A Relationship Rooted in Cosmic Hope

Who is Mary to School Sisters of Notre Dame?

Family Tree of 1883 in Color
In 1883, celebrating 50 years, the various missions of the congregation were artistically portrayed as a tree in which the central focus was Mary holding Jesus. The roots are coming out of the hearts of Bishop George Michael Wittmann (left), Mother Theresa Gerhardinger (center) and Father Francis Sebastian Job (right). Far left is St. Augustine and far right is St. Peter Fourier. The painter was Josef Kastner from Vienna.

Devotion to Mary has many expressions in the heritage of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Explore some of Mother Theresa Gerhardinger’s love for Mary and discover her favorite shrine, Our Lady of Bavaria, Altoetting.

Mother Caroline Friess, SSND, American foundress, shared Mother Theresa’s love for Mary. In several letters she recounts Mary’s role in her life, in the development of the congregation in North America as well as her importance in educating American children.

As the congregation expanded devotion to Mary became a mosaic of various cultures and images. Enter into the Marian Mosaic and meet Mary in her many disguises.

Mother Almeda Schricker, SSND, General Superior from 1928-1955, prayed often at the shrine of Our Lady of Birkenstein. Her dedication to Mary during World War II was heroic.

Marian images from the Munich Motherhouse and other German statues have inspired many School Sisters of Notre Dame.

The generalate of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Rome is dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church. Become better acquainted with this mysterious title for Mary.

Janet Mikol, SSND, shares reflections on Mary within the School Sisters of Notre Dame, looking at the Augustinian roots and the Canonesses of Notre Dame. This includes the SSND Holy Rule, You Are Sent.

In an excerpt of a video presentation entitled “What are They Saying about Mary?”, Sister Mary Maher explores contemporary research on Mary.

In her work as pastoral coordinator Marie Dolorette Farias, SSND, provides a way to deepen a love for Our Lady of Guadalupe and encourage parish lay leadership.

Sandra Spencer, formerly Sister Philomena, shares a defining moment in her understanding of Mary as she listened to refugee women in Honduras, Central America.

Drawing on current discussions of Mary as the link with the Divine Feminine, Judith Best, SSND, develops a relationship between reclaiming Mary within SSND and healing Mother Earth.

The Symbolism of the Vine and the Branches is significant in the developing spirituality of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, especially as experienced in times of pruning.

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