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SSND’s reconnecting with St. Jerome’s University
2017 Feb 8

St. Jerome’s president Katherine Bergman and Provincial Leader Sister Charmaine Krohe at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore

St. Jerome’s president Katherine Bergman and Provincial Leader Sister Charmaine Krohe at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore

The School Sisters of Notre Dame have a long history with St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Canada.

The sisters became involved with university in the 1960’s and established a women’s college. Several sisters also taught and lived on the university campus. Currently no sisters live on the campus but the SSND charism lives on at St. Jerome’s.

“Many of the alumni are women who lived in Notre Dame residence and have a close connection with the sisters,” said St. Jerome’s president and vice chancellor Katherine Bergman.

The university uses a House System, Bergman compared the system to Hogwart’s from Harry Potter. Two of the university houses are named for SSNDs. Taylor House is named for Sister Marie Taylor, the first female chaplain at St. Jerome’s.

“Sister Marie Taylor represented the school sisters when we cut the ribbon on some new buildings,” Bergman said. “She’s like a hero, so I think it’s wonderful for the students, especially for the female students, to have that connection and see role models who aren’t just men.”

Leon House is named for Sister Leon White to commemorate her commitment to empowering women through education. She served as the Dean of Women and spent time as an English professor.

More than 40 sisters received degrees from St. Jerome’s and 31 sisters served at the school in many different roles. S. Celeste Reinhart served as the Dean of Women and Sister Marie Taylor served as the Chaplain.

St. Jerome’s is also home to Notre Dame chapel. The structure is undergoing renovations to relocate it to a bigger space on campus. Bergman said when this project began she wanted the sisters blessing.

“It was important to me to keep them informed about changes we were making on campus,” she said.

She received our blessing and a financial gift to help with the renovations.

“We’re also changing the university crest and wanted the sisters to be a part of that discussion since they’re part of our history and we’re a part of the SSND legacy.”

The renovated Notre Dame Chapel is expected to re-open in early 2018.