Featured donor reflections

Masses of Appreciation took place at four campuses this past fall. It was a time to gather, pray, eat and thank the donors for their contribution throughout the year. During this time, many SSND supporters shared how the sisters made a difference in their life. Read a small sample of some of the feedback:

Sisters and donors gather for a photo during the 2019 Mass of Appreciation at St. Mary of the Pines, Chatawa, Mississippi.“Our family and pets have been blessed to have Chatawa as a place to go when hurricanes hit New Orleans. After Katrina, several families lost everything and had no place to go. The nuns and staff welcomed many needy people. We had three good meals a day, which was a huge task considering there was no electricity for several days. We will never forget the kindness that the nuns showed toward us. We will never forget the beautiful spirit Chatawa possessed.” - Kitty and Ronald Rauch, Chatawa, Mississippi, Area Donor

“Sharing volunteer activities with the sisters has resulted in hours of stimulating my awareness of the sisters' intelligence, persistence, stewardship and dedication to positive goals of education, social responsibility and holiness.” – St. Louis, Area Donor

Two donors enjoy conversation during the 2019 Mass of Appreciation at Notre Dame of Elm Grove in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. “Thank you for all the guidance and teaching that we received over the many years - not only in books, but also how to live and stay close to God in everything we do. My history is from St. Leo's and Messmer.” – Elm Grove, Wisconsin, Area Donor

“I was taught by SSND from kindergarten through high school, graduating in 1953 at St. Frances de Sales School (St. Louis). In my mind, there are no other nuns to compare. They guided me through the years with their wisdom, compassion, knowledge, understanding, patience and humor! They helped me to become the person I am today and I am so grateful to them. Thank you!”- Betty Appelbaum Meier, St. Louis, Area Donor

Sisters and donors sit and prepare for a lunch during the 2019 Mass of Appreciation at Sancta Maria in Ripa in St. Louis. “Both my wife and I went to Catholic grade school and we so appreciate the fact sisters give up their own lives for others. Sister Bernelle is a wonderful example of this.” – Mankato, Minnesota, Area Donor

“Sister Ann Jerome taught our oldest child in grade school. Sister Ann has always been special to us. Very professional, yet with a good ear to listen to what the kids and parents say, and she has a warm and loving heart.” - Janice and Ross Miller, Elm Grove, Wisconsin, Area Donors

“I have ongoing memories. I LOVE BEING ON THE HILL! It started many years ago when I worked at Holy Rosary Church. I would come for meetings and almost instantly, I would feel it; the calm, the peace, the beauty, the serenity. Now I am privileged, once again, to be able to volunteer on the switchboard occasionally. Thank you, School Sisters of Notre Dame!” -Maggie Bennett, Mankato, Minnesota, Area Donor

Sister Irene Dohmen and a donor embrace, saying hello, during the 2019 Mass of Appreciation at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota. “No other place have I felt more welcome and loved than at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi, among the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). We obviously walk on holy ground as we move about there. There is no one memory, as there are so many to treasure in my heart and share as long as I live. The School Sisters have imprinted my heart. When asked to comment, my mind consistently reflects on the many conversations I've had with so many of them. What I always hear between the lines is a message of the foundress, Mother Theresa. She encouraged oneness and bringing Jesus, and so do they. Until their dying day they remain loyal to the mission. Inspiring. As their hairdresser and friend, I enjoy every moment I spend there, always looking forward to the next visit. There I am loved and accepted and I am encouraged to do the same everywhere I go. I always tell them Mondays and Tuesdays are my best days, and they truly are. Before I met the SSND, I used to say, ‘You can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of people you could say are a true friend.’ Now that I have them, I've lost count! What a gift God has given me. And they think I'm doing something for them when I do their hair. If my heart was as big as the love and gratitude I have for them, it would not fit in my chest. I look forward to the Mass of Appreciation. We'll be celebrating the appreciation of each other.” - Debbie and Darrel Anderson, Chatawa, Mississippi, Area Donors

If you have a story, memory or a word of thanks to share, please email missionadv@ssndcp.org or call 262-787-1037.

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