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Associates share in the 10th anniversary

Gratitude for 10 years - SSND Central Pacific Province
Central Pacific Province
2011 - 2021

By Mary Conarchy, SSND associate

In addition to the inauguration of the Central Pacific (CP) Province in 2011, there were 11 associates who made their first covenants that year. Ten of them shared how their relationship with the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) has made a difference in their lives.


"Ten years of being an associate has strengthened my Catholic faith. Each year I have grown toward feeling a deeper understanding and connection to the strong SSND charism."
- Carol Battalora in Richardson, Texas

"My connection with sisters and associates this past decade has made a difference in my life regarding ministry. It was at an associate meeting that I was first introduced to Kairos Prison Ministry International. I have participated in retreats, training, speaking and organizing during these years and have been the Clergy Spiritual Director on the Advisory Council for the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women for the past three years. I was ordained by my church in 2018 and all the local associates participated in my ordination. As an associate I have had many opportunities for spiritual growth and development."
- Anne Sylvester Cramer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sisters and Associates stand in front of the Blessed Theresa statues, located at Sancta Maria in Ripa in St. Louis.

"My relationship with the SSND has spanned a lifetime. My mother and aunt (twin sisters) were aspirants in St. Louis. My aunt is a sister and my mother nurtured us with love and charisms of the SSND. Becoming an associate provided a way I could deepen my commitment to the charisms of the SSND. I love learning about how others are committed to their ministries. The associates inspire me to continue on the journey and the sisters nourish my commitment."
- Carmen Fernandez in Balch Springs, Texas

"I have had the privilege of working with and for the School Sisters of Notre Dame for the past 35 years. As principal at Notre Dame School, I have had the opportunity to live their charism and share with many students and families. As an associate I am able to continue my spiritual growth outside of my day to day ministry. The time spent with sisters and associates is very special and keeps me spiritually connected and in tune. What a blessing this relationship has been over these many years."
- Theresa Francis in Dallas, Texas

"I now am a praying associate. My experience with SSND has been not only a blessing but love in action... My dear friend Sister Immaculata Zoelle was an influence and life changing. I will never forget the endearing interaction and relationships with the sister community. So, as I reflect... Mother Theresa said, 'Together we will rejoice.'"
- Patricia Herro in West Bend, Wisconsin

"I have retired from Notre Dame School in Dallas. My associate service is as a prayer partner. Prayer changes everything. I will continue lifting everyone up as God lays it on my heart."
- Dorris Huff in Dallas, Texas

"My time as an associate has been a saving grace for me. I had some serious illnesses and have been wonderfully supported by sisters and associates. I hope I have also made a difference through my associate covenant. The pandemic has posed many challenges and I am grateful for SSND relationships."
- Susan LeFebvre in Little Hocking, Ohio

"In my years as an associate, my spirituality has deepened. The SSND community is united in the love of God and I feel a beautiful bond with the sisters and associates. Though I currently cannot assist with prison ministry, I am very thankful for the time when I could help."
- Jane Lord in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

California associates and sisters volunteer Ronald McDonald House

"Sisters are always kind and willing to give me sufficient help and care whenever I need them. I cannot appreciate their kindness enough. I often reflect if I am acting like the sisters when I meet people. Each person was invited to be an associate as they really were. Therefore, I am trying to convey the Good News of Jesus where I am. We have a different job, in a different place, but I have never felt alone. I am firmly convinced that I am a member of a powerful and energetic community. This helps me become the salt of the earth."
- Hiroko Minase in Kyoto, Japan (Translation by Mizuho Yoshikawa)

"We moved from San Antonio to a small working fishing village on the coast of Maine several years ago. Since then, I have stayed connected to my associates’ group by email and phone. I have become a prayer associate and include the SSND online prayer requests as part of my daily devotionals. I cherish my connection to the sisters in San Antonio and am grateful for the opportunity to continue to pray for them and others."
- Betsy White in Friendship, Maine


Since 2011, there have been 153 associates who made their initial covenant and remain active. Currently, the Central Pacific Province has a total of 313 associates who gather in 14 states (but live in 20 states); in Guam and in two prefectures of Japan (Kyoto and Okinawa). Blessings and gratitude to all associates as they live the Gospel and spread the spirit of our foundresses, Blessed Theresa and Mother Caroline!


Read more reflections and stories celebrating our 10 years as the Central Pacific Province.

Gratitude for 10 years


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