Sister Mary Clare Manhart touched the lives of many people in need as a public health nurse, social worker and pastoral counselor.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, one of 12 children, she met the Sisters of Mercy at an early age while attending St. Cecelia Elementary and St. Mary High School. She entered the convent after her high school graduation. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of St. Mary in Omaha and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, she served in a wide range of assignments from floor supervisor at Mercy Hospitals in Nampa, Idaho and Durango, Colorado, to director of nursing to head nurse of the intensive care unit at St. John’s Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri. She also ministered in Mercy hospitals in Centerville, Iowa; Portland, Oregon and Guyana.
In 1970, she earned a second master’s in pastoral counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, to become a social worker. Catholic Family Services and parish counseling assignments took her to such places as New Orleans, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Norfolk, Nebraska; and San Luis, Colorado.
Called to serve in Guyana in 1995, she ministered as a nursing instructor and counselor at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. In 2002, she traveled to Baja California in Norte Mexico to serve people who were poor at Project: Love, Hope, Trust for 12 years. Next, she returned home to Omaha.