About the Sisters News

The most significant project that is taking place at Pelende, Democratic Republic of Congo is the refurbishment of the water system.

Post from Catholic Services of the Miami Valley facebook page: The sisters provide education to the poor and needy throughout the United States, “making known God’s goodness”, and “educating for life.” With “hearts as wide as the world”, the sisters’ presence also extends to twenty countries on five continents, many of which have a critical need for pure, safe drinking water. This Lent, a presentation and demonstration of the sisters’ Clean Water for Life Project was given to multiple Catholic Schools, including Our Lady Of The Rosary School, and presented by OLR alumnus Marsha J. Loges! Thank you, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, for your example of Love in Action!

Prayer, Advocacy and Action, and Education. The Office of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation has it all for you this week. Check out invitations to take action at the policy level, awareness of International Day of Zero Waste (today!), to local advocacy opportunities.

Before finishing her internship at the Congregational Mission Office in Ipswich, MA, Sister Kumiko Azuma, SNDdeN spent a week in Ohio. In Japan, Sister Kumiko teaches at Notre Dame Seishin Schools in Okayama.

Image of a sunflower on the middle of the street in a destroyed city

All too often in life, we die before we die. We give up. We stop growing and loving. We bury our giftedness. How sad this is. The Lazarus Gospel and the whole Lenten season invites us to look within, to notice how we have been entombed. As winter melts into spring, may we too experience a metanoia… allowing life, love, and new growth to COME FORTH.

“But whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Almighty and ever living God, you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent. May this time be one of outward focus; seeking you in those we often ignore. Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and encounter. Give us hearts hungry to serve you and those who need what we have to give.

Provincial Sister Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN brings good news: "I am happy to announce that Associate Barbara Markus has accepted the position of Director of Associate. Barb brings both leadership and administrative skills to this role, as well as her years of experience as an Associate. Welcome aboard, Barb. God is good."

God who created humans from the dust of the ground, we pray flights immorally sending families away would stay grounded. Remove policies that hold communities in fear, and instead may we fast in repentance for ways we have been complicit in feeding such fears. Hold us accountable as a nation for cruel separations of families and racist practices, and Strengthen us to grow your Force of Love until the oppressed truly become free. Amen

The Church gives us this ‘time apart’ from life as usual as an opportunity to turn our lives around, to begin something new. ... We are not helpless. God is our help. I pray that this Lent will be different. I pray that all of us will ‘bear great fruit’ from the practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving so that suffering is relieved and our Easter celebrations will surpass all our expectations.

Pack nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free. Only surrender to the need of the Time— To love justice and walk humbly with God

Almighty Father, as we walk with Jesus through these days of Lent, show us how to know Him more nearly and love Him more dearly each day. Confident of the light and strength of the Holy Spirit, as we embark on our Lenten journey, we ask these graces in the name of Jesus who lived and died that we may have new life. Amen.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) “Seeing with the heart is seeing the world and our brothers through God's gaze…Faith cannot be reduced to a series of theoretical beliefs, traditions, and customs. It is a bond and a path along which we follow Jesus, who renews our way of seeing the world and our brothers.” (Pope Francis, Feb 19, 2022)

Chocolate and Deforestation

February 18, 2023

Chocolate is bad for the environment. Well, some of it is anyway. Cocoa is a cash crop. It also happens to grow in places where rainforests grow. I think we all know what that means. Also, there is the problem of the things we add to cocoa beans to make them into the delectable stuff we love to eat. The biggest concern, not only for the environment but also for other justice issues, is palm oil. You’ve heard of conflict diamonds? There is also conflict palm oil! People and the plant are dying for that Oreo I love so much. Palm Oil is in many products, not only chocolate. It is also the main cash crop planted in land grabs across Africa, Indonesia, and South America. So, it is a justice issue as well as an environmental one. And, as always, the people most hurt are those who live in poverty with no voice.

Keeping in mind yet another mass shooting, this time on the campus of Michigan State University, can we pray for those among us who are so angry and afraid that they see mass violence as an outlet for their emotions? Usually, I pray for the victims, sensible gun laws, and more mental health care in our country. I often struggle to pray for the individual who is so lost, they see this as a viable option.

On the 18th anniversary of Sister Dorothy Stang's martyrdom, we visited with Sister Jo Depweg, SNDdeN, who spent time with Sister Dorothy Stang in Brazil. We asked, "What do you think young people today need to know about Sister Dorothy?"

Prayer, knowledge, and education. This week's update from the Office of Justice, Peace, and Care for Creation is packed with all three.

I am grateful for those among you, who have trod the path before me. The work of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation is in the DNA of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and it has grown outward to all who have encountered you.

To celebrate Catholic Schools Week, we invite you to learn more about Sister Rita Sturwold, SNDdeN. She has a wealth of experience working as a teacher and administrator, and currently has several roles with our schools in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Call to Creation

January 28, 2023

Last week I talked about a few hopeful advances in technology that will be tools in the toolbox for our future fight against climate change. We need a lot of different tools in the toolbox. There is no single climate change cause. There is no single climate change resolution. There is no single tool that will fix it.

Two mass shootings have occurred in California in three days. The mental health of the gunmen is surely a factor, but a culture of violence and disrespect for life is too. The hardest part of the heartache is knowing there is little we can do except continue to advocate for health care and reasonable gun laws. And pray. We can indeed pray. I offer this prayer to you today.

As Program Coordinator of Songa Mbele na Masomo Children's Centre, I (Sister Mary Akinyi, SNDdeN) do my ministry in this community based centre which opened in 2009 and began operations in 2010 in the Mukuru Slum, in Nairobi City.