Living into Change

Creative Fidelity

The life of the School Sisters of Notre Dame has developed through participative governance. This participation is exercised throughout the congregation and named clearly in the constitution, You Are Sent. It is evident in decision-making as well as general chapters and the election of leaders and their councils.

This segment will focus on some of those elected leaders as well as significant decisions that affected the congregation. Since general chapters involve dialogue, translation, moments of tension and misunderstanding, they are always a time for conversion and renewal. United in Eucharist and the spirit of Mother Theresa there is a desire for creative fidelity among the SSND delegates.

As some congregations of women religious lived into the challenges of Vatican II, the School Sisters of Notre Dame recognized the need for systemic change, not only educating others in basic education but listening to their cries for justice. This led us into a new stance of solidarity, supporting the marginalized, especially women not only within the church but also in the neighborhoods and cities where we served.

Electing a General Superior and her council has been an important responsibility of general chapters. Recall some significant memories in recent elections of General Superiors.

The bonding in sisterhood, the struggles to accept diversity and the reconciliation among delegates blends into transforming moments within the general chapter. The broader perspective often leads to decisions that touch sisters in other ways. A few of those decisions are given within this segment. They include; moving the general headquarters from Munich to Rome, Change of Habit, Jubilee Programs, introduction of an international symbol, the development of our Rule of Life, You Are Sent, the Associate Program for women and men interested in sharing the SSND charism, and a deepening understanding among our SSND Cousins, those who have some connection with Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger. Deepening of the SSND charism and spirituality and reviewing general chapters that have given focus to SSND ministries and community are evidence of creative fidelity to Mother Theresa’s vision. The corporate personality of the School Sisters of Notre Dame offers clues of the DNA shared by members of this international congregation.

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