Join Us Questions
- Do Sisters have free time, and if so, what do they do with that time?
- How do congregations or orders differ from one another?
- How often do you pray?
- Is prayer always easy for you?
- What does a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur do all day?
- What does it mean to be an international religions congregation?
- What ministries are the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur involved in?
- Why do some Sisters wear habits?
Do Sisters have free time, and if so, what do they do with that time?
We have about the same amount of leisure time as most other adults. We spend that time as we choose and in various ways. Some sisters enjoy sports and athletic activities, while others enjoy the arts. We also spend our free time watching television or movies, reading, working out and visiting friends or family. While the activities are as diverse as our members and this diversity is encouraged, we at all times and places remain true to our vows and commitment to Christian living.
How do congregations or orders differ from one another?
Typically, religious congregations are different in their emphasis on prayer and community life. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur live an active and open apostolic life in the tradition of St. Julie, whose unique experience of prayer and action enabled her to find God's presence everywhere and in a special way among the poor. In contemplative congregations, members live together in one building and their primary ministry is prayer. Most members of monastic congregations also tend to live and work together in one building, though they work in a variety of ministries. They gather together frequently for prayer, usually several times a day.
How often do you pray?
We are committed to being women of prayer who seek in all aspects of our lives to be united with God and responsive to the Spirit of Jesus. We support one another in a simple, communal, and prayful life. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur pray alone, in small groups and with the larger community. Our prayer takes different forms, including liturgy, reading and quiet meditation.
Is prayer always easy for you?
It's not always easy. But prayer is our way of communicating with God. Like any relationship, there are times when we need to act on motives deeper than feelings and trust in God's presence and unconditional love.
What does a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur do all day?
While Sisters' days are varied, each includes time for prayer, ministry, community and recreation. Days begin or end with prayer. Ministries are tailored to each Sister's individual gifts. Our community lifestyle fosters close relationships, recreation and meaningful interaction with other Sisters and lay people.
What does it mean to be an international religions congregation?
St. Julie, the woman who launched this congregation in 1804, said it this way: "Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are women who have hearts as wide as the world. "Our hearts streatch to embrace the people of Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Congo, Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain and the United States.
What ministries are the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur involved in?
Our strength as Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is found in our deep union with God and our common aim to express that God is good. We are encouraged to use our diverse and unique talents as we go throughout the world proclaiming God's loving care for all people. We are committed to stand with the poor especially women and children, to celebrate the gifts of many cultures, to educate for justice, and build community with all those with whom we live and work. We minister as teachers, counselors, social workers, religious education directors, health care workers, lawyers, pastoral counselers, spiritual directors, community organizers and in many other capacities as directed by the Spirit, community needs and our own talents.
Why do some Sisters wear habits?
There are many symbols Sisters and Nuns use to indicate their faith in God and commitment to Christianity. Some congregations choose a habit to be their sign. They believe it helps them live out their vows, and some say it is also a sign of penitence and a separate lifestyle. Most Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur opt to wear street clothes instead of habits. This is because we believe it helps us build bridges of understanding with all people and that it makes us more personally accessible to the people we serve. Although we wear the Notre Dame cross given to us at our initial commitment, we work to make our Christian lifestyle the most obvious sign of our commitment.