Sisters unite as SND USA

Posted on: July 10, 2020 6:00 pm
Tags: Sndusa,

Sister Shauna Bankemper, left, receives a candle from Sister Michelyn Beckerich during her installation as SND USA Assistant Provincial on July 5, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the in-person ceremony in Chardon, OH was changed to a virtual celebration livestreamed to sisters at their residences.

The Sisters of Notre Dame (SND) reunited their four North American provinces, or administrative units, on July 5, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the in-person ceremony in Chardon, OH was changed to a virtual celebration that was live-streamed to sisters at their residences around the United States.

The new national province includes sisters from Thousand Oaks, California; Covington, Kentucky; Chardon, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio. Chardon, Ohio will serve as the national headquarters for SND USA. 

The congregation’s 500+ sisters nationwide are combining resources and personnel to focus on three broad ministry initiatives:

    1. The education and healthcare institutions founded by the sisters in each geographic area
    2. Ministries serving new needs of people on the margins
    3. Young adult and vocation ministries

The SND USA Leadership Team includes:

  • Sister Margaret Gorman, Provincial, from Chardon, OH;
  • Sister Mary Shauna Bankemper, Assistant Provincial, from Covington, KY;
  • Sister Regina Marie Fisher, Council Member, from Toledo, OH;
  • Sister Patricia Mary Garrahan, Council Member, from Chardon, OH;
  • and Sister Mary Rebekah Kennedy, Council Member, from Thousand Oaks, CA.

“With the ease of communication and travel in the 21st century, it became dramatically apparent that SND-sponsored institutions and ministries could be strengthened if we combined our efforts and resources nationwide into one SND USA province,” explains Sister Margaret, who now serves as the congregation’s provincial throughout the United States. “While sisters in each geographic area will continue their local ministries, the addition of an SND USA model brings renewed enthusiasm, collaboration and outreach opportunities not only with our sisters but also with our lay partners.”

Today, the Sisters of Notre Dame are an international community spanning five continents, 14 time zones, and 17 countries. Sisters of Notre Dame come from all walks of life, at various times of their lives, from different careers, cultures, and collective experiences. Along with ministry expansions in the United States, SND-founded international missions continue to provide services in India, East Africa, and Papua New Guinea.

What sisters are saying about SND USA

"Being part of SND USA means that instead of 80 close friends I now have the potential of 500. With all the meetings in the past few years that we’ve had together each of us has gotten to know many of the sisters from the other three areas. We’ve learned that we all share the same spirit, the same charism, the same foundation, the same customs and the same training. The basic differences have probably more to do with where we live than anything else. We have been one long before we became one. But it is still a wonderful feeling!" ~Sister Mary Patrycia Sweeney

"I think we are all trying to figure out how this will evolve. But the planning committee sent us various opportunities to zoom and that has been wonderful. As we meet Sisters personally, the SND USA, which seemed so big, appears to get smaller and more intimate." ~Sister Maria Francine Stacy

"I’m still observing and absorbing its significance. I see SND USA as a possibility of expanding our vision and influence." ~Sister Nance Hehman


"To be a SND USA sister now means to renew my basic commitment to bring the goodness and love of God to others in whatever ways I am able to do so. As time goes on, I imagine that new opportunities will become available to do this that we can't envision now!" ~Sister Judith Marie Hagen


"Being a member of SND USA will give me an opportunity to know sisters that are not in my area. I will also be more aware of the different ministries the sisters in the whole United States are engaged in. When we have a special intention to pray for, the whole community of SND USA will join in prayer." ~Sister Ann Marie Pflum


"To be a SND means a lot and is important to me, it’s the call I received. It’s life-giving and an expression of my relation to God. To be in a community of sisters, contemplative in action, makes me aware of ongoing transition. The situation of living in quarantine reminds me of the sisters in Lourdes Hall. They encourage and remind me of the way we are going; from being more active to a more contemplative life and to let go. Like it says in the Suscipe prayer: Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. ...

The love of God let me be a SND USA sister, belonging to a strong community of courageous women. When I feel weak, it gives me strength to think about my sisters, that it is God who is leading, and my responsibility as a member of our community. I feel, even when I am in Sweden without my SND USA sisters, very connected and a part of our caring community. We are sent and we go. Here in Sweden where many people hardly know anything about religion or religious life, it’s good to be an SND and “missioned to incarnate the love of our good and provident God” among the many searching and longing. God shows in every way how good our loving God is. To be an SND USA sister now confirms the courage, hope and faithfulness of our community. We are disciples and follow our call, adjust to the necessities of our time and walk with full confidence into the future." ~Sister Christina Hennig


Date: on September 17, 2020

I thank god for u sisters of snd for coming to Uganda to look after our children we ask u also to built for us a primary school in Entebbe may god provide u with what u want most amen

Sr. Pat Kenney
Date: on September 16, 2020

Great coverage!

Fran, CDP
Date: on September 16, 2020

Wonderful celebration and SND USA looks to be a great opportunity for the future. "See, I am doing something new." Congratulations!

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