Ministry Formation Program

The Ministry Formation Program is designed to
educate, form, and support lay leaders
partnering in mission with the School Sisters
of Notre Dame of the Atlantic-Midwest Province.

The Program

Participants will engage SSND's history and heritage, mission and educational vision and the unfolding charism as laid out in the General Chapter directional statement and province commitments flowing from that. They will explore ways to integrate these into their ministry in SSND sponsored ministries and province departments.

The MFP offers opportunity to meet and network with others who work in similar SSND ministry and will have opportunities to nurture their own spiritual lives.

The program serves:

  • Board chairs, administrators, and other selected leaders of SSND sponsored ministries;
  • Province department directors and other selected leaders sharing the SSND charism in particular ways.

Components of the Program

  • Ministry Formation Sessions

    • Together with others in key leadership positions, participants learn more about SSND charism and culture, Catholic social teaching, justice and peace, and spirituality and prayer.
  • One-on-One Mentoring

    • Leaders are able to meet one-on-one with a member of the Ministry Services team to explore SSND values, charism, mission and educational vision and how they apply in their places of ministry
  • "Claiming the Fire Within" Retreat

    • This time is dedicated to deepening SSND themes, communal prayer, quiet reflection, and small-group sharing.
  • Heritage Pilgrimage

    • Visits to significant SSND sites in Bavaria, Vienna, and Rome and meetings with sisters in their places of ministry, provides the pilgrim with a unique, first-hand perspective of SSND's foundations, internationality and ministries.

Upcoming Sessions and Retreats

2024 - 2026

  • October 18-19, 2024
    • Ministry Formation Session 1, In-Person; Dates to be Confirmed
  • March 7-8, 2025
    • Ministry Formation Session 2, In-Person; Dates to be Confirmed
  • October 17-18, 2025
    • Ministry Formation Session 3, In-Person; Dates to be Confirmed
  • March 6-7, 2026
    • Ministry Formation Session 4, In-Person; Dates to be Confirmed

Click to open PDF online Ministry Formation Sessions and Retreats (please use legal paper Click Here to Print)


  • June 25-27, 2024
    • "Sustaining the Fire Within" at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia, PA (attendance at a Claiming the Fire Within retreat is a pre-requisite)
  • June 23-26, 2025
    • "Claiming the Fire Within" at Malvern Retreat House, Malvern, PA

For More Information Contact

Yvonne DeBruin, Director, Ministry Services

Ministry Formation News

Claiming the Fire Within had a different feel this year, rescheduled from last year and taking place virtually due to ongoing safety concerns. Thirteen leaders courageously said “yes” to go on retreat, despite not being able to participate in person. The retreat featured online times to hear...
On March 5th and 6th, Ministry Services offered its second virtual Ministry Formation Session. The group explored St. Augustine’s life and his approach to leadership, the goals of community life, and humility as essential dimensions to leadership.
Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger and quotes
On October 23-24th, the Department of Ministry Services offered its first-ever virtual ministry formation session. Fourteen participants tuned in from Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, New York, Connecticut and Canada.  Participants ranged from executive directors, board chairs, department directors,...