Discovering a call to a particular life commitment takes time. It requires honesty with ourselves about our gifts and talents, inclinations and deepest desires. The more we get to know ourselves, the better we are at detecting God’s movement within our hearts.
As Jesus was sent to show God’s love to the world, School Sisters of Notre Dame are sent to make Christ, to make God, visible by our very being, by sharing our love, faith and hope.
Today, sisters of the Atlantic-Midwest Province minister in and out of formal educational settings in over 30 Dioceses across North America and in England. Our roles include teachers, administrators, librarians, lawyers and accountants. We are also nurses, facilitators and therapists, pastoral and parish ministers, volunteers and women of prayer.
Our sisters work in many places that serve people who are poor and marginalized, helping them further their education, find employment, or provide nutritious food for themselves and their families. We recognize that education of the whole person does not stop when the person finishes formal schooling. Responding to the needs of ever-changing dynamics in our global society, today’s sisters in the Atlantic-Midwest Province bring the unity of Christ’s love to our broken world in a variety of ways.
Am I being Called?
Here are a few questions that might be helpful:
- When do I feel most alive?
- What are my strengths?
- How do I relate to others, young and old?
- What are my leadership abilities?
- Why do I enjoy learning?
- How can I best be a loving person?
- How can I best use my gifts to serve God and other people?
What is the discernment process?
The process of making a decision about your life with the help of the Holy Spirit is called "discernment." It is a process of discovering God's will for you
Is it hard not being married and having your own children?
Sometimes people have the idea that sisters are lonely or sad. That isn’t true at all. Our lives are filled with love, and we have close friends, family members and other SSNDs to support us and care about us. So it’s not like we feel that we have “missed out” on anything. We are happy in our commitment to God and to following Christ. On the other hand, we do realize that we have made a sacrifice in not having our own families. Yet because it is God who calls us to this lifestyle, we gladly respond to the invitation to give our lives completely and totally to God.
How is prayer a part of a sister's life?
We value an hour or more of personal prayer time each day which is important for us as we continue to deepen our relationship with God. Additionally, we share Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer times with the Sisters we live with in community. We also value the opportunity to join with others in the celebration of Eucharist on a daily basis, if possible. During the rest of our day, we may be busy with our ministry – the work we do which serves the needs of others, or spending our free time doing things which are renewing and relaxing for us.
How long does it take to be a sister?
Our Steps to Becoming a Sister page, explains the process - inquiry, affiliation, postulancy, novitiate, temporary profession and perpetual profession - and estimated ranges of time for each step.
Read about Sister Joan Pikiell's path to becoming a School Sister of Notre Dame.