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Provincial leader reflects on 10 years

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

Debra Marie Sciano, SSND

On June 12, 2021, the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Central Pacific Province (CP) celebrates its 10th anniversary. This celebration marks 10 years since the Dallas, Mankato, Milwaukee and St. Louis Provinces came together to become one, a decision based on the aging population of sisters and the hope for a brighter future through shared resources.

The joining of the provinces required much planning, compromise and sometimes sacrifice. These well-established provinces had to decide what becoming “one” looked like. Therefore, they had to essentially start from scratch. Each province had their own staff, leaders, properties and ways of operating. There was a lot of excitement around becoming one province, but a lot of mourning the past too. The process was done by including the sisters in all of the decision making, holding multiple meetings, dialogues and spending time in discernment.

Our Lady of Good Counsel held their Province Day and Jubilee Celebration on July 20 and 21, 2019. Featured: Sisters Debra Marie Sciano, Provinicial Leader, and Mary Dominiuc Klaseus

Provincial Leader, Sister Debra Sciano, remembers the long process of joining four provinces together, “For me, the beginning of the Central Pacific Province followed several years of planning, process, discernment, dialogue and rituals. It was a time of letting go and letting come, as we often heard while fully immersed in the process as leaders and members of the four original provinces. I remember well how challenging it was to prepare for the reconfiguration of the Dallas, Mankato, Minnesota, Milwaukee and St. Louis Provinces, while still being fully invested in the business of provincial leadership for the Milwaukee Province.”

On a personal level, Sister Debra talks about the final days of becoming the CP Province, “I remember being on an emotional roller coaster – from excitement to sadness and from elation to worry about the future. It was a bittersweet time, but I knew in my heart and with my entire being that we, collectively, made the right decision to form what would ultimately be the largest province in the congregation, covering a vast geographic area and including a variety of cultures and practices beyond imagination. I remember being in tears during the closing ritual on June 12, 2011, as we extinguished the individual candles representing each of our four provinces, but also felt the joy of lighting the new candle that would light the way for our future together as the Central Pacific Province.”

The CP Province has been operating together for the past 10 years and many of the years have been spent simply having the sisters get to know one another and grow together. Looking toward the future Sister Debra says, “We continue to grow together, recognizing the beauty of diversity, still experiencing some growing pains, and trusting that, in the end, we are one, not only as members of the CP Province, but as an international congregation of School Sisters of Notre Dame.”

To hear more about the SSND mission, tune into our podcast, Called to Action.


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

Gratitude for 10 years


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