The Ministry Formation Program

The Ministry Formation Program is designed to educate, form 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 educational 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 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;
  • 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

2022 - 2023

  • March 4-5, 2022
    • Ministry Formation Session 4, Virtual
  • October 21 - 22, 2022
    • Ministry Formation Session 1, In-Person or Virtual
  • March 3 - 4, 2023
    • Ministry Formation Session 2, In-Person or Virtual
  • October 20 - 21, 2023
    • Ministry Formation Session 3, In-Person or Virtual

Click to open PDF on Ministry Formation Sessions and Retreats


  • June 28-30, 2022
    • Proclaiming the Fire Within at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia

    For more information, please contact:

  • Yvonne DeBruin, Director Ministry Services,  410-377-7774 x1153
  • Patrick Laorden, Associate Director of Ministry Services,  203-762-4113

The Fire Continues to Burn Brightly

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 presenters and engage in small and large group sharing. There were offline times as well for retreatants to pray, reflect and explore contemplative activities.

A Journey with Common Threads

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, and those with leading roles in development, communications, campus ministry, health care, ministry formation and behavioral health.