Seeds of Hope

Sister Sue VonBank, SSND and Sister Gabriel Mary Spaeth, SSND record assessment data for the Nun Study. height=

The story of the School Sisters of Notre Dame is similar to that of a healthy grapevine. It has taken root in many cultures and climates. The divine "vinedresser" continues to plant the seed in willing hearts, prune those whose love is deep, and call all to abide in unity.

The question is often asked: "Are there newer members entering the School Sisters of Notre Dame?" See for yourself by viewing the chapter titled "International Photo Gallery." Pray for the women pictured there that their courage and desire to follow Christ inspire you to a deeper discipleship.

Moving from the present to the past, explore what Mother Theresa looked for in new members. Within this chapter, you also find a letter relating to how Mother Theresa sympathized with a candidate who was disillusioned by the sisters she met. Reflect on Mother Theresa's realism in this letter to Agnes Finke.

It was a continual heartache for Mother Theresa to lose sisters. Several young sisters died of tuberculosis and other diseases. Often this news came to her via letters. In "Death of Professed," read of her response to the death of a young sister who showed such promise. In it she gives clues to the type of person she hoped would join the School Sisters of Notre Dame or live out this spirit in marriage or as a single person.

Facilitator's directions are available as well as a final prayer. Continue to ask Christ to send laborers into his vineyard "as the harvest is great and the laborers are few." (Ordinary Prayer Book of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, p.38).

Theresa & New Members

Mother Theresa was a good judge of character. As you reflect on this letter to a public official notice her matter-of-fact way of naming characteristics she hoped for in newer members. In her Letter #714, she gives an in-depth view of what she expects of older members of the congregation as well.

Mother Theresa was also a realist and knew the high expectations she had for her young congregation. Consider what was going on in her heart as she tried to encourage a newer member who was facing disillusionment.

Death of Professed

The loss of Sister Ludmilla caused Mother Theresa and the sisters to weep when they read of her death. What made her death so hard for this young community? What was it in her personality that made her such a cherished community member?

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