Making Known God's Goodness

Spotlight on: Remembering Sister Dorothy Stang

During the past year, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur embarked  on a special journey by remembering Sister Dorothy Stang on the 15th Anniversary of her martyrdom in Brazil.

In addition to individual province anniversary commemorations in the United States and around the world, representatives from the three U.S. Provinces and National Communications joined together with the support of United States Leadership (USL) to create a national Sister Dorothy Stang 15th Anniversary Remembrance Project. Sister Judi Clemens, chaired a committee with representatives from the three U.S. Provinces to begin a year-long remembrance which began on February 12, 2020 and ended on February 12, 2021, the fifteenth anniversary of her death.

Creativity Expands a Mount Notre Dame High School Tradition

As a component of the Catholic Lifestyles course, Mount Notre Dame High School seniors always look forward to interviewing Sisters in the Cincinnati area in small groups at the MND Convent. This year Covid restrictions inspired Campus Minister Jen Dodds to find a new way for the interviews. 

Seniors were divided into 12 groups, and a teacher hosted a Zoom session with 12-14 students. Sisters were assigned to each group. Students prepared questions for the Sisters and led the interviews. Each student also logged on to her own computer so the Sisters could see the students’ faces. 

Using ZOOM expanded this experience!  In addition to Sisters in the Cincinnati area, participants included Sister Maureen White of the CLT live from Rome, Sister Grace Amarachi Ezeonu, from New York, Sister Mary Jeanne Hayes from Chicago and Sister Jacinta Ojilimmobe, a Sister from Nigeria studying at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Impressions of the NDMVA Mid-Year Meeting

I participated only in a small portion of the NDMVA meeting on Friday and Saturday.  Yet I cannot say enough about the quality of it.  The facilitator was a genius! Virtual though the meeting was, the networking that occurred in the break-out groups was extraordinary.  The prompts smoothly enticed sharing.  The sharing was short enough each time, not cutting anyone off but also not causing an embarrassing silence if the group finished quickly. The poet/keynote speaker was a mix of inspiring, challenging, animating, and affirming. 

Kudos to Adrienne and the NDMVA Staff! To do this meeting virtually was surely a challenge but they met it and by my standards attained a five gold star rating. 

a world that is crying out for the healing presence of God and an appreciation and respect for all of creation.

Notre Dame Mission Volunteers Mid-Year 2021: Rooted in Service

Over President’s Day Weekend, Notre Dame Mission Volunteers hosted its 26th annual, but 1st ever virtual, Mid-Year Training Conference. Over 300 AmeriCorps members, staff, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and presenters logged on for a weekend of reflection, learning, and connecting. Planning a virtual conference was a challenge, but a welcomed one that brought mid-year back to its roots. Early in the winter, NDMV staff reflected together about the most valuable components of the mid-year conference, and built the 2021 conference agenda from their input focusing on networking and opportunities to learn from one another.

Sharing educational practices across the country and the world

With the hope that teachers from our Notre Dame schools would benefit from being able to meet and listen to each other, our SNDdeN Sponsorship Office began a series of Zoom Meetings in late January that gathered the campus ministers of our twelve U.S. high schools with the chaplains of our U.K. schools and the Sisters overseeing our schools in Africa.  The group included ten Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and thirteen lay teachers from seven countries speaking two languages with translation.

 Each participant spoke of the effect of Covid on their schools. It was especially enlightening for those in the Global North to listen to the effect of the pandemic on the Global South where the ability to reach students outside school is very limited since most families do not have internet access.  Everyone felt the energy of connecting across continents with the awakening realization that they are all part of the international mission of the Sisters of Note Dame de Namur. The U.S. teachers were in awe of the scope of our global outreach in the schools.  The Zoom Sharings will continue with projects already being planned across cultures.

Learning and understanding others through the concept of intersectionality

Intersectionality is a term that has emerged in academic and social justice circles in the last few years and is now expanding into a broader audience. What is intersectionality and how did the concept develop?

The term “intersectionality” was first popularized in 1989 by critical legal and race scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. Ms. Crenshaw’s discussion of intersectionality centered on what she has referred to as “the double bind of race and gender.”

Intersecting and overlapping social identities may be both empowering and oppressing. For example, a Black woman might face discrimination from a business that is not distinctly due to her race nor distinctly due to her gender, but due to a combination of the two factors.

The 2015 the Oxford Dictionary: “The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. This has evolved over the past few years.

Many of today’s sociologists in addition to race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality, also include categories such as age, religion, culture, ethnicity, ability, body type, and even physical appearance in their intersectional approach.

How can we understand and use the concept of intersectionality?

  • Watch TED Talk by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw; The Urgency of Intersectionality
  • Check your privilege: And look beyond appearances
  • Listen and learn: At its very core, intersectionality is about learning and understanding views from others.
  • Make space:  Center stories and actions on those with the lived experiences. Let them speak for themselves, don’t speak over them.
  • Watch your language: So many of the words we use every day are ableist, exclusionary and downright offensive to marginalized communities.

Julie called us to “Have hearts as wide as the world”. This brings us to many intersections and opportunities to form inclusive relationships.

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