocese continue to rise to the occasion.

Story by Randy Porter

(SNR) - The pandemic has highlighted the need for a culture of care, according to Dr. Courtney Miller, licensed psychologist and director of clinical services for Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska at Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center.

“We as human beings are made for connection and for care of one another,” Miller said. “Connection and care do not have to be big gestures, but are often best communicated through small acts of kindness.”

Merry Christmas! We've enjoyed bringing you a new Mental Health Minute each week since the early spring of 2020. In this edition, Dr. Courtney Miller pauses to thank you for watching our series, reflects on our objectives and accomplishments as our services did a pandemic pivot, and looks ahead to a few upcoming features in 2020.

Mental Health Minute: When Your New Year's Resolution is to Stop Yelling at the Kids
In this Mental Health Minute, Dr. Natalie Brei from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center addresses one of the common concerns she hears from parents: "If I could just stop yelling so much, things would go better!" This is easier said than done but there are proven tips to help accomplish this worthwhile objective. Dr. Brei shares in condensed form the advice she gives: attending to your own physical health; avoiding multiple warnings; monitoring facial/vocal cues, and using a mental image of a thermostat (a very helpful and creative visualization!).

Our agency offices and gift & thrift stores will observe a special schedule for the week of Christmas and New Year's Day, to allow staff and volunteers to spend time with their families.

The holidays are a time of both joy and challenge and come with good and bad stress. In this Mental Health Minute, Jillian Janousek from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center provides valuable insight and tips from the Mayo Clinic for managing our mental health during a holiday season unlike any we have faced before.

Our annual Carole Fest concert benefit for St. Gianna Women's Homes was virtual in 2020 and is the perfect family-friendly activity! Make a batch of hot chocolate, grab a plate of cookies, and gather together to watch the North American Martyrs choir and Soukup family perform songs of the season. Our Marian Sisters share wonderful Advent meditations to remind us of the "reason for the season" as well.

Join CSS and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, EmployLNK, Lincoln Literacy, Lutheran Family Services, and the Asian Community & Cultural Center for a wellness fair and drive-thru flu shot clinic on Saturday, December 19 from noon to 3 pm in the Lincoln Literacy parking lot (745 S. 9th Street). Flu shots will be provided by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department. To sign up for a flu shot, please visit https://forms.gle/avQfX8q4viJdjttF6.

Happy and blessed Advent! In this edition of our Mental Health Minute. Dr. Courtney Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center focuses on the importance of holiday traditions, including Advent wreaths, Jesse Trees, and gifts in our shoes on St. Nicholas Day (Dec 6th). We wish you and your family a blessed time of preparation!

Our Season of Hope message from Fr. Fulton shares the wonderful wedding proposal poem his father wrote for his mother, which concludes with, "Two loves that go un-joined/ is like the world without God." Our clients at CSS need the love of Christ through His people this Christmas. We invite you to join us in providing a "Season of Hope" to those in need. Thank you for working with us to bring #HopeInTheGoodLife to so many in need this holiday season.

In this Mental Health Minute, Evan Divis from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares insight into the benefits of nature to our overall general health, overall well-being, and stress levels. After viewing this, you'll want to "air out your brain in nature"!

Thanksgiving was a happy reunion for Nina and Alex Shevchuk, and the thankful conclusion of a journey from Ukraine for Alex's brother and his family of seven.
Separated for 19 years, Alex and Vasyl and their families are now together.

On Wednesday, seven Ukrainian refugees settled in for their first night in their new country. Wednesday afternoon, they were reunited with family here in Lincoln. One of them saw his brother for the first time in 19 years.

"Instilling gratitude values in our children in a time of instant gratification and overindulgence can have us feeling as if we're swimming against a current. However, it is so very important!" In this Mental Health Minute, Nicolette Machado from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center offers insight and tips to support our children in having an "attitude of gratitude".

BIG NEWS!!! Gift cards for each of our Gift & Thrift stores are now available for purchase online!!! Our stores offer wonderful products at fantastic prices... and the proceeds from sales (and gift cards) bring #HopeInTheGoodLife to the many Nebraska neighbors we help throughout southern Nebraska. If you're looking for a feel-good gift for someone or a pick-me-up for yourself, we've got your card waiting. Check it out and thanks for your support!

Our agency offices and thrift stores will observe a special schedule for Thanksgiving week, in order for staff and volunteers to spend time with their families.

This week's Mental Health Minute topic is lighter and a welcome breath of fresh air in these challenging times! Ann Peters Miller, M.S. from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares her personal reflection (and a few wonderful video examples!) on the benefits of laughter.

In this Mental Health Minute, Dr. Courtney Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center defines gratitude and provides 5 helpful tips for living a life graced with gratitude.
For more information about our counseling center, visit immaculateheartcounseling.org. For more information about our agency, visit cssisus.org.

By Randy Porter

LINCOLN (SNR) - The first session of “Beloved,” a series of workshops designed to help women confidently navigate the job search process as beloved daughters of God, challenged participants to put on the “Job Search Mindset.”

Dr. Peter Martin from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center offers insight into a Christian psychological prescription for perfectionism.

When a medical problem with sleep has been ruled out, but bedtime problems such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during the night persist, there are several helpful steps we can take to help. Dr. Natalie Brei from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares 8 points (many of which apply to adult sleep issues as well!) to help manage sleep problems in children: Bedtime routine; Cut the lights; Know about "Sleep Associations"; Stay consistent; Rewards & "Bedtime Pass"; Fading Parental Presence; Handle Fears; and Relationship Context. As always, our counselors at IHMCC are available if you and your child need further help with this important issue!

“We see this as a unique opportunity to support local business owners while remaining consistent with our mission of feeding the hungry," said Katie Patrick, regional director of social services for CSS.
Read about our Food Truck Festival Program and learn how you can help bring #HopeintheGoodLIfe while building community!

by Nicolette Machado, LCSW
Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center

“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.”
– Brene Brown

If you search the internet for quotes about authenticity, you are sure to find a myriad of powerful quotes pulled from the pages written by author, professor, and sociological researcher Brene Brown who has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.

Undoubtedly, we won’t find one among us who escapes thoughts and feelings of insecurity. Whether we are overly critical of our appearance, the choices we’ve made or the way we perform the various roles in our lives, we all have insecurities and we all work to hide them from others. We’ve all pondered the question of whether or not we are acceptable to others, or could be accepted by others if we are fully seen and known. Vulnerability is often thought of as a difficult emotion and most times we avoid falling into this place by armoring ourselves.

In this follow up to his earlier Mental Health Minute on perfectionistic Christianity, Dr. Peter Martin from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center turns to the prescription for pathological perfectionism: "Four eyes are better than two when it comes to tempering extreme standards."

Due to social distancing efforts, our annual Bountiful Harvest Celebration for Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska Hastings was held in a different light in 2020. Rather than hosting a banquet, we're sharing this video to highlight the many works and accomplishments of our Hastings region staff, volunteers, and supporters. Our services at CSS provide 44,928 sack lunches per year for the greater Hastings area. We also deliver 229 tons of food to the 16-County area thanks to our mobile food pantry. We provide a safe and secure home for women and children escaping from domestic violence in our St. Gianna Homes program. And during the COVID-19 pandemic we're giving out over $200,000 in rent, utilities, and cash help through our emergency services program. This important work is thanks to the many past supporters of our Bountiful Harvest Celebration. We're grateful for their commitment to the neighbors we serve together! To contribute and bring #HopeintheGoodLife to those we serve out of our Hastings offices, please visit www.cssisus.org/bh2020. Thank you for your support!

LINCOLN (SNR) – St. Teresa School in Lincoln participated in the annual diaper drive conducted by the Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCCW) in a big way this year: the small school collected 14,262 diapers toward the diocesan-wide goal of 90,000.

Is the glass half empty or half full? It's all about perception, and it's a powerful thing! In this Mental Health Minute, Dr. Courtney Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center discusses the importance of perception and shares illustrative examples of how our perception can literally change our outlook.

HASTINGS (SNR) – The annual Bountiful Harvest Banquet in Hastings will be held in a different light this year.

For years the banquet has been held in the Hastings City auditorium to highlight the work of Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) in the 16-county greater Hastings area. Due to social distancing efforts, CSS will not have the celebration dinner, but will conduct an online auction through Oct. 25 to raise funds to help the needy and vulnerable of the Hastings area.

In this Mental Health Minute, Ann Peters Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center offers insight into the grieving process and how we can help others during their time of loss.

LINCOLN (SNR) – The 11th annual pro-life diaper drive conducted by the Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (LDCCW) is underway.

Dr. Courtney Miller and Ann Peters Miller from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center share healing insight into supporting those grieving the loss of a child.

It's true that we all have insecurities and we all work hard to hide them from others. However, have you ever viewed our vulnerability as a source of goodness? In this Mental Health Minute, Nicolette Machado from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center explores the deeper meaning of vulnerability, the need for courage and compassion, and our call to connection.

by Dr. Peter Martin,
Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center

David Burns claimed that pathological perfectionists are “those whose standards are high beyond reach or reason, people who strain compulsively and unremittingly toward impossible goals and who measure their own worth entirely in terms of productivity and accomplishment.” He contrasted this type of perfectionism with the more peace-filled approach he called a healthy pursuit of excellence.

Many serious Christians in pursuit of virtue, me included, have fallen prey to the enticements of pathological perfectionism at one point or other. Its “victims” come from all walks of life, all vocational states of life, and all levels of belief or unbelief. But, the question arises, why?

IMPORTANT UPDATE! CSS will be providing food pantries out of our Auburn offices beginning the week of October 5th. To request a food pantry or emergency services assistance, call 402.327.6242 on Mondays between 10 am and noon.
IMPORTANT UPDATE! CSS will be providing food pantries out of our Auburn offices beginning the week of October 5th. To request a food pantry or emergency services assistance, call 402.327.6242 on Mondays between 10 am and noon.

Driven by their mission of performing Works of Mercy in response to the call of God, Catholic Social Services (CSS) of Southern Nebraska recently introduced a Random Works of Mercy program to reach out to more of those in need in the Lincoln area. In response to some requests from clients, CSS launched the program with an aim to shelter the homeless and care for the poor in a more personal way.

Are you a "Pathological Perfectionist"? If so, you're not alone, as its "victims" come from all walks of life, all vocational states of life, and all levels of belief or unbelief. In this Mental Health Minute, Dr. Peter Martin from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center provides both a definition and helpful psychospiritual self-assessment guidance.

The latest edition of our quarterly agency newsletter features information about two new programs in need of volunteers, a thank you from one of the grateful clients we helped thanks to you, a Bountiful Harvest 2020 preview, and more!

Did you know that there are 9 benefits of hobbies? Evan Divis from our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center shares these benefits with us and encourages us to discover (or re-discover!) a hobby today.

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: https://www.immaculateheartcounseling.org/loving-hearts-little-feet

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.

  • Square miles served in the Diocese of Lincoln last year

    24,000

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

    $1,800,000

  • Counseling sessions through the Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center last year

    5,268

  • Nights of lodging & safety provided through St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes last year

    17,280

© 2021 Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

Powered by Firespring