Meet An Associate

Susan Miller, Chicago AssociateSusan Miller Picture

For Susan, there was something very natural about becoming a Notre Dame Associate. It grew from a desire to enhance her faith life that began when she was a student at Notre Dame High School for Girls in Chicago. That desire ultimately took her to volunteer for "Service in the City," a program run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur where volunteers were immersed in the Sisters' ministries in Chicago.

After leaving an executive position at a prominent bank, Susan was searching for a new and meaningful way to use her gifts while nourishing her faith life. Ultimately, the clue was Loyola University's Institute of Pastoral Studies where she earned a Masters of Divinity degree and met Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Joyce Hoben.

Sister Joyce, who is a canon lawyer, suggested Susan volunteer at the diocesan marriage tribunal where women and men petition to be reconciled with the Church after a civil divorce. Susan's volunteerism soon turned into a second career that she continues 11 years later as a tribunal auditor.

"This is my pastoral mission and I am rewarded by seeing the goodness of God each day."

Carmen and Marjo Angelo, Columbus AssociatesCarmen and Marjo Angelo Picture

For years, both Marjo and Carmen have been active in their parish. They are Eucharistic ministers, they sing in the choir, Marjo takes Communion to the homebound and until recently she was a lector and Carmen was a cantor. But their parish activities were merely the most visible signs of their spirituality.

Marjo and Carmen professed a commitment to live their lives as lay partners in mission with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 2001. They carry out the spirit of Notre Dame through their continuing good work at their parish, and by loving and caring for their combined 13 children, 29 grandchildren and 11 great- grandchildren. They also send handwritten cards to every Sister on her birthday.

"Being an Associate enriches and enhances my spiritual life in a way I would not have thought possible," Marjo said. "I'm just so thankful that God allows me to have this relationship and I am grateful to share a part of my life with the Sisters."

Mary Pyper, Dayton AssociateMary Pyper Picture

Mary is an active volunteer in her parish, teaching summer religion and faith formation classes, and serving as the chair of the education commission. She also is President of Radio Maria USA, part of a worldwide Catholic radio network that broadcasts daily over the internet and through radio stations in Louisiana, Texas and Ohio. Programs include daily Mass, the Rosary, and a mix of devotional and spiritual segments.

An obvious question might be how she finds time to juggle all of these priorities in her life and still serve as a Notre Dame Associate. The answer is obvious: These priorities are surrounded and nourished by her commitment to Notre Dame.

Mary began to learn of St. Julie's spirituality as an alumna of Chaminade-Julienne High School, and immediately felt connected.

"I have always been interested in St. Julie's life in her joy and belief in God's goodness. The Sisters helped me to delve deeper and to see how the gifts that God has given me are such a natural fit with St. Julie's spirituality."