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Urgent Needs: Primary focus for the School Sisters of Notre Dame

When the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province met for the Assembly of the Whole in 2018, Urgent Needs were identified:

Care of Creation and to Embrace Diversity and Struggle for Unity

As the Central Pacific Province, we have discerned the Urgent Needs we are called to address for this time. We commit ourselves personally, communally and provincially to the Care of Creation and to Embrace Diversity and Struggle for Unity.

Care of Creation

Seeing ourselves as one with all of creation and attentive to the ecological crisis facing us at this time we as SSNDs commit ourselves to educate, advocate and act in collaboration with others for the dignity of life and the care of all creation.

Sister Margie Klein, provincial councilor, shared the following about Care of Creation:

“For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies… Lord of all, to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.” These words of praise resound throughout places of worship, particularly at this Thanksgiving time of year, this harvest time.

Sister Mary Beck is picking beans in the garden at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato, Minnesota. One look at the world around us tells us how fragile our planet is, how quickly towering forests can become cinders and ash, how quickly babbling brooks can become flood waters that wash away everything in the way. The choices we make daily – in our use of natural resources, our choice for energy consumption and waste disposal, our consumer mentality that replaces rather than repairs - has marred our earth and endangered all of life. As we move into the future for ourselves and for future generations we are called to stop, reflect, and choose wisely a lifestyle that brings healing to our earth and to all creation. The choices are not easy. They are not convenient at times. But they are the choices we must make for the sake of us all.

Embrace Diversity and Struggle for Unity

Our world does not deal well with diversity and is more and more polarized and divided. We as School Sisters of Notre Dame direct our entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. We believe that as SSNDs we are called to witness prophetically unity in diversity. We are called to expand our understanding and develop skills for intercultural living and call others to respect and honor diversity in our world today.

Sister Christine Garcia, provincial councilor, shared the following about Embrace Diversity and Struggle for Unity:

Diversity is a given. Unity is a choice. When we look across the planet, neighborhoods, diversity is evident: so many different species of plants, animals, types of rock formations, soil and bodies of water…the list goes on and on. Each adds to the beauty of the world. There is beauty in diversity. When we look at human beings we see a diversity in sizes, age, skin types, cultures, faith traditions, political persuasions, gender, etc. Sisters Lucy Nigh and Judy Bourg participated in a 75 mile Migrant Trail Walk in June 2017.  Sister Lucy is holdin gup a crass and name of someone who died on the migrant trail. The diversity in human beings reflects God’s beauty, as well. God’s beauty is and always has been all around us. I like to say that diversity is God’s gift to us. Struggling to overcome prejudices, getting over our own self-centered world-views, reaching out to get to know others, and living for unity is our gift to God. There is a song by Lori True that reminds us everyone is welcome at the table. The chorus I like is: “And God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy!” Living in right relationships, which is justice, celebrates God’s beauty and brings joy to all.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame address Urgent Needs in a variety of ways, including:


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