. . .With those with whom we live and work
It takes time, energy and commitment to create and sustain a thriving community. This can be a challenge in stable times. It is a more daunting challenge during turbulent times when the problems we face can seem overwhelming. Whatever the environment, a commitment to building community with people with whom we live and work is a cornerstone of Notre Dame de Namur.
High school students take classes in financial literacy, sometimes reduced to “Spend less than you earn.” If only all the new literacies were as easy! We painfully know that digital literacy constantly demands new learnings. There is even ‘gaming literacy’ which is said to raise test scores for children.
What about ‘vocation literacy’? What would that mean; how would it benefit us?
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers is embarking on its thirtieth year of operation, and more than ever the work is needed to educate, build community, and provide hope. The domestic 2020-2021 service year just ended during which members logged over 660,000 hours of service! Across the country they were connecting with students virtually and in the classroom to provide needed instruction, mentorship, and hope. The year asked a lot of the members as they were continually asked to adapt to new policies, variants, and needs in the community.
We gathered, masked and distanced, to witness Sister Gillian Wallace profess her first vows on September 18th. It was a glorious day in many ways and California sunshine enabled a splendid outside reception. The beautiful campus of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont provided the lovely chapel and surroundings.
Gillian chose to share her journey to this moment in a heart-felt testimony. She described what choosing to live the vowed life means to her in this world so hungry for signs of hope and commitment. Doing this as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur "...it feels so much easier to go deeper on the God quest and to work for social justice communally with like-minded people, rather than as an individual."
Thank you, Sister Gillian for your choice to live your one and only life among us!
On the evening of September 22, 2021, several Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur along with members of the Lowell Irish Cultural Committee, gathered at the Mount Pleasant Golf Club in Lowell for a posthumous celebration of Sister Sheila Callaghan.
"Each year the Lowell Irish Cultural Committee (LICC) recognizes individuals who, through their sharing of time, talents and treasures, have helped preserve our Irish heritage, the traditions and spirit of the Acre Neighborhood and the City of Lowell as well as a culture of giving back to the community. The Lowell Irish Cultural Community is thrilled to posthumously recognize Sister Sheila as an Anam Cara award recipient for her many contributions to our community in her professional and personal life. "Anam Cara" is the Irish Gaelic phrase meaning "soul friend," and the ICC is blessed to have the opportunity to honor Sister Sheila as a soul friend to honor this year."
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2021 dawned brightly as preparations for the Jubilee celebration at Julie House in Windsor, CT came to completion. The day would welcome close to 100 Sisters, Associates, family and friends for this festive occasion. While Covid masks continued to be a part of everyone’s outfit, they didn’t limit the many warm greetings.
On the national scene, we have urged Senator Ben Cardin to act positively in favor of immigration reform. He is always on the right side of important social justice issues, so we feel confident that he will be weighing in positively for the path to citizenship for the Dreamers, the essential workers and those of Temporary Protected Status, as well as for improved interaction between the Border Patrol and those seeking asylum at the southern border. The hope is that the officers will assume a more supportive role faced with the immigrants as is expected from both a biblical and human rights perspective.
On the local scene, we had a fabulous virtual celebration of our Tri-Province Jubilarians on August 25 and a real live party on August 26 for our retired Support Coordinators, Sisters Josita Colbert and Kathleen O’Brien. There was an enthusiastic drum roll from these two celebrations all the way up I 95!