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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Next week we will host our annual donor appreciation brunch and open house at Notre Dame Center in Thousand Oaks, California. In the spirit of thanksgiving, Sister Mary Colette Theobald, who is currently serving in Uganda, wrote a letter of appreciation to our many spiritual and monetary supporters. Uganda 081

Dearest Benefactors,

I want to personally thank you for all the support you give to the Sisters of Notre Dame. I very personally see your spiritual and monetary contributions at work in the Uganda mission. The Sisters of Notre Dame have been in Uganda for 20 years.  The primary school began in 1998, formation for young sisters in 2002, the secondary school in 2003, nursery school in 2007 and a second community in 2009. Construction for a new nursery school for Buseesa has started. There are 12 Ugandan Sisters. Ten more are in the novitiate in Tanzania. Hundreds of young people have benefited from a strong Notre Dame education. Those who have completed their studies are beginning to return to their villages to uplift the standard of living of the people there. None of this would have been possible without you! Thank you, thank you! Webale muno! God bless you! Ruhanga asiimwe.

Thank you, too, for all the other ways you help and support the Sisters of Notre Dame: ministry projects, housing support and renovation, and support for our wonderful aged sisters who gave so much to serve God and His people. May God bless each and every one of you with all the graces and blessings you need at this time.

Please be assured of many prayers for yourself and your families from all of us in Uganda!

Lovingly and gratefully yours,

Sister Mary Colette, SND
Mpala, Uganda

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“We are always climbing the mountain, but Jubilee is a time to pause and enjoy the view,” said Sister Rose Marie Tulacz, who celebrated 40 years, as a Sister of Notre Dame on July 11, surrounded by her loved ones. On Jubilee day, Sister Rose Marie renewed her vows in the company of three other Sisters of Notre Dame. “The faith and courage the Jubilarians witness to in their call to religious life inspires me. Courage and faithful commitment is an undervalued trait in today’s society,”

At the age of 18 after high school graduation, Sister Rose Marie entered the convent in 1972. She gratefully recalls her former novice directress, Sister Mary Damien, who mentored and encouraged a life of prayer, service and fortitude. After pronouncing first vows in 1975 as a Sister of Notre Dame, Sister Rose Marie taught for 16 years at the primary, elementary, and junior high level.

Since 1993, Sister is a photographer specializing in spiritual and humanitarian outreach. The Notre Dame Creations ministry has taken her around the globe where she has passionately deepened her engagement with the mission of the Church, scripture, and the family of God. Sister combines her gifts of liturgical and fine art photography, as well as writing, speaking, retreats, spiritual direction, and parish missions. In 2004, Sister Rose Marie produced a fine art book of photography and inspirational writing entitled In the Between. Proceeds from the book enabled the Sisters of Notre Dame in Tanzania and Kenya to build the Zinduka Women’s Center, Notre Dame School for elementary and high school students, Aloysia Orphanage, and Notre Dame Primary School.

In April of this year, Sister Rose Marie traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas for an immersion experience at the border of Mexico. She joined several Sisters of Notre Dame, all from different American Provinces, to minister at the border. She described her experience there, “witnessing the desperation of migrants facing deportation” as life changing. “I am grateful for the grace to respond to the call to come to the border and be unsettled by truth. I am grateful that despite the often-painful topics and emotional encounters, I see Jesus in the volunteers, the sisters and the immigrants,” she said.

Sister recently completed graduate studies in Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Boston College. She will be exhibiting Notre Dame Creations at the Papal World Family Meeting in the Philadelphia Convention Center. September 21-25, 2015.

Left, Themi Slums, Njiro, Anisha, Tanzania, East Africa Sr. Roshmi on left, Sr. Rose Marie holding child

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Well, we are on countdown mode over here until the term ends….at least I am! The students are working hard at their studies and teachers are teaching, praise God. Tomorrow, we have the student council induction ceremony for the new officers.  Since our P7 students will be in a very serious mode of study for the third term, they relinquish their student council duties at this time and pass on these offices to the next group. The new student council members will shadow the outgoing members for a week or two when we begin the third term and then the new officers take over.  So tomorrow we have an assembly for the entire school to witness the “passing of the torch” to the next group. The current president will be introduced and then the new president is announced. They meet in the middle of the stage, give each other a hug and the outgoing president takes the student council tie that she is wearing and puts it on the newly elected president. Each outgoing officer follows the same procedure until all of the new student council members have been introduced and given the student council tie. The newly elected officers even take an oath of office by placing their hand on the Bible and promising to be good role models to others. Pretty impressive, no so?!

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Sister Mary Paulynne on the play field

Thursday, August 7, is the Citizenship Honor Roll assembly in our dining hall. The students that have merited good conduct will receive certificates from their teachers in the presence of the entire student body. The students receiving this award will get a sweetie (a piece of candy) from me and then when they come back to begin the third Term of school in September these lovely children will be rewarded with a movie! They LOVE this treat, believe me! After the assembly it will be time to clean the classrooms and the students will remove items from their student desks and lockers. The rest of the morning and early afternoon is spent cleaning their dorms, washing and cleaning their clothes and packing their cases for home.

Friday, August 8, is departure day. After our morning assembly of prayer and flag salute the students proceed to their classrooms, put their cases outside and wait on the veranda or on the grassy section below the classroom block until their parents arrive. The teachers and several classroom helpers are assigned to supervise the students while they are waiting. Many times lorries (large trucks), or taxis (which are the size of a VW van) take children home who live in the same village or nearby neighborhoods. Occasionally, boda-boda drivers (a motorcycle with an extended back seat) take individual students home who live nearby. Transport is expensive here so parents find the most economical and creative ways to get their children home safely for the holiday. While all of this fabulous activity is going on, our administrative team: Sister Bernarde, Teacher John and I are in the staff room greeting the parents and accepting school fee payments from this p
previous term and a down payment for term three.

So you can see why I am on a countdown for the holiday to begin! But hey, it is never boring here and it is such a joy for me to see the sparkle in the children’s eyes when their parents arrive!  And oh yes, the gleam of happiness when the parents see their children well and happy is an added joy!

So I wish you blessings and thank you again for your prayers for ALL of us!  Continue to pray for rain…we only got a drizzle yesterday!

Love to you,

Sister Mary Paulynne Tubick

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