Sister Rose Ann Fleming, SNDdeN
Sister Rose Ann has more than 40 years of experience as an educator at schools including Summit Country Day, Trinity College in
Washington DC, and Xavier University where she serves as academic advisor to the basketball team.
"This [pro bono legal work] is an educational ministry…I teach my clients to expect justice, and work to help them receive it through the legal process," says Sister Rose Ann.
“We cannot let them give up an education for a game.”
So says Sister Rose Ann Fleming.
Some of you may know Sister Rose Ann. She may have been your teacher or principal. She’s been both for students from Kindergarten through college.
Some of you, too, may have heard her name connected with a college basketball team. The players certainly know her. They know her because she raps on their doors at 5 am – to hit the books. They know her because she calls – at times letting the phone ring a hundred times – to say that if they don’t get a grade up to speed – they’re benched. No game is worth an education, she tells them.
Education is Sister Rose Ann’s life. It began, when as a first-grader, she was taught by a Sister of Notre Dame, and it continues all these decades later.
‘Teach them what they need for life,’ St. Julie instructed us so long ago. Those words give life to all that we do, and all that Sister Rose Ann has done.
One-hundred-seventy-five years ago our first eight Sisters crossed the Atlantic. They stood on Cincinnati’s public landing, grips in hand, looking out over what was to become their new home, and asked ‘Where are we needed? Where are the children?’
Then they took that first step into a new city, a new culture, a new language. Within weeks, they were teaching.
They founded school after school – elementary schools, schools for working mothers, schools for the deaf, schools for newly-freed slaves, schools for factory workers, high schools. They taught children who themselves became teachers, who in turn taught other children who became teachers, who in turn – down the long line – taught Sister Rose Ann.
And who taught me. And who taught you.
With this letter, I hope to raise $175,000, a thousand dollars for each year since we arrived in this country. With such funds we’ll provide the best education possible to students in Notre Dame schools both here and abroad, and care for those retired Sisters who in years past made such education possible.
Education is our mission. Let’s keep at it together.