SSND Associate: Mary Gunning

Mary Gunning(right) and Provincial Leader S. Charmaine Krohe at the Beyond Borders/SSND MOU signing.

Mary Gunning
Baltimore, Maryland
Associate since 2003


“I have a group of women and men that I can come together with for sharing and also for matters around social awareness.”
      -Mary Gunning

Mary Gunning first met School Sisters of Notre Dame in her first grade classroom at St. Pius X in Baltimore. That first introduction led to a life-long relationship.

She attended Notre Dame Preparatory School for high school and then entered the community after college but later left. However, she felt called back to the sisters in 1996 when she became an Associate.

“What it means to me is that I am associated with a group of very powerful women, the sisters and associates who are committed to the charism of unity,” Mary said. “It’s really how I try and live my life, making one with others.”

She added that now more than ever is a time when people need a community they can gather with and depend on.

“I have a group of women and men that I can come together with for sharing and also for matters around social awareness,” she said. After receiving a lifetime of inspiration from the sisters, four years ago Mary decided to take action. She is on the SSND Haiti Committee; Haiti is one of the province’s four commitments.

“I really didn’t know a lot about Haiti, which I’m embarrassed to say but I thought it would be a good way to learn more about what was going on,” Mary said. “So now I co-chair the committee with Sister Limeteze and have been blessed to have had not one but two opportunities to actually go to Haiti.

Over the past four years Mary has not only learned about Haiti but been a part of SSND’s push to help the people of Haiti.

“What I really like about the way SSNDs work is that they don’t say, ‘Ok, this is what we’re going to do to help the people of Haiti’,” Mary said. “The committee actually went to the Haitian people to find out their needs and strengths and find out how we can support what they are doing.”

The School Sisters of Notre Dame are partnering with Beyond Borders to develop initiatives like a teacher-training program to help Haitians in remote areas.

Mary says that being an Associate and getting involved with world issues has allowed her to carry on the SSND charism.       

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