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The Sisters of Notre Dame were recently featured in the Acorn Newspaper! Click the link here to read the article.

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By Sister Mary Grace Leung, SND

The seasons of the Church’s liturgical year have always been special to me because I entered the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. I was baptized at the Easter Vigil in 2006 and every year I look forward to my anniversary!

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When I learned about Advent in my classes, I made sure it was special by lighting up the Advent candles at home before I had supper. I said all the prayers and pondered on my anticipation of Jesus’ birth. Then Lent came, and I was truly touched by the practice of praying, fasting and giving alms. I was eager to fill my rice bowl for Catholic Charities and I bought food for the homeless whom I greeted along my walks on the streets of the city. Lent helped me realize that I needed to be with and for people who are in need – something that was lacking in my past.

My eagerness and excitement in taking the final steps to my baptism was filled with so many graces. The three scrutinies of the catechumens, the three readings from the Gospel of John about the healing of the man born blind, the raising of Lazarus and the Samaritan woman all pointed me toward conversion experiences that enriched my prayer life and openness to what God was calling me to as a new disciple and member of the Church. What moved me was hearing the voice of Jesus telling me “do you know that I love you?” I said, “Yes, I do!” and every Easter I am reminded of God’s love for me, and that he is always with me in times of darkness as well as in times of joy. God’s love endures and strengthens all of us for the journey, and this is the great blessing of each Easter season.

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The Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary recalls the angel, Gabriel, coming to the young woman, Mary, to ask her if she would be the mother of God’s Son, Jesus. The Catholic Church celebrates this feast on March 25 each year, nine months before the birth of Jesus.

The feast is important to all of us as an example. Mary, a young person, so in tune with God in her life, responds with an important “Yes” to God’s request to be the mother of his Son. Mary said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” As a young woman preparing for her marriage to Joseph, Mary did not know how this would happen, what this child would be like, what Jesus’ future would be, or what all this would mean for her and Joseph’s life together. And yet she could say “yes” to God. She modeled for us great faith and trust.

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It is a very important day for all Sisters of Notre Dame. Notre Dame means Our Lady so the sisters are, in a unique way, Sisters of Our Lady.  They chose the Annunciation their congregational feast because they want to model their lives after Mary’s by being open and ready to say “yes” to whatever God asks of them.

Today, let us pray for all the Sisters of Notre Dame that they continue to listen to God and say “yes” to whatever God asks of them. Let us pray for ourselves, our family members and our friends, that we may be open and ready to say “yes” when God asks something of us, even if we don’t understand.

Let us think about these words of the angel, Gabriel, as we say:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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Click below to watch “Sisters,” a one-hour documentary about five American Catholic sisters. This film is an excellent example of the inspiring work that sisters do.

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