While times of transition are challenging for organizations, they also offer opportunities to stand strong and meet the moment. The challenge, if well met, inspires gratitude.
This perfectly describes the transition phase in Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps when the organization needed a director pronto. It was a crucial moment that called for a miracle. And lo and behold, it happened!
Sister Mary Donohue, whistled up a group of local folks for a special meeting on March 23, 2023 at Cable Street to welcome Sister Delia Dowling, SSND and Dr. Kaliq Hunter Simms. As outgoing president of Sisters Academy, a middle school for girls in Southwest Baltimore founded in 2004 by four religious orders of Catholic Sisters*, Sister Delia came to Cable Street to thank the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for our support over the years and to introduce Kaliq Hunter Simms, who will become the second president of Sisters Academy on July 1st.
We delighted in the stellar record of the academy, begun by Sister Delia, SSND and Sister Suzanne Hall, SNDdeN. As partners in this outstanding educational venture, we acknowledged the SNDdeNs who served on the staff and Board, in particular, Mary Donohue who has been a champion cheerleader for Sisters Academy. Most of all, we praised the students who have put Sisters Academy on the map of places not to miss.
It was a splendid afternoon of mutual sharing. Besides admiring her outstanding educational background, we discovered that Kaliq is a native of BaItimore, a third generation Catholic, and has a daughter currently enrolled in Maryvale. Kaliq discovered in us a faithful set of SNDdeN fans.
All told, it was a meeting filled with community spirit and hope for the future. We will have more about the passing of the torch as The Sisters Academy passes from one set of capable and dedicated hands to another. Stay tuned!
* The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
The School Sisters of Notre Dame
The Sisters of Mercy
The first time I heard the word vocation was when I was a high school student at Notre Dame San Jose. Our religion teacher assigned the project of making a vocation poster. She told us there were two vocations, priesthood and vowed religious life. When I began working on the poster at home my mother, who was raised as a Baptist, explained that there was another vocation as well, married life. As I could see my parents’ life as a call from God like the first two, I made my poster in three sections across the page all equal.
When I was baptized in the seventh grade, I was made aware of my call to live life following Jesus. I began to see that life could be lived in many varied ways according to one’s gifts. As the oldest child of a large family, I saw my future vocation to follow in my mother’s footsteps to be a wife and mother in the married state.
When I was invited by Sister Mary Emmanuel to think about becoming a Sister and was encouraged by Sister Pauline Marie to pray about this, my vision expanded to see myself as something more than my initial dream.
After making the decision to enter with the Sisters I was educated to use my talents in many different ways over the years. Life is a journey of deepening and enriching our faith and gifts for service led by the Holy Spirit.
The call of God to a vocation is given in many ways. Often it is through the voice of others who recognize gifts and call them forth. If it were not for the two Sisters in my high school who invited me to think and pray about the vocation of vowed religious life I may not be where I am today.
It is important that we encourage those we see and know to reflect on religious life. All of us can be the means of God’s call to the young in our lives.
Five loaves and two fishes. Not nearly enough to feed the five thousand. So, the disciples reasoned: just give up – let’s not embarrass ourselves.
We might feel the same when it comes to the gun crisis/pandemic we now experience in this country. Most Americans want the guns off the streets and assault weapons off the internet. But even though we are the majority, we are completely flummoxed by lawmakers who will not budge.
Furthermore, we have already signed numerous petitions, made phone calls, prayed for victims, and even called the names of the dear children of Uvalde. What more is there?
But to make changes, we must elect lawmakers who can afford to stand up to proponents of guns such as the NRA. We have seen too many tiny coffins and too much death. We want common-sense gun laws!