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Prioritizing Care of Creation

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) hold Care of Creation as a main focus in their drive to live out their mission. This focus is accomplished in a variety of ways. The 2021 Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheons will provide the opportunity to educate women on Care of Creation and how prominent women are achieving this goal in their community.

One of the speakers for the St. Louis 2021 Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon is Shannon Hauf, Senior Vice President and Head of Seed Production Innovation for Bayer Crop Science. She grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota and she never forgot her roots. Much of the work she does with Bayer revolves around making sure farmers all around the world have access to the best possible seeds in order to get the best possible harvest. She wants people to understand how important farmers are, “Farmers are great servants of the environment, and they have the most to lose if they don’t take good care of the environment, they won’t have the opportunity to farm next year. It’s really just that simple.” She still plants food and flowers in her own time and gets joy from the experience, “I love to prepare the soil, plant the seed and take care of the crop. I love to see the crop mature. My favorite time of the year is harvest. I love being out in a combine (harvester) seeing what you worked for all year.”

Mount Mary University in Milwaukee has a community garden that three sisters and students tend to.

Another avenue to accomplish the SSND goal of Care of Creation is to put into practice some of the key points in caring for Earth. While sisters and ministries throughout the Central Pacific Province participate in caring for the Earth by recycling, reusing and gardening, one project stands out. Sisters in Milwaukee have created a little community garden on the Mount Mary University campus. This garden is located outside the International House where three SSND live. While this garden has a variety of every day garden plants, there are a few other plants that might be surprising. For example, Sister Millie Oduor, from the Province of Africa, who is living and studying at MMU, plants and harvests chickpeas, commonly found in Africa.

Sister Patricia Rass, who lives and works at the International House, tends to the garden on a regular basis. She shares that the garden has grown “lettuce, peas, green beans, okra, tomatoes, kale, beets, squash, swiss chard and peppers. We have been eating most of the vegetables right after picking. What we have too much of, we cook and freeze or share with others.” When the community garden was initially planted, sisters would not only pick the produce to eat for themselves, but also they would donate produce to a local food pantry.

You may also be interested in:
  • Use this time of the year to reflect on God’s works Earlier this year, Provincial Councilor Sister Anna Marie Reha found herself astounded at God’s vast beauty and endless abundance. Now that it is summertime, a typical time of rest and relaxation and for enjoying all of God’s creation, she finds herself reflecting again on the encyclical Laudato Si.
  • SSND connection with ‘Silent Night’ Most have heard the Christmas Carol, “Silent Night,” but its humble and unexpected beginnings or its connection to the School Sisters of Notre Dame are not widely known.
  • Germany trip creates international connections Notre Dame High School students and their SSND teachers visited the birthplace of the congregation in Germany. The students traveled to Notre Dame sister-schools in Bavaria to meet fellow German students and experience the SSND mission in another culture.

Want to learn more?


School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100



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