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Celebrate the 2019 Jubilarians

Join the School Sisters of Notre Dame in honoring the 2019 Jubilarians. This year's theme is "Celebrate the Dance of Divine Love." As the SSND constitution, "You Are Sent," states, “Jubilees are cause for special celebration and provide opportunity for renewal and recommitment. Jubilee calls us to express our gratitude to God and to our Jubilarian sisters for their faithful love which encourages us to greater fidelity.”

Enjoy a Jubilee reflection from a sister from each celebrating year. Learn more about our Jubilarians by selecting their name to read their Jubilee profile. We invite you to also send a shared memory or an eCard to a Jubilarian celebrating in 2019.


80 years - Diamond and Pearl Jubilee

Mary Frederick Keller, SSNDSister Mary Frederick Keller

Sister Mary Frederick retired in 2006 and currently serves in prayer and presence at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Missouri. Words of wisdom: “Eat smart, smile, pray!”

75 years - Gold, Ruby and Diamond Jubilee

Sister Madeleine Sophie WittSister Madeleine Sophie Witt

I have had a happy life beginning with wonderful parents, a brother and three sisters. As a School Sister of Notre Dame, I have been happy wherever I have been asked to go and I am very grateful to God for all His blessings. Being faithful to our vows has been very important to me. Words of wisdom: “Take life a day at a time and make it good.”

70 years - Gold and Ruby Jubilee

Sister Dorothy CherrierSister Dorothy (Mary Roy) Cherrier

My ministry as a School Sister of Notre Dame took many different forms. It began with teaching in the primary grades in two different schools. This was followed by years of teaching in two different high schools. After these teaching experiences, I spent two years as a nursing assistant helping our elderly sisters in our health care center. This was interrupted when my mother became sick, and I was able to spend five years with her until her passing. During that time, I also did some secretarial work in a grade school. Because of my work as a part-time secretary, I was called by the provincial leader to be her secretary for two terms, which totaled eight years. It was there I realized that secretarial work was my true calling. I was excited when I was called to our Generalate, headquarters for our congregation in Rome, to be the secretary for the congregation. This meant living with our sisters from various countries around the world. It was in that experience I came to realize the true meaning of internationality and inter-culturality by living and working with these sisters of different languages and ways of doing things. It was a time of trying many ways to be understood by others and to understand what others were saying and thinking. I had always known that our congregation was international but listening to other sisters speaking different languages and doing things in different ways than what I was used to, made me more conscious of that internationality. It is an experience I have loved and treasured since. It is wonderful to have so many friends from different parts of the world. God was good to let me have this experience. I think back many times to those years in Rome and am most grateful.

60 years - Diamond Jubilee

Sister Mary Celine MatsumotoSister M. Celine Matsumoto

In 1961, as a young professed Japanese sister, I was sent to teach at the newly established Notre Dame Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan. While teaching, I was also a counselor and a moderator of the student government. In this role, I worked closely with the students by providing housing to meet their needs. I was the housemistress for the resident students who came from various parts of Japan to live together with other people for the first time. I also helped them to adjust to an entirely new environment run by American sisters. The students pioneered the new college as their own, and amazingly learned and acquired the spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). As stated in the SSND constitution, “You Are Sent,” “We are educators in all that we are and do” (C, 23). Now the SSND spirit is rooted in the hearts of the alumnae as a strong tie and bond, faithfully kept throughout their life wherever they go and in whatever they do. For 60 years, I have been graced to keep in touch with the graduates in many ways. At present, I was asked by the alumnae association to take part in their activities, such as going to the Marian House. I go there not as a teacher, but as a friend, even as an older sister. We study together and challenge each other in the classes. We listen to their life stories and their daily struggles. We share our joys and sorrows with each other. Going to the classes in Kyoto, Japan, is energy consuming, but in return, I get refreshed energy and encouragement. The graduates are always my pride and joy.

50 years - Golden Jubilee

Sister Janet GregorcichSister Jan Gregorcich

I continue to live in the meaning of being a member of our SSND international/multicultural community. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to minister in Guatemala. Those 12 years prepared me for co-founding Global Partners: Running Waters, Inc. Our mission is to build relationships through collaboration on water, food, health and education projects in Latin America. My time in Guatemala and Honduras introduced me to the people of Latin America, their culture, history, hopes, dreams and struggles. They welcomed me into their communities and now, through my work with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI), I can be a welcoming presence for them. My life with the School Sisters of Notre Dame has strengthened my desire to work in collaboration with others in making God’s love visible.

25 years - Silver Jubilee

Sister Stephanie SpandlSister Stephanie Spandl

It has been my privilege and great blessing over the past 25 years to join my sisters in ministry with and among refugees and immigrants from many countries. I have been deeply moved by their welcoming of me into their homes and hearts. I have been transformed as I witnessed the resilience of the human spirit and the power of God manifested in our presence and relationship with one another, to facilitate healing and reclaim joy. One of my most treasured memories was being asked by a refugee coworker to be with her during the birth of her first child. In the mix of joyful anticipation and anxiety that is common to new mothers, especially in the midst of giving birth in a new country, she was missing the support of her mother who had not yet immigrated. It was my joy and honor to companion her at this sacred time, and was one of the many instances in which I received so much more than I gave.

Meet our 2019 Jubilarians


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