Category Archives: educating for life

“Second Founder” of Emmanuel College

French

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Sr. Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, welcomed Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston, at her 40th Anniversary Gala in May. Since her inauguration as President in 1979, Sister Janet has kept the College’s mission thriving in an ever-changing world.

By Sam O’Neill, Special Assistant to the President of Emmanuel College

On May 30, 2019, over 400 people gathered for a historic gala honoring Sister Janet Eisner SNDdeN, on her 40th anniversary as President of Emmanuel College. Among them were graduates from across eight decades, along with Boston Cardinal Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and leaders in higher education, biomedicine, finance, the arts and a host of other fields. They came to pay tribute to a respected peer, collaborative partner and beloved friend—a woman religious who for 40 years has led Emmanuel with vitality, creativity and an unwavering dedication to the College’s Catholic educational mission.

As they walked toward a magnificent glass tent raised for the occasion on the College’s central quadrangle, guests could observe symbols of Sister Janet’s transformational presidency: a modern student center, a state-of-the-art science center, and a new 18-story apartment-style residence hall. The buildings told a broader story of institutional momentum, one highlighted by a threefold increase in enrollment, innovative academic and student life programs, grants from the National Science Foundation and other prestigious funders, and new endowed professorships and lecture series, including one named in honor of Catholic Worker Movement co-founder Dorothy Day.

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More than 800 graduates attended events throughout Centennial Alumni Weekend,

May 31 – June 2, 2019. A number of celebrations, including Sr. Janet’s 40th Anniversary Gala, were held under the lights in a glass house on Emmanuel’s Quad.

Advancing Mission in a Changing World

These and many other advances have taken place amid seismic changes in higher education, reflecting Sister Janet’s attentiveness to the “signs of the times” and her commitment to adapting to the evolving needs of each generation of students. As she told attendees at the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur’s Networking for Mission III Conference, held at Emmanuel in 2018: “We constantly look to the future and ask: What brings us joy? What are we good at? And what does the world need us to be?”

The past four decades provide numerous examples of Sister Janet’s entrepreneurial spirit. In 2000, after a careful analysis of data and trends, the College made the decision to admit young men to its previously all-women’s four-year undergraduate program. That same year, the College entered into a 75-year ground-lease agreement with Merck & Co., enabling the company to begin construction of an 11-story, 300,000 square-foot research facility on a back parcel of the campus in exchange for a substantial one-time upfront payment.

Committed to the Vision of St. Julie Billiart

Amid changes, Sister Janet has remained steadfastly committed to the vision of St. Julie Billiart and to the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame who opened Emmanuel in 1919. In her messages to the College community, she has addressed topics including immigration,
the environment, gun violence, and racial and religious intolerance. In addition, she has delivered keynote lectures on Emmanuel’s history during the annual Founders’ Week, which celebrates the educational legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Under Sister Janet’s leadership, faculty continue to challenge students to engage in critical social analysis of the root causes of the problems of their times and to consider effective responses and actions. By reflecting on these discussions, students further develop a commitment to social justice, and often express it through volunteer service. In fact, each year Emmanuel students contribute more than 50,000 hours of service to people in need throughout Boston and beyond.

“A Source of Great Joy”

During the 40th anniversary gala, Sister Janet’s longtime colleague and friend, Emmanuel Vice President of Finance, Sister Anne Mary Donovan, SNDdeN, announced a recent decision by the Board of Trustees to name the College’s iconic Administration Building in Sister Janet’s honor. For a woman who had spent decades of her life living, teaching and serving as President within the walls of the Collegiate Gothic building, it was a profoundly moving moment.

Speaking to the guests that evening, Sister Janet reflected, “Our founders gave us the name Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us.’ And I believe that to the core of my being. It is very real to us as we experience God’s amazing action in our work, in our lives and in the journeys of our students and graduates. For me this is a source of great joy.”

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Sr. Janet greets alumni and friends during Emmanuel’s Alumni Weekend. Nearly 700 alumni gather for a special Liturgy on June 1st.

On the afternoon of June 1, 2019, during the Centennial Alumni Weekend, nearly seven hundred came together for a joyful Liturgy to honor Sister Janet on her 40th anniversary. Rev. J. Bryan Hehir celebrated the Liturgy, which featured a gathering hymn called “Ever-Beginning,” with lyrics written by Sister Evelyn Ronan, SNDdeN ’63, and a special original composition by Sister Janet’s nephew, Joseph Taff, with the title, most expressive for Emmanuel’s Mission: “Ah qu’il est bon!”

 

« DEUXIEME FONDATRICE » D’EMMANUEL COLLEGE

anglais

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Sr. Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, accueille le Cardinal Seán O’Malley, capucin, archevêque de Boston, à son gala du 40e anniversaire en mai. Depuis son installation comme présidente en 1979, Sister Janet a développé la mission du College dans un monde en perpétuel changement.

Par Sam O’Neill, assistant spécial de la présidente d’Emmanuel College

Le 30 mai 2019, plus de 400 personnes se sont rassemblées pour un gala historique en l’honneur de Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, pour son 40e anniversaire comme présidente d’Emmanuel College. Parmi elles se trouvaient des diplômé.e.s de huit décennies, le Cardinal archevêque de Boston Seán O’Malley, capucin, le maire de Boston et des dirigeants de l’enseignement supérieur, de la biomédecine, des finances, des arts et d’autres domaines. Ils venaient rendre leur tribut à une compagne, collaboratrice et amie – une religieuse qui a mené Emmanuel pendant 40 ans avec vitalité, créativité et un dévouement sans faille à la mission éducative catholique du College.

En marchant vers une magnifique serre érigée pour l’occasion dans la cour centrale, les invités pouvaient observer des symboles de la présidence de Sister Janet : un centre moderne pour les étudiants, un centre de sciences et un nouveau bâtiment de 18 étages avec des appartements pour les internes. Ces bâtiments racontaient l’histoire d’une force institutionnelle, marquée par un triplement des inscriptions, des programmes innovants pour les études et pour la vie estudiantine, des subsides de la fondation nationale des sciences et d’autres fondations prestigieuses, de nouvelles chaires de professeurs et de nouvelles séries de conférences, y compris une en honneur de Dorothy Day, cofondatrice du mouvement des ouvriers catholiques.

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Plus de 800 diplômés ont assisté aux événements du week-end du centenaire, du 31 mai au 2 juin 2019. Nombre de célébrations, incluant le gala du 40e anniversaire de Sr. Janet, se sont tenues sous les lumières dans une serre dans la cour d’Emmanuel.

Avancement de la mission dans un monde changeant

Ces progrès et beaucoup d’autres ont eu lieu parmi des changements sismiques dans l’enseignement supérieur ; ils reflètent l’attention de Sister Janet aux « signes des temps » et son engagement à s’adapter aux besoins en évolution de chaque génération d’étudiants. Comme elle le disait aux participants à la troisième Conférence pour la mission des SND de N, tenue à Emmanuel en 2018, « Nous regardons constamment vers l’avenir et nous demandons : Qu’est-ce qui nous apporte de la joie ? En quoi sommes-nous bons ? Et qu’est-ce que le monde a besoin que nous soyons ? »

Les quatre dernières décennies offrent de nombreux exemples de l’esprit d’entreprise de Sister Janet. En 2000, après une analyse soigneuse des données et des tendances, le College a pris la décision d’admettre des jeunes gens à son programme de quatre ans, précédemment réservé aux femmes. Cette même année, le College a conclu un bail emphytéotique de 75 ans avec Merck et Co., en permettant à la société de construire un centre de recherche de 11 étages à l’arrière du campus, en échange d’un paiement initial unique substantiel.

Engagée envers la vision de Ste Julie Billiart

Parmi les changements, Sister Janet est restée constamment engagée envers la vision de Ste Julie Billiart et envers les valeurs des Sœurs de Notre-Dame qui ont ouvert Emmanuel en 1919. Dans ses messages à la communauté du College, elle a traité des sujets qui incluent l’immigration, l’environnement, la violence des fusils, et l’intolérance raciale et religieuse. De plus, elle a donné des conférences fondamentales sur l’histoire d’Emmanuel pendant la semaine annuelle des fondatrices, qui célèbre l’héritage éducationnel des Sœurs de Notre-Dame de Namur. Sous son leadership, les professeurs continuent à interpeller les étudiants pour qu’ils s’engagent dans l’analyse sociale critique des causes à la racine des problèmes de leur temps et qu’ils envisagent des réponses et des actions efficaces. En réfléchissant à ces discussions, les étudiants développent un engagement à la justice sociale et ils l’expriment souvent par un service bénévole. En fait, chaque année les étudiants d’Emmanuel offrent plus de 50.000 heures de service aux personnes nécessiteuses à Boston et au-delà.

« Une source de grande joie »

Au cours du gala du 40ème anniversaire, Sister Anne Mary Donovan, collègue et amie de longue date de Sister Janet et vice-présidente des finances d’Emmanuel, a annoncé une décision récente du conseil d’administration : nommer le bâtiment administratif du College au nom de Sr Janet. Pour une femme qui a passé des décennies de sa vie à vivre, enseigner et servir comme présidente dans les murs du bâtiment gothique du College, c’était un moment profondément émouvant. En parlant aux invités ce soir-là, Sister Janet réfléchissait :

« Nos fondatrices nous ont donné le nom d’Emmanuel, qui signifie ‘Dieu avec nous’. Et je le crois du plus profond de mon être. C’est vraiment réel pour nous comme nous expérimentons l’action stupéfiante de Dieu dans notre travail, dans nos vies et dans le cheminement de nos étudiants et de nos diplômés. Pour moi c’est une source de grande joie. »

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Sr. Janet salue les anciens élèves et amis pendant le weekend des anciens d’Emmanuel. Près de 700 anciens se sont réunis pour une messe spéciale le 1er juin.

L’après-midi du 1er juin 2019, au cours du week-end des anciens, près de 700 anciens se sont rassemblés pour une joyeuse Eucharistie pour honorer Sister Janet en son 40e anniversaire. Le révérend J. Bryaan Hehir a célébré la messe, au cours de laquelle on a chanté une hymne « Toujours en commencement », dont les paroles ont été composées par Sister Evelyn Ronan, SNDdeN diplômée en 1963, et une composition originale par Joseph Taff, neveu de Sr Janet, avec le titre très expressif pour la mission d’Emmanuel : « Ah ! qu’il est bon ! »

SNDdeN Schools Proclaim God’s Goodness in Nigeria

French

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Srs. Martina Akhibi and Christiana Sidi address children at St. Peter’s Nursery and Primary School, Ndeaboh, Enugu State

By Sr. Christiana Sidi, SNDdeN, Province Education Director

“Education is the most important work on earth,” said St. Julie Billiart. Fifty-six years ago, in 1963, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) responded to St. Julie’s vision to proclaim the goodness of God by coming to teach in Nigeria! No doubt many people continue to benefit and share this unique privilege of being “equipped for life” in all our schools. We educate children irrespective of their ethnic, religious,
social or economic backgrounds.

Presently, we, SNDdeN, work in six nursery/primary schools, and six secondary schools across the country. We serve 2,309 pupils in our Nursery/ Primary schools (Kindergarten 1-3, Nursery 1-3, Basic one to six) and 1,592 students in the Secondary Schools (Junior School 1-3, Senior Secondary School 1-3). We work with 192 staff members in Nursery/Primary schools), 268 staff members in Secondary Schools. All schools have Sisters as administrators, bursars, and teachers, who work with lay co-workers, inspired by the spirit of Notre Dame and who inculcate in the learners Catholic values and St. Julie’s educational ideals.

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Rita Ezekwem and Caroline Ajaegbu with students of Notre Dame Girls’ Academy, Amoyo, Kwara State.

We struggle with affordable tuition and fees, to give everyone the opportunity to receive a good education, because most learners come from middle class or lowincome earner homes. In spite of our efforts, many families find it hard to pay students’ school fees. Administrators, adjusting lower fees, face the challenge of paying just wages to our co-workers and providing a good education to those living in poverty. The government does not give any subsidy to support “mission” schools; school fees are the major sources of income to meet expenses in our schools. The Congregational Ministry Support Fund helps many schools meet some needs; other individuals and groups support our schools financially, enabling us to carry on the mission.

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Sr. Christiana Sidi with children of Our Lady’s Nursery and Primary school, Kulende, Kwara State.

Our Sisters prepare young children for life in the following schools:
Sacred Heart Catholic College (Abeokuta, Ogun State)
St. Joseph’s Nursery/Primary School (Ogwa, Edo State)
St. Peter’s Nursery/Primary School (Ndeaboh, Enugu State)
Notre Dame Nursery/Primary School (Ugwumunike, Enugu State)
St. Michael’s International Nursery/Primary School (Kontagora, Niger State)
St. Michael’s International Secondary School (Kontagora, Niger State)
Notre Dame Nursery/Primary School (Awkunanaw, Enugu State)
Notre Dame Academy (Awkunanaw, Enugu State)
Our Lady’s Nursery/Primary School (Kulende, Ilorin, Kwara State)
Our Lady’s Secondary School (Kulende, Ilorin, Kwara State)
Notre Dame Girls’ Academy (Amoyo, Kwara State)
Notre Dame Girl’s Academy (Kuje, Abuja State)

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Students of Our Lady’s Secondary School, Kulende, Kwara State.

The service we provide to those living in poverty, experiencing the transformation that education brings to individuals and society, gives us joy and spurs us on to continue this unique mission of forming young people for life, as did St. Julie Billiart. We must continue to “exist for the poor, absolutely for the poor” (St. Julie Billiart).

LES ÉCOLES DES SŒURS DE NOTRE-DAME PROCLAMENT LA BONTÉ DE DIEU AU NIGÉRIA

anglais

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Srs. Martina Akhibi et Christiana Sidi s’adressent aux enfants de l’école fondamentale St Peter, Ndeaboh, Enugu State.

Par Sr Christiana Sidi, SNDdeN, Directrice provincial de l’éducation

« L’éducation est l’œuvre la plus importante sur la terre », disait Ste Julie Billiart. Il y a cinquante-six ans, en 1963, les Sœurs de Notre-Dame de Namur ont répondu à la vision de Ste Julie de proclamer la bonté de Dieu en venant enseigner au Nigeria ! Sans aucun doute, beaucoup de personnes continuent à bénéficier de cet unique privilège d’être « équipées pour la vie » dans toutes nos écoles, et à le partager. Nous éduquons les enfants quelles que soient leur origine et leur situation ethnique, religieuse, sociale ou économique.

A présent, nous travaillons dans six écoles fondamentales et six écoles secondaires dans le pays. Nous servons 2.309 élèves dans nos écoles maternelles et primaires (jardin d’enfants 1-3, maternelle 1-3, primaire 1-6) et 1.592 élèves dans les écoles secondaires (cycle inférieur 1-3, cycle supérieur 1-3). Nous travaillons avec 192 membres du personnel dans les écoles fondamentales, 268 membres du personnel dans les écoles secondaires. Toutes les écoles ont des sœurs comme directrices, économes et professeurs, qui travaillent avec des collaborateurs laïcs, inspirés par l’esprit de Notre-Dame et qui inculquent aux élèves les valeurs catholiques et l’idéal éducationnel de Ste Julie.

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Srs Rita Ezekwem et Caroline Ajaegbu avec des étudiantes de l’Académie Notre Dame pour filles, Amoyo, Kwara State.

Nous luttons pour des frais scolaires abordables, pour donner à chacun l’opportunité de recevoir une bonne éducation, parce que la plupart des élèves viennent de la classe moyenne ou de foyers à faible revenu. Malgré nos efforts, beaucoup de familles trouvent qu’il est dur de payer les frais scolaires. Les directrices, en ajustant des frais pour qu’ils soient moins élevés, sont mises au défi de payer de justes gages à nos collaborateurs et de donner une bonne éducation à ceux qui vivent en pauvreté. Le gouvernement ne donne aucun subside pour soutenir les écoles de « mission » ; les frais scolaires sont la source principale de revenu pour assurer les dépenses dans nos écoles. Le fonds de soutien aux ministères de la congrégation aide beaucoup d’écoles à répondre à certains besoins ; d’autres personnes et groupes soutiennent financièrement nos écoles, en nous permettant de poursuivre la mission.

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Sr. Christiana Sidi avec des enfants de l’école fondamentale Notre Dame, Kulende, Kwara State.

Liste de 12 écoles où nos sœurs préparent les enfants à la vie.

Le service que nous procurons à ceux qui vivent en pauvreté, expérimentant la transformation que l’éducation apporte aux individus et à la société, nous donne de la joie et nous stimule à continuer cette unique mission de former des jeunes pour la vie, comme Ste Julie Billiart. Nous devons continuer à « exister pour les pauvres, absolument pour les pauvres. » (Ste Julie Billiart).

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Des étudiantes de l’école secondaire Notre Dame, Kulende, Kwara State.

MINISTERES ND : NOTRE HÉRITAGE VIVANT

English

Par Sr Maria Delaney, SNDdeN, co-directrice du bureau des Etats-Unis pour les ministères parrainés

L’éducation sous toutes ses formes et expressions extérieures sera toujours au cœur de la mission des Sœurs de Notre-Dame de Namur. Renforcer nos connexions et approfondir nos relations dans les ministères qui portent le nom de Notre-Dame sont des priorités vitales pour assurer la longévité de notre héritage et legs – un legs qui a commencé en 1804, quand Ste Julie Billiart et Françoise Blin de Bourdon ont fondé notre congrégation. Ce ” patrimoine “ a continué à prospérer pendant plus de deux cents ans comme une tapisserie internationale avec notre propre motif distinctif. Tout qui a été un(e) élève ou un(e) collègue, ou un membre de famille d’une sœur de Notre-Dame de Namur pendant les 214 dernières années a tissé un fil unique pour le tissu de ce trésor qui proclame la bonté de Dieu.

gw legacy photo 3Les administrateurs des écoles des Etats-Unis et d’autres continents qui participaient à la 3e conférence de mise en réseau pour la mission à Emmanuel College.

La 3e conférence de mise en réseau pour la mission qui s’est tenue à Emmanuel College la semaine du 22 juillet a marqué un moment significatif pour nos collègues en mission. Cet événement vibrant a réuni plus de 300 personnes de 16 à 90 ans, élèves et collègues de nos ministères de SNDdeN. Plus de cent SNDdeN venues de cinq continents ont accentué la profondeur de notre engagement comme partenaires avec nos collègues laïcs pour proclamer les valeurs et les enseignements qui nous animent tous comme porteurs de notre legs. Les exposés fondamentaux et les ateliers ont éveillé leur enthousiasme et leur énergie, approfondi leurs connexions Notre-Dame et nous ont interpellés alors que nous avançons ensemble dans le ministère.

gw legacy photo 6Administrateurs, enseignants et visiteurs internationaux se joignent aux élèves leaders pour une photo à l’entrée d’Emmanuel College.

POINTS FORTS : OUVERTURE ET DISCOURS

Sr Janet Eisner SNDdeN, présidente d’Emmanuel College, a ouvert la conférence de quatre jours par une histoire du collège à la veille de son 100ième anniversaire qui sera célébré en 2019. En tant que la plus ancienne école supérieure catholique pour femmes, Emmanuel est un tribut à la persévérance et la ténacité qui ont continuellement surmonté les préjugés religieux et de genre pour être contre-culturelle et répondre aux besoins.

gw legacy photo 4Soeur Janet Eisner et Père Brian Hehir

Le Père J. Brian Hehir, premier orateur, a donné une profonde analyse de l’identité catholique et de la manière dont nous manifestons cette identité dans la société pluraliste d’aujourd’hui. Il reconnaît que nous sommes sur une crête croissante où le monde pose de nouvelles questions à d’anciennes traditions. Le P. Hehir nous a interpellés à être des “présences pénétrantes”, témoignant de miséricorde, justice et service dans notre monde et préparant des personnes à avancer avec intelligence et compassion en répondant aux questions émergentes de notre époque.

L’adresse du P. Hehir trouvait un complément dans celle de Sr. Mary Johnson SNDdeN, qui fit le discours d’ouverture le second jour de la conférence. Sr. Mary a cadré son adresse autour du thème: La doctrine sociale de l’Eglise n’est plus un secret, avec le concept de “l’effervescence collective du charisme” – le don spécial donné à chaque groupe dans l’Eglise pour contribuer au bien commun.

Sr. Mary a partagé deux exemples du partage de notre charisme de SNDdeN :

  • Les caractéristiques d’une communauté d’apprentissage Notre-Dame, utilisées dans tant de ministères SNDdeN, qui concrétisent notre témoignage des convictions de la doctrine sociale catholique, et
  • L’encyclique Laudato Si du Pape François qui est reflétée dans les appels du chapitre des SND de Namur à prendre soin de “notre maison commune.”

Sister Simone Campbell, SSA, la Nun on the Bus” (la sœur en bus) a continué à interpeller les participants en ouvrant la troisième journée de la conférence par un discours d’ouverture basé sur l’appel à la sainteté publique à une époque chaotique. Sister Simone a exhorté les participants à toucher les cœurs, écouter des récits, sentir la peine les uns des autres et y répondre de manière compatissante.

Trente ateliers ont augmenté l’impact de ces discours d’ouverture avec des exposés sur notre héritage de Notre-Dame de Namur, les caractéristiques d’une communauté d’apprentissage Notre-Dame, la gouvernance, la technologie et les réseaux sociaux, le programme et la pratique des instructeurs, l’éthique des soins de santé, les transitions de la vie, la sensibilité multiculturelle, le racisme et la résolution non-violente de conflits, la citoyenneté mondiale.

Tous les discours d’ouverture et plusieurs autres causeries, ainsi que les Powerpoints des trente ateliers sont disponibles (en anglais) sur www.notredameonline.org

ELÈVES LEADERS

Avant la conférence, septante élèves de dix écoles secondaires Notre-Dame des Etats-Unis se sont rassemblés pour la troisième conférence annuelle de leadership des élèves. Quatre écoles du Massaschusetts, quatre de l’Ohio, une du Maryland et une de Californie étaient représentées. Les élèves ont participé à trois journées d’ateliers sur sainte Julie, le leadership et la doctrine sociale catholique. Ils ont terminé en participant à la cérémonie et à la messe d’ouverture de la Conférence de mise en réseau pour la mission. Leur présence à la messe célébrait la continuation de notre héritage à l’avenir.

Nos ministères parrainés sont des trésors qui étendent la tapisserie Notre-Dame de Namur en partageant et animant la bonté de Dieu avec des personnes du monde entier. En introduisant de nouveaux fils dans le tissu, ils étendent l’héritage vivant des Sœurs de Notre-Dame de Namur. Dans l’encyclique Gaudete et Exsultate, le Pape François exhorte chacun(e) d’entre nous à “voir l’entièreté de sa vie comme une mission.”

Nous sommes véritablement bénies par nos collègues qui sont nos partenaires pour élargir la portée de notre mission jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre.

Source: Good Works, Vol 4 | No 2 | Octobre 2018. (traduction imprimée avec permission)

 

 

 

ND Ministries: Our Living Legacy

Françias

By Sister Maria Delaney, SNDdeN, Co-Director for US Office of Sponsored Ministries

Education in all forms and outward expressions will always be at the heart of the Mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN). Strengthening our connections and deepening our relationships in the ministries that carry our Notre Dame name are vital priorities to ensure the longevity of our
heritage and legacy – a legacy that began in 1804, when St. Julie Billiart and Françoise Blin de Bourdon founded our Congregation.

gw legacy photo 3Educational Administrators from the United States, and from other continents who participated in the Networking for Mission III Conference at Emmanuel College.

This “inheritance” has continued to thrive for over two hundred years as an international tapestry with our own distinctive motif. Everyone who has been a student or colleague, or a relative of a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur in the past 214 years has woven a unique thread to the fabric of this treasure, which proclaims the goodness of God.

The Networking for Mission III conference held at Emmanuel College during the week of July 22, 2018 marked a significant moment for our colleagues in mission. This vibrant event provided the venue for more than 300 people, aged 16 through 90, gathered as students and colleagues from our SNDdeN ministries. More than one hundred SNDdeN from five continents accentuated the depth of our commitment to partner with our lay colleagues to proclaim the values and the teachings that animate all of us as bearers of our legacy. Keynote presentations and workshops sparked their enthusiasm and energy, deepened their Notre Dame connections and challenged us as we move forward together in ministry.

gw legacy photo 6Educational Administrators from the United States, and from other continents who participated in the Networking for Mission III Conference at Emmanuel College.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Opening and Keynotes

Sister Janet Eisner SNDdeN, President of Emmanuel College, opened the four-day conference with a history of the college on the eve of its 100th Anniversary to be celebrated in 2019. As the oldest Catholic women’s college in New England, Emmanuel towers as a tribute to the perseverance and tenacity of the Sisters who continued to overcome religious and gender bias to be counter-cultural and address existing needs.

gw legacy photo 4Sr. Janet Eisner and Fr. Brian Hehir

Father J. Brian Hehir, the initial keynote speaker, gave a profound analysis of Catholic Identity and how we manifest this identity in today’s multi-pluralistic society. He recognizes that we stand on a growing edge where the world presents new questions to ancient traditions. Father Hehir challenged us to be “penetrating presences,” witnessing to mercy, justice and service in our world and preparing people to move forward with intelligence and compassion in addressing the emerging questions of our times.

Father Hehir’s address was complemented by that of Sister Mary Johnson SNDdeN, who gave the keynote address on the second day of the conference. Sister Mary framed the address around the theme of Catholic Social Teaching – No Longer a Secret, which captured the concept of “the collective effervescence of the Charism” – the special gift given to each group within the Church to contribute to the common good.

Sister Mary shared two examples of sharing our SNDdeN charism:

  • The Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community, used in so many SNDdeN ministries, “which concretize(s) our witness to the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching” and
  • Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si which is reflected in the Chapter Calls of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to care for “our common home.”

Sister Simone Campbell, SSA, the “Nun on the Bus” continued the challenge to participants as she opened the third day of the conference with a keynote address based on the Call to Public Holiness in Chaotic Times. Sister Simone brought the participants full circle as she urged them to touch hearts, listen to stories, feel one another’s pain and then respond in acompassionate manner.

Thirty workshops augmented these keynote addresses with presentations on our Notre Dame de Namur Heritage, The Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community, governance, technology/social media, curriculum and instructional practice, ethics in healthcare, life transitions, multi-cultural responsiveness, racism and nonviolent conflict resolution and global citizenship.

All keynote addresses with several other talks and the power points from thirty workshops are available on www.notredameonline.org.

Student Leaders

Prior to the Networking Conference, seventy students from ten Notre Dame de Namur high schools in the US assembled for the third annual student leadership conference. Notre Dame de Namur Academies from Hingham, Tyngsboro, Worcester, Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School (Massachusetts), Mount Notre Dame, The Summit, Chaminade Julienne and Stephen Badin HS (Ohio), Maryvale Prep (Maryland) and Notre Dame High School (San Jose, California) were well represented.

The students participated in three days of workshops on St. Julie, leadership, Catholic social teaching. They completed their conference by joining in the opening sessions and liturgy of the Networking Conference. The presence of the students at the Mass celebrated the continuation of our legacy into the future.

Our sponsored ministries are treasures that extend the Notre Dame de Namur tapestry by sharing and animating God’s goodness with people all over the world. As they weave new threads into the fabric, they expand the living legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. In the encyclical, Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis exhorts each of us to “see the entirety of your life as a mission.”

We are very blessed by our colleagues who partner with us to broaden the outreach of our mission to the ends of the earth.


Source: Good Works, Vol 14 | No 2 | October 2018. (Reprinted with permission)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNDdeN Priority for Children

French

By Sister Jacinta Ojilimmobe, SNDdeN

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Sr. Jacinta Ojilimmobe, SNDdeN teaches
reading to the children in the Nursery school.

In 2004, the Sisters rang the first school bell in Awkunanaw, Enugu State, Nigeria. Opening with only a few pupils, Notre Dame Nursery and Primary School has grown in numbers, like a mustard seed grows into the biggest shrub. To the joy of parents, we educate now 1,130 pupils in our school. As Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) around the world, the Nigeria Province gives priority to educating little children and students on the elementary level. We focus on children living in poverty. With our Co-workers, five Sisters serve in this school: Sisters Francisca Aneke (Head Teacher), Saratu Barko (Religion Teacher), Maria Umeh (Bursar), Lucy Anaele (Assistant Bursar), and Jacinta Ojilimmobe (Head of Nursery).

 

In 2008, the Sisters, recognizing the necessity of teaching girls, expanded the school to include a Secondary Level, now known as Notre Dame Academy, Awkunanaw. A total of ten Sisters serve in both schools.

Our Nursery and Primary School aims at quality education to children, from babies to 11 years-old. We form the whole person for life: spiritually, academically and socially. Parents, valuing this full education and excellent teaching, send their children to our school, for early and ongoing formation. These little children grow and develop as persons, in relating with each other and their teachers, as we nurture their different qualities, talents and attitudes. With joy, these little ones identify letters, numbers, objects, play with toys, recite rhymes, colour art works, watch some educative videos, play in the recreation park, eat their food and even take a siesta.

Studies and Religious Formation

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Students are attentive to Sr. Saratu Barko, SNDdeN, in religious
education classes.

In Primary classes (elementary level), besides the regular program of studies in languages (English, Igbo, and French), history and mathematics, subjects include: Christian Religious Knowledge, Music, Cultural and Creative Arts, Social Studies, Home Economics, Basic Science, Geography, Agricultural Science, Computer Instruction. Parents expect success in examinations for admission into secondary schools. We teach catechesis to prepare the children for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. At the morning assembly, the pupils read and meditate on the Scripture of the day. On feasts, the children reflect on lessons they learn from the stories in Scripture for their spiritual and moral formation. During the Advent season, elementary students have a retreat day. At the beginning and close of the term, the children’s choir sings at Eucharistic liturgies. Some children have also demonstrated artistic talent in special art projects. In practical Home Economics, children learn to cook and bake different kinds of food, as another skill for life. A computer company provides instruction in technology for the children. Without many books, children are able to access varied subjects on the Internet!

Care of Creation and Whole Person

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In special music classes, Sr. Anthonia Damissah, SNDdeN, teaches students to play different musical instruments, to sing and to compose hymns. Some students have received reconition
for their songs.

Our pupils learn to care for the earth by avoiding any kind of environmental pollution, by disposing properly of any waste materials. They are conscious of protecting and nurturing our environment. Our school discovers and encourages children who are gifted in athletics, dancing and public speaking. The school organizes biannual inter-house sports competitions and also inter-school sports competitions. They have won many trophies in past matches for the whole metropolitan city of Enugu. At times the dancing group entertains at school functions. Students enjoy and benefit from educational excursions. Students learn assertiveness and self-confidence. Most pupils are able to stand up in the public arena and deliver messages or read without anxiety. We see the beautiful development of our children.

 

Challenges
Many challenges face us today in attempting to accommodate the increased number of children requesting entrance to our school. We teach also a few children with special needs, since there is not any education for them in the area. Another challenge springs from families, living with limited resources, even food and shelter. We do not deny an education to children living in poverty who have no other options. We thank our Religious Congregation and donors who contribute to SNDdeN Mission Support and enable us to reach out to give priority to children in need.

“Let the children come to ME…” Matthew 19:14


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Donate now to assist the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur minister to the children living in poverty who have no other options.

Reprinted from Good Works, Volume 14, No. 1, March 2018.

Published in print two times a year and on-line monthly (snddengw.org).

To subscribe to a printed edition, send your name and a mailing address to Sr. Anne Stevenson, SNDdeN by mail: 30 Jeffreys Neck Road, Ipswich, MA 01938 or by email: anne.stevenson@sndden.org. (International subscribers are encouraged to subscribe to this online edition through the WordPress App.)

 

Stewards of the SNDdeN Charism

By Sister Maria Delaney, SNDdeN, Co-Director in US Office of Sponsored Ministries

In a world of instant communication where circumstances can change in an instant and people can be redirected from one path to another in the blink of an eye, the words “mission integration” take on new meaning. The process of integrating the Mission becomes the root and anchor which ensures that an organization, whether religious, educational, social or corporate, remains true to its original vision and purpose.

Many of our SNDdeN educational and health care ministries worldwide trace their roots deep into the 19th century. As the Sisters of Notre Dame have aged out of many ministries, many dedicated lay professionals have taken our place as stewards of the SNDdeN Charism. To assist them in their preservation of our legacy, we have created many opportunities to instill the Charism, values and Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community.

In this global community where terrorism and destruction in all forms capture all news cycles, the values that have sustained the Sisters from the time of Napoleon through multiple world and civil wars still resonate throughout our ministries worldwide. The question of what difference we make in our geographical area propels us to do everything in our power to keep our relationships strong.

The strength of our network of Notre Dame colleagues depends upon the connections made among the participants. To this end, every year in the United States and Europe, the Sisters offer day long workshops and retreats and multi-day conferences for administrators, boards and students which provide a solid grounding in our history and philosophy for everyone carrying forward the Notre Dame de Namur Charism.

Recent Meetings and Beyond
In late June 2017,
the US Office of Sponsored Ministries gathered 50 Juniors and Seniors from Notre Dame high schools across the country for a Student Leadership Conference at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. At this second gathering for young people, the enthusiasm and energy were infectious among them, and groups from different schools instantly intermingled and began to share their specific realities.

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In Belmont, Srs. Mary Laxague and Maria Delaney SNDdeN continue the conversation with Drew Henry and Jennifer Khoury.

From July 16 to 19, 2017, the Office of Sponsored Ministries held their third annual conference of US Administrators from Notre Dame schools at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, CA where speakers provided stimulating presentations on:

  • How we weave the “Hallmarks” into our school,
  • Inclusive Just Schools – Are We Serving All of Our Students?
  • How the Challenges of St. Julie’s Times Resonate with Ours Today
  • Educating for Life in the Current Global Situation
  • Energizing New and Re-energizing Veteran Staff in Living the Mission.

iPhone Image EBF42These sessions centered on the importance of insuring that administrators, faculty and staff in our Notre Dame schools resonate with the dynamism of our Charism.

On October 2-3, 2017, Notre Dame schools in the United Kingdom held a conference entitled “The best is still to come,” in Wrightington, England.  Bringing together head-teachers, colleagues and Sisters, the conference reaffirmed for these educators a holistic approach in educating the whole person and preparing students for what they need for life.  This annual meeting opened doors to newness in a future for Notre Dame education in the 21st century.

On October 16, 2017, in Namur, Belgium, the Association des Ecoles Notre Dame (Association of Notre Dame Schools) organized and directed a formation meeting for new directors, teachers and staff in the Notre Dame Schools in Belgium.  Following input sessions and discussions on the charism and educational goals of St. Julie Billiart, these educators toured the Heritage Centre. For the purpose of networking with the schools in Belgium and around the ND world, the participants were delighted to receive a long list of our Notre Dame schools on five continents.

The planning is in process for an International Meeting: Networking FOR MISSION III, scheduled for July 25-28, 2018 to be held in the USA at Emmanuel College, 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115. This Conference is open to “those who minister, with, for, on behalf of or under the name of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur or St. Julie Billiart.” **

The opportunity to connect with other professionals strengthens the ties among the schools and health centers founded by the Sisters and still carrying the Notre Dame name deep into the twenty-first century.


** For further information, please go to http://notredameonline.org/news-and-events/networking-iii or contact Sr. Maria Delaney, SNDdeN (maria.delaney@sndden.org) or Sr. Rita Sturwold (rita.sturwold@sndden.org).


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Please show your support for mission integration today.

Reprinted from Good Works, Volume 13, No. 2, November 2017.

Published in print two times a year and on-line monthly (snddengw.org).

To subscribe to a printed edition, send your name and a mailing address to Sr. Anne Stevenson, SNDdeN by mail: 30 Jeffreys Neck Road, Ipswich, MA 01938 or by email: anne.stevenson@sndden.org. (International subscribers are encouraged to subscribe to this online edition through the WordPress App.)

Health Pastoral on the Island of Marajó, Brazil

By Sister Maria Socorro Oliveira da Silva, SNDdeN

Health care is a primary concern for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on the Island of Marajó, Pará, Brazil. They initiated a Health Pastoral on this island to provide support, spiritual encouragement, information about the rights of infirm persons, and to offer an alternative mode for treating illnesses. They encourage good health and healing by natural means, with fewer chemicals in the body, when possible and feasible.

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Sr. Maria Socorro Oliveira da Silva, SNDdeN, prepares herbs for alternative medicines.

The project began with women leaders giving their time in service to alleviate the suffering of people living in poverty who are not able to get to doctors and do not have the money to buy medicine. The Sisters, working with women leaders in the town of Breves, participate in a pastoral approach to health care. They search, through home remedies, to alleviate and cure illness. Sr. Maria Vagner Souza Silva, SNDdeN began the Health Pastoral in the town. Now, Sr. Maria Socorro Oliveira da Silva, SNDdeN visits the sick in the community and meets monthly with the women to discuss what would be the best way to make the home medicines. Her previous two years of experience in health and pastoral care has been beneficial for the people. The Sisters in the local community give support as well to these endeavors.

Experience of Growth
The Health Pastoral offers an alternative for treating illness. In September 2015, the Sisters invited a woman from the mainland who has a long experience in furthering education with home remedies for healing. For three days, the people participated in workshops on remedies for colds, oil for massage and special medicine for anemia. This experience enabled the women leaders, and infirm persons in the neighborhood to have a greater understanding of alternative medicines. The workshops were a great success. The people believe strongly in healing from medicines made with plants and natural herbs. In fact, they usually search out these alternative methods. Now, about 30 families benefit from the consultations and the use of alternative medicine.

The neighborhood has about 4,000 people and is growing every day. The group of seven women, including Sr. Maria, find this outreach demanding. They make home remedies of natural materials: leaves, flowers, barks, oils and water. These remedies sometimes work more slowly than chemicals, and require many visits, but they are generally more effective over the long run, and certainly are less expensive. Receiving invitations from the sick, the volunteer helpers are generous and patient, as they visit monthly about 40 persons in their homes. Since the sick are so weak and frail, even conversations become limited. In all visits, prayer is essential to the healing process. The community of Our Lady of Fatima is the most active in the Parish. The opportunity to serve in this Health Pastoral has called for growth in a spirit of compassion and solidarity in the community. The leaders and volunteers rely on two important ingredients for this service: the love of the sick and faith in the loving action of the good God.

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Sr. Maria Socorro Oliveira da Silva, SNDdeN, (second from the end) with her pastoral team, prepare alternative medicines for sick and infirm neighbors.

GW June 2016 – Health Pastoral on the Island of Marajo, Brazil

Good Works Archives on sndden.org

Harambee … “Let’s all work together.”

Sister Gwynette Proctor is a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who serves as Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Her ministry focuses Gwynette-Proctor--web-300on evangelization, leadership development and cultural competence training and education. She offers in-service workshops in teaching tolerance for teachers and administrators in schools and parishes. Sr. Gwynette works with Archdiocesan agencies to create more diversity in these communities in the greater Baltimore area.

In 1984, Sr. Gwynette saw a pressing need in the city of Baltimore. She envisioned and founded a program to reach out to young Black lives, in collaboration with the Catholic Archdiocese in Baltimore. Harambee Catholic Youth Organization is a network of 16 Black parishes which work together and share resources for spiritual, cultural and leadership development of youth. Sr. Gwynette describes the need, purpose and goals of this program.

Harambee . . . “Let’s all work together.”
By Sister Gwynette Proctor, SNDdeN

In Baltimore, Maryland USA, young people strive to create a path out of extreme poverty and hopelessness. The odds against success are enormous as thousands of young people either graduate from or drop out of dysfunctional public school systems each year. Lacking the necessary skills, knowledge and motivation to press for success, they wander aimlessly and/or find menial jobs that do not pay a living wage. At some point, an all-consuming despair and hopelessness takes root. They become adults who have no voice.  Out of sight and forgotten, they are pushed to the edges of our communities and they continue to live and expect to die believing “no one cares.”

At a gathering of 100 representatives from the Black Catholic Parishes in 1984, the Harambee Catholic Youth Organization began its outreach. The group realized that the multiple challenges facing our young people could not be adequately addressed by one parish alone. The gathering decided that together, they could have a greater influence on and increased resources to support our young.  Harambee, which in Swahili means “Let’s All Work Together,” is a network of 16 Black Catholic Parishes and offers programs that center on three aspects of outreach to and with Black Catholic youth: Spiritual Enrichment, Cultural Enrichment, and Leadership Development.

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Spiritual enrichment and Christian formation are the foundations that inspire our children, youth and adults to trust in a good God that can and will carry them through difficult times. One hundred youth gather for prayer services and Days of Reflection. Another 70 young adults from ten different parishes participate in “Into the Woods with Christ,” the annual retreat on a camping trip to Swallow Falls State Park.

Harambee has also a choir, led by youth and composed of over 50 African American youth.  It hosts a regional Youth Revival for 150 young people from neighboring states who lift their voices in prayer and song in praise of our good God acting in and through them.

Hamarabee-Group-2-Philadelphia-Liberty-Bell-webCultural enrichment keeps our youth connected to the achievements and legacy of the ancestors. Every culture has a language and a perspective that gives insight into the human condition.  African and African American culture helps Black youth to “know who they are and whose they are.” Exploring African roots begins with an awareness of the divine and stories of a people who survived beyond slave ships, shackles and racism.

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Bishop John Ricard with participants.

Each year the group engages in the “Harambee Freedom Ride.”  This cultural emersion trip provides young participants with time away from their homes to be one with God, their peers and the historical, cultural and spiritual monuments and memories of African American leaders of our Church and throughout the country. At the conclusion of this experience, Bishop John Ricard leads a commissioning service at the Mother of Africa Chapel in Washington, D.C.

Leadership Development focuses on expanding and enhancing leadership skills among African American youth. This outreach in the program facilitates opportunities for youth to develop leadership, organizational, communication and peer ministry skills for service in the Church, school and community. Young people gain the spiritual and cultural strength to heal the scars of racism, combat the many negative societal challenges and strive to break the cycles of poverty that plague our communities of color in the city of Baltimore.

Harambee is one of several programs offered by the Office of Black Catholic Ministries which strives to “win the lost, build believers and equip disciples through the Catholic tradition.”

GW June 2016 – Harambee .pdf

Good Works Archive on sndden.org