Making Known God's Goodness

Spotlight on: Notre Dame Health Care – Connecting Nature and Health

Spotlight on: Notre Dame Health Care – Connecting Nature and Health

Notre Dame Health Care in Worcester is excited to celebrate the Arbor Day Foundation’s recognition of Notre Dame Health Care as an Arbor Day Tree Campus Health Care Program.  They are the first health care organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to receive this honor.




Providing Healing Nests for God’s Little Creatures

Sister Florence Maier continually finds ways to use her crocheting skills for others!  Recently Sister Jane Funch told Florence about Wildlife Rescue Nests (WRN), an international non-profit begun by one woman in Ontario, Canada.  It provides crocheted nests to wildlife rehabilitators who rescue endangered animals until they can return to the wild. 

World Hunger Focus at Oxfam Hunger Banquet in Worcester

Adapt: yes.  Cancel: no.  The recent Oxfam Hunger Banquet, held at Notre Dame Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts, fulfilled its two main aims:  sharing factual information about “Third World” countries and collecting money to help these developing nations.

Coordinating this activity for the 30th consecutive year was Sister Evelyn McKenna.  This year, Evelyn knew some details would need Zoom adaptation.  Students involved in this banquet were to have it listed as an extra-curricular activity.  That meant keeping track of Zoom attendance.  Evelyn had noticed on First Class that Sister Mary Corripio in Japan had done that with some of her students.  To solve the NDA problem, Evelyn contacted Mary some 7,000 miles away to learn how to manage this issue. Problem solved.

Craic at the Zoom Pub

On the high holy day of Saint Patrick, March 17, we Irish lassies gathered for Craic, defined as good times in the best of company. ‘Twas a virtual party, of course in these Covid-19 times but that did not dim the spirits of those participating. Some dropped in, then dropped out, but as far as we know none dropped dead. We were between 20 and 30 Craicers, but who was counting? We hailed from East to West and North to South. The sharing was rich – good stories and funny jokes garnered by willing participants, a poem by Sister Kathleen Haughey’s cousin about Dinny and Patsy; Sister Kathleen O’Brien’s traditional story about the cat on the roof; some Irish sing-along songs, and the blessed joy of seeing each other’s faces!

Sister Tracy Dill offered three door prizes; mailing costs covered. The prizes went to the first three sisters who could answer the questions related to Ireland posed by Sister Kathleen O’. The winners are: Sisters Louann Sciubba, Marilyn Pechillo, and Mary Ellen Howard. As the two hour Zoom limit edged closer, we ended the gathering with an Irish blessing and the magnificent voice of Frank Patterson singing Our Lady of Knock. A good time was had by all!

Intersectionality - a vital concept

The term “intersectionality” is gaining traction in the news. For all interested in creating a more just and peaceful society, it is worth our while to study and reflect on this concept. It calls us to deepen our analysis to address the not so visible root causes related to justice and peace issues.

The term intersectionality came after the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. As important as the Civil Rights Act is, it is often applied on a single-issue basis.

Kimberle Crenshaw, Esq. realized that this single focus application was insufficient to address the “double discrimination” that she and others experienced as African American women. Attorney Crenshaw coined the concept of intersectionality which she described in a Ted Talk video, The Urgency of Intersectionality.

Intersectionality considers all the factors that apply to an individual in combination rather than considering each factor in isolation. An example of this view happened after the recent mass shootings that occured in Atlanta.

In her speech in Atlanta just after this violent tragedy, Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke at Emory University. While she did not use the specific term intersectionality, her remarks reflected that concept.

Vice-President Harris said, “Whatever the killer’s motive, these facts are clear: Six out of the eight people killed on Tuesday night were of Asian descent. Seven were women. The shootings took place in businesses owned by Asian Americans. The shootings took place as violent hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans have risen dramatically over the last year and more.” 

By including the concept of race as well as gender, the Vice-President broadened the discussion to consider the intersectionality of race and gender as key factors to consider as this violent crime is adjudicated.

Honoring our roots

Notre Dame Mission Volunteers honored its various roots during AmeriCorps Week and National Catholic Sisters Week, both celebrated during the week of March 7-13. Service sites and NDMV staff took time to formally recognize and thank this year’s Notre Dame AmeriCorps members for their service. During such tumultuous times, their ongoing presence (virtually or in person) in classrooms and community centers is greatly appreciated! Members also had unique opportunities throughout the week to network with other AmeriCorps and faith-based volunteer programs and to participate in special service projects. Our team in Dayton planted raised flower beds and members in Apopka served youth at a medical clinic.

Social media platforms were abuzz all week with appreciations from service sites for their members and their service. Alumni were spotlighted as they shared their stories of service and how it impacted their choices post-service. There was also plenty of gratitude shared for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and their lasting impact on the program. NDMV combines the values of reaching the poor and leveraging the resources of two significant institutions: AmeriCorps and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. This year of AmeriCorps service is a glimpse into the lifetime of service to which sisters are dedicated. We are grateful for their example and leadership at this intersection.

Be sure to follow along on Facebook.com/NotreDameMissionVolunteers. Our most popular post during the week was our celebration of the Sisters! We are also frequently posting updates about our program and members’ impact in their communities!

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