The Ministry Formation Program

The Ministry Formation Program is designed to educate and support lay leaders co-ministering with the School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Atlantic-Midwest Province.

Participants will learn about SSND's unfolding charism, mission and education vision and explore ways to integrate these into their ministry in SSND sponsored ministries, province departments and continuum of care centers.

They will also meet with others who work in similar SSND ministries and opportunities to nurture their own spiritual lives.

The program serves:

  • Board chairs, administrators, and other selected leaders of SSND sponsored ministries;
  • Province department directors;
  • Administrators of SSND continuum of care centers

Components of the Program:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • "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


  • March 6-7, 2020
    • Ministry Formation Session at Villa Assumpta, Baltimore, MD
  • October 23-24
    • Ministry Formation Session at Villa Notre Dame, Wilton, CT

Upcoming Retreat

  • Proclaiming the Fire Within  - June 22-24, 2020
    • Prerequisite: Claiming the Fire Within

Click to open PDF on Ministry Formation Sessions and Retreats

For more information, please contact:

Ministry Formation Sessions began its third cycle in October 2018

For the first time since the inception of the sessions in 2014, lay campus ministers were included, to strengthen the relationship between their ministry leadership and the SSND component on campus. Other participants hold a leadership role in a province department, in healthcare administration for a province facility, as a board chair, as executive director and program director, and as an assistant head of school for academics.

Claiming the Fire Within Retreat - 2017

Retreat participants

Malvern Retreat Center in Pennsylvania was the site of the fifth biennial Ministry Formation Retreat, held in June. Titled “Claiming the Fire Within,” 20 participants, men and women across the province and associated with SSND sponsored and co-sponsored ministries, continuum of care centers and province staff gathered to pray together, share in small groups and listen to insightful presentations.