With the arrival of the Presidents’ Day Weekend in February, members, staff, presenters and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur met in Maryland for the Notre Dame Mission Volunteer AmeriCorps (NDMVA) Mid-Year Training Conference. Familiar things about this conference each year are the spirit of welcome, community and positive energy. We are coming upon recruitment season for the next service season and extend an invitation to people interested in service to consider applying to Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps.
The Sister Dorothy Stang SNDdeN Commemoration Committee from the Ohio Province contacted Sam Clements who created the video, The Student, The Nun, and The Amazon to see if he would do a video conference as part of the ongoing remembrance of Sister Dorothy Stang on this 15th Anniversary of her death. Fortunately, Sam was visiting the US and was able to accept their invitation in person.
Emmanuel College’s year-long Centennial year events culminated in a special Advent Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Seán P. Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston on December 7, 2019. The Liturgy, attended by more than 500 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and friends, also represented the beginning of Emmanuel’s next 100 years.
The 2020 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress drew a crowd of over 30,000 people who gathered for three days of spiritual talks and music punctuated by inspiring Liturgies. For the third year in a row, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur sponsored an exhibit booth where we got to talk about God’s Goodness, life as a Sister and the story of Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN. This year, as in past years, we applied temporary sunflower tattoos on Congress goers. This has been a popular draw to our booth, with women, children and men lining up to get their free tattoo.
Our “common home” and “integral ecology” are, perhaps, as in two key phrases from the 2018 Encyclical “Laudato Si”. Why is this important for us? If we truly believe that caring for our common home is our call, “integral ecology” speaks volumes to us who are growing in awareness of the interconnectedness of all creation.
February 2020 was a time of hellos and goodbyes for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the US. February provided multiple opportunities to gather to remember, to rejoice.
The year-long celebration of Saint Julie’s 50th anniversary of sainthood ended on February 2, the 216th anniversary of the founding of our Institute by Julie Billiart and Francoise Blin de Bourdon in 1804. Sisters gathered throughout the United States for prayer services and liturgies of rejoicing and remembering our heritage. This particular date is also celebrated during Catholic Schools Week in the US when the schools that bear our Notre Dame name, twelve secondary, six elementary/pre-schools, and one adult literacy center, pause to celebrate their unique place in American educational history and to say thank you to the Sisters who founded them. Many Sisters took part in celebrations with the students.
Over President’s Day Weekend, Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps hosted its 25th annual Mid-Year Training Conference in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The weekend brought together two hundred and twenty members, thirty staff, twenty presenters, twenty-five Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and an incredible energy and passion for service! Time was spent reflecting on the visionary spirits of the Sisters, particularly Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN and looking ahead to keep the vision grounded and growing.