Sister Denise Curry, SNDdeN, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Coordinator (JPIC) for the US SNDdeN East-West Province was born in West Philadelphia and grew up there with her parents Anna and John and her brothers, Jack and Rick.
Sister Denise has always been interested in social justice. She remembers her father telling Rick that Denise was always for the underdog. “I hadn’t thought about it, but I appreciated my Dad saying that and bringing it to my awareness,” she said.
Sister Denise enrolled in Notre Dame Academy at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia in the seventh grade and continued her education there until graduation. “I loved the sisters and joined just about every extra-curricular activity possible, “she said. “Once I began my freshman year, I sensed that my path in life was to become a sister.”
We are very pleased to announce that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has chosen Sister Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN to receive the 2020 Outstanding Leadership Award.
Sister Patricia has spent nearly 30 years committed to anti-racism training and dismantling white privilege, where she modeled inclusivity and witnessed to the truth of the dignity of every human person. During her nine-year tenure as executive director of Pax Christi USA she promoted a spirituality of non-violence and asked each bishop in the United States to affirm active nonviolence as a core Christian principle. She has worked with countless religious congregations and lay groups on diversity-racism issues. Sister Patricia was one of the founding members of the Black Sisters Conference and served as its president from 1996-2001.
A member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Patricia serves on the East-West Unit provincial leadership team. She will be honored at the LCWR August assembly in Dallas.
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers/AmeriCorps members have made it a quarter of the way through their service year. Just as things are starting to settle down at their service site it is time for everything else to become more hectic during the holiday season. Our Site Directors and staff are making an effort to ensure members are equipped to acknowledge and manage their stress during this busy time of the year and honor their own dignity and sacredness, which can sometimes be put on the back burner. In Baltimore, team training has focused on practical self-care, with the intent to avoid burnout during the long hours in a high stress service site. Members have been asked to focus on three questions to keep them grounded: How do I come to this work? What helps me sustain my work? What gets in the way of sustaining my work?
It is difficult to deny that there is environmental racism. People of color, low income communities and ethnic minorities suffer crumbling infrastructure, community disinvestment, poor air quality and high traffic density more than other communities.
This is no accident.
These communities are targeted to host hazardous waste landfills, garbage dumps, and sewage treatment plants.
When we voice concerns for our planet, we must also think specifically of the environmental degradation that communities of color suffer: waste transfer stations, incinerators, smokestack industries and radioactive waste storage areas.
What about your city?
Are concerns raised by citizens respected? What about media coverage? Who is quoted- the residents or government officials?
Look around your town. Where is the good stuff? The trees and parks, supermarkets, medical facilities, public transportation, short commutes, career opportunities and amenities. And the mold, water damage, leaks and infestations? Where do you find the concentration of these problems?
That's environmental racism.
The US Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur came together for our annual meeting in Ipswich, Massachusetts during the weekend of November 7th through November 9th. We enjoyed seeing one another in a face to face setting, celebrated individual milestones achieved during the past year, remembered members who could not make this year's gathering due to scheduling conflicts or illness.
Within the past year, the office for Mission Integration in California has introduced a new Hallmark retreat. This experience, The Legacy Retreat, was also developed through collaboration with lay school partners and is led mainly by two school colleagues. Faculty and staff from the five learning communities in California gathered in Carmel in late October for the two-day retreat.
We focused on several themes: the life of Saint Julie Billiart, her spirituality and SNDdeN spirituality today, and on the founding stories in America, particularly the West Coast. The participants-some math and science teachers among them--were very responsive to the content of this retreat to the point of enthusiasm and inspiration!