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Posts Tagged ‘vocations’

This Saturday, November 23, the Sisters of Notre Dame will host a retreat titled “Mary in our Life” from 9am to 3pm at Notre Dame Center in Thousand Oaks. 

If you’d like to join us for a day of reflection, prayer, discussion and fellowship, please contact Sister Val Roxburgh at sistervalsnd@gmail.com and see the flyer below:

retreatflyer

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The Sisters of Notre Dame are a congregation of over 2,000 women religious who work in 19 countries on five continents, responding to the needs of God’s people.

Their diverse ministries include:

 

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African sisters celebrate after taking their vows

The missions of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Africa have attracted many young African women to deepen their faith and to answer the call to religious life. During their religious formation, novices and postulants from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda receive initial instruction together at the international formation house in Njiro, Tanzania. This formation experience goes far beyond quiet prayer, contemplation, and study, to include active ministry and outreach to the surrounding communities.

The Holy Childhood Association engages Catholic youth in mission to neighboring youth in dire need. The program is very popular in Africa and can be found in nearly every parish in Tanzania. The Njiro parish has over 70 children participants. The women in formation help strengthen the program by teaching prayers and catechism, assisting the children with works of mercy, encouraging contribution to the poor, and attending the Sunday children’s Mass. Their ministry to children goes beyond the Holy Childhood Association, however. The novices and postulants have also been asked to teach religion classes once a week in the government school.

SND novices and postulants also meet weekly with villagers in small Christian communities. A community can have as many as 18 families, who take turns hosting the gathering. The community shares Scripture and reflections, and prays the rosary. If a family is in special need, the group offers financial assistance. Special classes are given to the children, who are taught prayers, songs and bible stories. The Novices and Postulants do not all speak the local language fluently, and while that is a challenge for them, they find that they are always able to communicate God’s love to the families they serve.

Once a week women in formation visit neighboring families in the village, where they minister to women, children and the sick. The families find relief in sharing their pain and struggles with the novices and postulants. Those in formation share faith experiences, comforting words, and answer questions about the way they live their life. The visit ends with praying together. Although the villagers don’t always understand what it means to be a sister, they are always grateful for the visits.

The ministry and outreach that the SND postulants and novices perform are a foundational part of their spiritual development, and their outreach experiences are opportunities for growth even in challenges. Ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors helps prepare these young women for lives lived for Jesus and his mission.

– Sr. Mary Bernadette Pendola, SND

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Sunday April 29 is World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and we invite you all to join us in prayer for all religious. The Sisters of Notre Dame are also spending this time of prayer saying thank you – to our God for giving us vocations, and to our families and friends who have supported us along the way. We hope you will remember us in thanks and prayer.

We have posted this video before, but we do so again because the words here are so meaningful to us at this time. We hope you enjoy it too!

SND Vocations

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FCB_SBA_0042Time for another vocation story, this one from our newest candidate Rhea:

“My desire to become a sister began to stir in me as far back as I can recall. However, at age sixteen, I let go of the thought. To my knowledge no sign from the Lord was given to me. In my childlike ignorance, I assumed God would provide me with a supernatural event that would make clear to me that my desires were His as well, and not merely the romantic notions of a young girl. After a period of loss and acceptance; I then proceeded to live my life pursuing the secular goals of family and career.

I have had a fulfilling life which includes a loving family, good friends, a rewarding career and a rich spiritual journey. However, I am now at a turning point. With exception to the gift of motherhood; no pursuit, accomplishment, or relationship; has fulfilled me other than my love for Christ and His love for me. So at this point I have given myself permission to take the time to discern what He truly wants for me. I am drawn to the Sisters of Notre Dame for their vitality, devotion to witnessing to God’s goodness and provident care, and undying desire to serve God’s people with vigor, humor, and humility”.

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Every women religious must bear witness to the primacy of God and must dedicate a period everyday to stand before the Lord, to tell Him of her love, and above all, to let herself be loved by Him.

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