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Reflections on a decade of grace

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

By Sister Mary Anne Owens, former provincial leader
Mary Anne Owens, SSND

June 12, 2011, was a remarkable day. It marked the end of years of planning, numerous meetings and the bittersweet bringing together of the history and cultures of the four founding provinces, now merged into the Central Pacific Province.

As a province, we are indebted to the sisters of the quad leadership and sisters on the committees that nurtured the birth of this new province by providing the skeleton of governance structures and a financial plan to continue the mission and ministries. The sisters on the inaugural leadership council were a mix of new and experienced leaders from the four provinces. These wisdom women enabled us to begin with the confidence that the “rocking chair” assembly of 2008 truly was God calling all of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) to our new reality. They deserve and have our eternal gratitude!

During the first years as one province, the provincial council attempted to sort out what traditions from each geographic area needed to remain in the area, e.g. Jubilees; and what needed to change because of the size of the province both geographically and in personnel. A constant struggle for the council was how to be present to the sisters at funerals, celebrations or visitation. It was a challenge, yet we tried to attend as we could.

In 2013, our sisters in the region of Japan voted to move from being a region to becoming a part of the province. We welcomed them as our sisters and as mentors in helping us understand and live internationality. Initially, sisters had asked us to address long range planning for our properties and ministries. Thankfully, again our wisdom women on committees stepped forward and began the long-term process that is now our reality so that we are able to be true to our mission and charism now and into the future.

Sisters Ruth Mori and Christine Garcia chat during the Assembly of the Whole meeting in St. Louis.

In 2015, we held our first Assembly of the Whole (AOW) with “hearts ready” to embrace the future ahead of us. Those present approved the resolutions to move forward with an “integrated planning process,” which included our common life, ministries, personnel, properties and finances. In addition, we identified the values and attitudes that would guide our discernment throughout the process. Truly, the Spirit was with us in Chicago!

We were accompanied by the skills and humor of Debbie Asbury and Skip Hedger who walked with us for the next three years, as we developed and then approved the ministry plan and a final integrated plan for the province at our second AOW in St. Louis in 2018.

Now, 10 years on as a province and three years since that AOW, we have sold our first legacy campus, St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi! This amazing feat was made possible by the continued support of our lay colleagues, SSND associates and so many sisters who helped us clean out, relocate and transition. In the midst of letting go so that the new may come, we realize more than ever that, “All God’s works proceed slowly…”


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

Gratitude for 10 years


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