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Blessed Theresa painting with two young students.

This year the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) from the Province of Africa, Atlantic-Midwest Province and Central Pacific Province joined together to create a celebration honoring Blessed M. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, foundress of SSND. May 9 is celebrated as Blessed Theresa’s feast day because it’s the day she was called home to God in 1879, more than 142 years ago. To honor her legacy, a video portraying images of Blessed Theresa from around the world was created across the province.

“As a congregation, every year we find many ways of celebrating our foundress’ death anniversary. We want to share this special celebration with all of our friends, family, colleagues and collaborators across the congregation,” shared Sister Anna Marie Reha, provincial councilor.

Blessed Theresa was a prolific writer and her many letters have been collected and saved. On the occasion of her beatification, November 17, 1985, a daily collection of quotations from Blessed Theresa was published, “Trust and Dare: Words for Each Day.” Sisters were invited to share their favorite Blessed Theresa quotes and her wonderful kernels of wisdom from “Trust and Dare: Words of Each Day.” Throughout the SSND international congregation we have many artistic depictions of our foundress and these have been paired with her words. “May her words inspire us on this feast day,” said Sister Anna Marie.

In celebration of Blessed Theresa, enjoy this video featuring images of Blessed Theresa from around the world. Favorite Blessed Theresa quotes were shared by sisters throughout each of the provinces.

In celebration of Blessed Theresa, enjoy this video featuring images of Blessed Theresa from around the world. Favorite Blessed Theresa quotes were shared by sisters throughout each of the provinces. [Content to explain the video]

In an article about the history of Blessed Theresa’s life, Sister Mary Kay Gosch shared, “On November 16, 1835, Caroline professed her religious vows and was given the name Mary Theresa of Jesus. From the very beginning, young women asked to join her and were deeply influenced by Blessed Theresa’s life of prayer and giving of herself. The young women learned from her how to live as women religious and how to become effective teachers or to provide essential services within the community. Word about the new congregation spread, and Blessed Theresa was soon asked to send communities of two or three sisters to teach girls in smaller communities. The establishment of each new mission in Bavaria, or the first mission in other geographical areas, required permissions from the church and civil authorities, as extensive correspondence and even inspection of the local circumstances had to be conducted before sisters could be sent. Blessed Theresa often accompanied the first sisters to a new mission and continued to support them through correspondence and periodic visits when possible.”

“Herewith I solemnly commend all the sisters to the most Holy Trinity. May God, the Father, care for you all and keep you steadfast and faithful in your holy vocation! May God, the Son, deliver you from all evil of sin; may he be the way you walk, the truth you follow, the life you lead! May the Holy Spirit preserve you in his love and grace! May Mary, the mother of divine grace and mother of our congregation, take you all into her loving, maternal heart and stand by you in life and in death!” 
– Blessed Theresa, Trust and Dare,
May 9


Read more on Blessed Theresa’s life:

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  • SSNDs open doors to Vietnam SSNDs in St. Louis and Mankato have welcomed eight sisters from Vietnam. Four sisters currently studying with SSNDs in St. Louis will soon be making their way to Mankato, Minnesota, to continue with their language studies. They hope to use their new skills to open a Catholic college in Vietnam.
  • ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ These words of Jesus from Matthew 25:35 challenge us, especially as we witness the world in crisis as millions of people are forced to flee their homelands.
  • Photography and prayer Sister Kathleen Storms has found a way to pray and meditate through her photography. Focusing on nature and the colors of the season, her featured work will be the cover of the Eastern Iowa Regional Telephone Directory.

Want to learn more?


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