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Jubilee 2021: faithful to our calling

Jubilee 2021 - In the Name of Love

Join the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) in honoring the 2021 Jubilarians. 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.”

This year’s theme, “In the Name of Love,” is based on a song by Sister Jennifer Corlett, an Ursuline, and Father Mark Hobson. The song is a reflection of the four seasons, which is also depicted in this year’s Jubilee image.

By Sister Debra M. Sciano, Provincial Leader
Debra Marie Sciano, SSND

Celebrating 40 years professed as a School Sister of Notre Dame (SSND) offers me an opportunity to remember, to give thanks and to recommit myself moving into the future of religious life. It is good for me to share this Year of Jubilee with so many of my sisters, most of whom have been members of our SSND congregation for many more years than I can claim. It is fitting that we can each take time to remember our initial call to be a vowed woman religious and how we felt when we professed to live what we now know as Consecrated Celibacy, Gospel Poverty and Apostolic Obedience, in community. Each of us has been nurtured along the way and transformed by virtue of our spiritual life, education, personal development in community, communal discernment and active response to the urgent needs we have addressed as individuals and corporately within our congregation and in collaboration with others. For these gifts and all the relationships that have been part of the fabric of our lives, we give thanks.

I have been around long enough to know that it was not enough to profess my willingness to love, to share and to serve others as an SSND only once. The first time I professed, I was much younger, filled with dreams and ready to do whatever was needed to make this world a better place. It is only now that I understand we are each called to renew our vows, not only to commemorate a significant anniversary, but also at least on an annual basis. That renewal of vows is for me a chance to reevaluate my life and recall why I was called to be an SSND, why I stay, and how I can bring new energy and passion into the next phase of my journey as a member of this congregation, which is really our journey together. I understand I stand on the shoulders of those who went before me.

I completely believe that we, and our mission as SSND, are needed in this world today more than ever. As we begin a new year full of promise and remember the challenges of the past year, I am certain we will not take lightly those words we normally wish to others during this Christmas season - health, prosperity, joy, peace and love. May we each be faithful to our calling in life and share in the SSND mission to bring all to that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent, for we, too, are sent to bring justice, healing, unity and love to a world that is longing for wholeness, the care and dignity of all God’s magnificent creation, and true peace among us.

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