Welcome, Pre-Associates and Companions!
As you explore the call to become an associate of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, you and your companion have been reflecting on the text and images in Each One's Journey: Wholly Without Precedent, the pre-associate journal. The suggestions on this page will connect you to resources that will enhance your reflection on the elements of your formation:
- God’s Call - Phase 1
- SSND Heritage - Phase 2
- Mission - Phase 3
- Community - Phase 4
- Additional Resources - Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation
Phase 1 God’s Call
Pope Francis has written an apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. Chapter One, in particular, applies to this phase of pre-associate preparation. Click Here to Read
These articles from The Associate, a publication of NACAR (North American Conference of Associates and Religious) give insight into the particular call to the associate relationship.
- “Call to Holiness” by Rita Woehleke, SSJ (Summer 2017)
- “Let the Call Be Heard” by Joan Chittister, OSB (Spring 2018)
Richard Rohr, OFM, a well-known ecumenical teacher, speaks and writes on prayer and God’s image. You may find the following links helpful.
- “What is Prayer”
- “Your Image of God Creates You”
- “Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation”
If you wish to explore the feminine face of God, you will be intrigued by the following lecture by Sister Joan Chittister.
It’s lengthy, but it’s worth it.
“The Divine Feminine”
For a visual approach to images of God, you may wish to take a look at this video prepared by the Jesuits of South Africa.
Ignatian Spirituality: Images of God
As you reflect on God’s image during this phase, you may be inspired by Karen Drucker’s song, “The Face of God.”
Phase 2 SSND Heritage
Watch Sister Kay O’Connell’s excellent presentations on St. Augustine, St. Peter Fourier and Blessed Alix LeClerc. Click here
Sister Judith Best’s SSND Heritage site, Sturdy Roots provides a wonderful historical overview of the lives and contributions of Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger and Mother Caroline Freiss. http://sturdyroots.org/
Here is a link to a video about the challenges faced by Mother Caroline. It was created by the SSNDs of St. Louis. Click here
We, sisters and associates, are mindful that our charism flows through our founders and all who have come before us. Joyce Johnson Rouse’s song is a favorite.
Standing on the Shoulders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6vZ4CkuZzE
Phase 3 Mission
Father Steve Bevans gave a great presentation on mission at the annual SSND leadership meeting in January. Click here to watch.
Donald Senior, CP, gave the following keynote address to the delegates of the SSND General Chapter in September 2017, on the biblical roots of the SSND mission.
In the this TED Talk , Pope Francis discusses building the future. (Click Here)
The School Sisters of Notre Dame and their associates continue to advance their mission in a variety of ways. The province website provides information and links to current ministries which SSND sponsors and/or in which sisters and associates are active.
“Love Gives Everything” the Directional Statement of the 24th General Chapter can be found here .
To get a sense of the global reach of the SSND mission, go to the international website www.gerhardinger.org
In the Atlantic-Midwest Province, both advocacy for issues of social justice and direct action are central to the mission. The province website provides a variety of informational resources and opportunities of action, among them
- JustAct (current events and contemporary issues in the context of theological reflection and suggestions for action)
- Shalom (SSND’s international justice and peace network)
- Get W.I.T.H. It (weekly updates on the province commitments to Water, Immigration, Trafficking, and Haiti)
- Voter Voice (the province advocacy platform)
- Haiti Webinar provides an update on the Province commitment to Haiti
Concern for the planet is an essential element of the SSND mission. The following links provide an introduction to Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. The first is an animation; the second is the official Vatican video. A link to the text of the encyclical is also provided.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame recognize the importance of growth in the understanding of interculturality. The following video from the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life is helpful in exploring this important concept.
Interculturality: "Diversity is Not Enough"
Blessed Theresa tells us that, “God’s cause is the only concern of our hearts.” Composer David Haas used those words as the refrain of the following hymn.
God’s Cause https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znciKn92j1Y
Phase 4 Community
The School Sisters of Notre Dame are an international congregation. For a sense of the international community, go to www.gerhardinger.org
The SSND call to community flows from our understanding of God as Trinity. Richard Rohr, CP, discusses God as relationship.
In the summer of 2018, Sister Teresa May, CCVI, gave the following address Comunión “En Salida” to the LCWR.
The ancient hymn “Salve Regina” is precious to the School Sisters of Notre Dame, reminding them of their bond in a community dedicated to Mary.
Salve Regina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B91RUv2lI8