Who We Are

Associates of the Sisters of Notre Dame

SND Associates are men and women, married and single, who are called to share in the mission of Jesus Christ through the charism, spirituality, and ministry of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Associates make a non-vowed commitment to serve as partners with the Sisters of Notre Dame and extend the mission in their own lives, family, work, and church communities.

Associate Mission Statement:

Drawn by the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame, we are called by our good and provident God to be a hope-filled presence in the world. 

This relationship deepens our relationship with God through prayer, moves us to solidarity with those who are poor and marginalized, and impels us to radical discipleship.

Become an Associate

Associate Brochure

Associate News

New Associates in 2018

In the fall of 2017, seven women from the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati entered into a formation period on their journey toward becoming Notre Dame Associates in the Covington Province. During this time of formation, the Candidates joined together with Sisters and Associates to experience a fuller appreciation of Notre Dame history, spirituality, charism, and ministry. These Candidates made their covenant as Notre Dame Associates on April 8, 2018. Congratulations and welcome! 

Jane Simpson Bratton

Jane is a wife, a mother, and a member of  St. Joseph Parish, Cold Spring, KY. She holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in English and is currently Manager of International Student Admissions at NKU. Jane is passionate about caring for the elderly, infirm, and dying, having had first-had experience with members of her own family and as a hospice volunteer.  She is also passionate about current issues regarding immigration. Jane hopes that as an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame, she can evolve to become the seed that falls on rich soil in order to grow and produce much fruit. Jane’s companion for the year of formation is Associate Joyce Giancola. 

Connie Conrad Ehrnschwender

Connie’s claim to fame on this side of the Ohio River is having our dear Sister Mary Rosetta Conrad as her aunt.  On the northern shore of the Ohio, Connie teaches third grade PREP, gives guitar lessons, directs both a children’s choir and a contemporary group for weekend Masses, and leads the music at weekly school Masses for Queen of Peace Elementary School. Connie and her husband, Jeff, are a facilitating couple in FOCCUS marriage preparation.  Connie and Jeff have five children and three grandchildren. Connie says, “To love another person is to see the Face of God.” During the year of formation, Connie will be companioned by Associate Leah Britt. Connie’s husband, Jeff, and Leah’s husband, Tim, met while studying to become Deacons for their respective dioceses.

Sharon Stahl Harris

Sharon is a daughter, sister, mother, and friend.  She is a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame Academy and currently teaches at Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati, OH. She attributes much of her sense of justice, peace, and optimism to what she learned from the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sharon believes that Association will give her the “connection” she desires at this stage of her life. Sharon also wants to become more involved in social justice issues and believes that being an Associate will provide her with an avenue to that end. Sharon has always been a caregiver in her family and can easily hear God as one singing the following words:  “Trouble me, disturb me with all your cares and your worries. Trouble me on the days when you feel spent. Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back is sturdy and strong?” Sharon says, isn’t this what God does for us, lift us up and relieve our burdens?  Sharon says she is a good listener, can keep a secret, and is contemplative. During this year of formation, Sharon’s companion will be Associate Anna Geoppinger.

Laura Dickman Koehl

Laura and her husband Brian have been married for 33 years and are the parents of 3 sons: Sam, Alex, and Louis. Laura is a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame Academy and currently serves as president of her alma mater. Laura loves her work and feels blessed to be a part of the SND community as a partner in the SND educational mission. Laura says that she has much to be grateful for in her daily life and attributes her many blessings to God’s goodness as shown to her through others. She believes that Association offers an opportunity for her to learn more about the Sisters of Note Dame, to add depth to her own personal experience of the SND charism, and to grow in her relationship with others and with our good God. As an Associate, Laura hopes to join the sisters in making this a better world for others and to be a better emissary for the SND tradition in her current vocation and those opportunities that are yet to come. Laura will be companioned during her year of formation by Sister Mary Janet Stamm.

Mary Beth McGarr

Mary Beth has known the Sisters of Notre Dame since 1961. She is a member of St. Joseph Parish, Cold Spring, KY, and owns her own business, Let It Go Consignment, in Alexandria, KY. Beth says that her business is built on prayer and she even has a prayer board at work where she adds names of persons for whom she prays daily. Beth says that she wishes to deepen her spiritual life and has always admired the Sisters of Notre Dame. Her friends say that Beth is the most loving person that they know and that she will bring lots of love and positive energy to Association. Beth will be companioned by Sister Mary Dennise Wagenlander.   

Judy Ann Hehman Newberry

Judy is a mother of five adult children, grandmother of sixteen, four of whom are in heaven, and a great-grandmother of one. Judy is a member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Fort Thomas, KY. She works full time at Cincinnati Bell as a project manager and statistical analyst in Wireline Operations. Judy’s passion is working with youth and the elderly. She wishes to surround herself with faith-filled friends and share, through her relationship with the Sisters and Associates, in their spirituality, sense of community, family, and love of others. Judy’s companion during this year of formation will be Sister Mary Michelyn Beckerich.

Jennifer Linne O'Gorman

Jennifer and her husband Greg are both graduates of the College of Mt. St. Joseph, where their Christian values were nurtured. They are currently members of St. Barbara Parish in Erlanger, KY, where Jennifer is a Eucharistic Minister.  Jennifer is a caring mother of two small girls and works with pre-school children during the regular school year. In his recommendation for her, Jennifer’s father-in-law wrote:  “Jen is kind and caring in her relationships with family and friends. Her interpersonal skills shine on a daily basis.”

Jennifer is the great-niece of the late Sister Mary Reina Arlinghaus, whom she says was a huge influence in her life. Jennifer believes that life is meant to be lived in community--to share your experiences, to grow in faith, to support one another. Jennifer desires to live out and share her truth, which she believes is at one with the Notre Dame charism.  Jennifer will be companioned during this year of formation by Sister Mary Evelynn Reinke.    

Fast Facts - Covington Associates

Updated April 2018

  • Covington has had formal Association since 2003.
  • As of April 2018, there are 87 Associates at the Covington Province.
  • Covington Associates are located in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Many live in close proximity to the Covington Province.
  • Youngest is 37 years old and most seasoned is 92 years old.
  • Three married couples have made their Associate covenant - Adam and Sherri Feinauer, Jim and Beth Schoettle, Dick and Jeanne-Marie Tapke.
  • Two sets of Associates are biological sisters - Leah Britt/Debbie Turner and Anna Geoppinger/Irene Hasenfratz.
  • Two Associates' sisters are Sisters of Notre Dame - Mary Appel is Sr. Mary Janet Stamm's sister. Rita Hargett is Sr. Mary Michyl Habermehl's sister.
  • These Associates are sisters-in law - Michele Ferguson and Sherri Ferguson; Jan Ferguson and Marilyn Polley.
  • Associates Mary Appel and Ruth Averdick are mother and daughter.
  • Four Associates have volunteered at St. Julie Mission in Uganda - Ruth Averdick, Joanne Kenner, Jeanne-Marie Tapke, Dick Tapke.