2023 Summer Appeal

One Person at a Time

It is and it isn’t about numbers.

It’s important to know how many people are helped by our Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, and in how many cities, and in how many schools. It’s important to know how many students our Sisters teach in Nigeria. It’s important to know the many projects undertaken by our Live The Good Volunteers.

Samantha Smyjunas, first year member at Imago Earth Center

These are big numbers—all of them—and in their way they tell of the breadth and depth of Notre Dame. They help our friends know the impact of their partnership.

But as with any numbers, they are only one way of looking at things.

There is only a single number our Sisters care about at any given time, and that’s the number one – the one person standing in front of them.

I don’t say this with vanity or conceit. Just as a simple truth. A truth that gives me joy. And a truth I see flowing through all parts of Notre Dame, from our Sisters to our hundreds of long-term Notre Dame Mission Volunteers to our Notre Dame Associates walking with us for life.

And it all flows from Saint Julie. It was her way of doing things.

And from the other side of the equation, the helping side, the assisting side, it all comes back to the number one. It’s the one person, be it a Sister, Volunteer or Associate who doesn’t worry overmuch what the Church can do, or the government, or any organization. What matters is what one person decides to do.

It’s when that one individual in the quiet of his or her own mind, in prayer or contemplation or on a walk or even just driving home, decides to act. It can be a big thing; it can be a small thing. It can be joining a religious congregation; it can be taking a neighbor to the doctor.

This is the kind of individual action that collectively built Notre Dame from a small band of women walking with Saint Julie into a religious congregation spanning oceans and the world.

In a similar fashion, those who have partnered with us these decades and centuries, didn’t join en masse. They didn’t come in large numbers and say, “how can we help?” Instead, individually, and in their quiet moments, they made up their minds to join in a larger and Christ-filled purpose.

Our Sisters are spread over the world laboring in love to be the one who reaches out a hand to a person in need. Our Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, and all our volunteers, are infused with the knowledge that God works through us one day at a time, one action at a time, one sacrifice at a time, one person at a time.

And so, it goes also for those who financially support us. It’s one person helping another. It’s one gift buying a meal, one gift providing clean water, one gift handing a book to a child.

Thank you for partnering with us, and God bless!




Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN


With you, we change lives

With the support of generous friends like you, we are able to continue our mission of educating and taking a stand with those in poverty— especially women and children.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.