2019-2023 Central Pacific Province provincial council.  First row (1-r): Debra Marie Sciano (Provincial Leader) and Sisters Anna Marie Reha (Vicar)  Back row (l-r): Sisters Lynne Schmidt, Helen Jane Jaeb, Dawn Achs, Mary Kay Brooks and Christine GarciaBack (l-r): Sisters Lynne Schmidt, Helen Jane Jaeb, Dawn Achs, Mary Kay Brooks and Christine Garcia
Front (l-r): Sisters Debra Marie Sciano (Provincial Leader) and Anna Marie Reha (Vicar)

The provincial council is the leadership team of the Central Pacific Province. We prayerfully discern and elect sisters to serve on the council, which provides governance, planning, spiritual guidance and day-to-day leadership of the sisters who make up the province. The current provincial council was installed on June 9, 2019, and will serve until June 2023.

With the provincial council, we will explore how the province can address urgent needs and bring peace, hope and love to the heart of our hurting and divided world.

Sister Debra Marie Sciano
Provincial Leader

Debra Marie Sciano, SSNDSister Debra Marie Sciano, Provincial Leader, previously served as a Provincial Councilor (2001-2005) and Provincial Leader (2005-2011) of the former Milwaukee Province. Sister Debra said, “I look forward to developing a faith community with the provincial council as we serve the needs of the Central Pacific Province, wherever we are needed. I love to connect people in a variety of ways.” SSND drew Sister Debra in with their “caring community spirit, the emphasis on bringing people together as expressed in the mission statement, the various ministries serving many, including those who are underprivileged, the focus on education, and their presence all over the world.”

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Dawn Achs, SSNDSister Dawn Achs hopes to continue to build on what was established during the first eight years of the Central Pacific Province. She wants to encourage sisters to be creative as they look toward the future and to respond to challenges with courage. She said, “I hope to not only be able to grow in my relationship with the sisters of the province, but also with our many collaborators. I believe deeply in how we are enriched and open to new opportunities as we get to know one another.” Born in St. Louis, Sister Dawn entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1968, and professed final vows in 1976.

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Mary Kay Brooks, SSNDSister Mary Kay Brooks has served others using her gifts of teaching high school mathematics in schools in Minnesota and Illinois for over 30 years. Creating an atmosphere of love and acceptance with a touch of humor was important in her math class. The past three years Sister Mary Kay has been working with the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Vocation team accompanying women discerning their vocation and sharing the SSND charism. Being of service to her sisters is a key aspect of her entire being. Sister Mary Kay was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, and made her first profession of vows in 1980 in Mankato, Minnesota.

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Christine Garcia, SSNDSister Christine Garcia is serving her second consecutive term on the provincial council. Her first term started in 2015. Her goals for the next four years are to continue to “communally discern God’s Spirit, who is evolving our SSND charism in response to the needs of the world and in that hope together we will move forward the directives, our call, from the 2018 Assembly of the Whole; all for the love of Christ and his mission in service to God and the world.” Sister Christine was born in San Antonio and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) in Dallas in 1976.

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Helen Jane Jaeb, SSNDAs a member of the provincial council, Sister Helen Jane Jaeb’s goal is to continue to assist the council in moving forward together, to where the School Sisters of Notre (SSND) are called as an international community. She served her first term on the provincial council from 2009-2011 in the former Mankato Province at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota, and from 2011-2015 for the Central Pacific Province. Sister Helen Jane grew up in a small town with SSND. She said, “I’m so grateful that the sisters had been an active part of our community.” With a solid grounding in SSND charism, Sister Helen Jane said, “Of course I was going to be an SSND.”

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Anna Marie Reha, SSNDSister Anna Marie Reha is serving on the Central Pacific Province provincial council for a second consecutive term. “My hope for the next four years is that the province will continue to move forward into the future with great courage as we hold sacred our mission to make one and to promote unity,” she said. Sister Anna Marie was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1979 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota.

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Lynne Schmidt, SSNDSister Lynne Schmidt’s introduction to the School Sisters of Notre Dame came through her elementary years in St. Louis. She is serving her second term as a provincial councilor; her previous term from 2007–2011 was served for the former St. Louis Province. She believes the foundation of each council’s ministry is built on that of the previous council. This new council is called to respond to current needs and to work with the Sisters to “make one” and to bring about the reign of God. Sister Lynne was born in St. Louis and made her final vows in 1970.

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