This past weekend was a momentous occasion for our founders and sponsors – the Sisters of Notre Dame. After nine years of planning, the sisters have moved to a new national leadership model and on Saturday, July 5, the SND’s installed their new Provincial Government representing SND USA. The event celebrated the unification of the four SND provinces in the United States. It was a moving and grace filled ceremony that reflected the sisters’ charism and commitment to mission.
We congratulate our new Provincial, Sr. Margaret Gorman, and members of her leadership council, including assistant provincial Sr. Shauna Bankemper (past president of NDA). As Sr. Margaret stated in her remarks, “Our journey was never about us – all along we have said we are becoming one for the sake of mission.” SND USA is about that mission and ensuring its future success. Sr. Margaret explained that each of the sisters received a picture to the Annunciation by artist John Swanson. The image portrays Mary as she is standing on a threshold – just as the congregation does at this moment of transition.
As the founders and sponsors of Notre Dame Academy, the SND story is our story and our legacy. That fact does not change. The SND mission has and always will be at the heart of our mission and work at NDA. Since their founding in 1850, the SNDs have continued to meet the needs of the current times and in doing so ensured the relevance and effectiveness of their mission. I know we can all relate to responding to the realities of our times, the sisters have taught us well!
Last but not least, this event marked the final day for Sr. Mary Ethel Parrott as our local provincial of our Covington Province. In this leadership role, Sr. Mary Ethel has served our sisters, our school and our community well for the last six years! In many ways this is a bittersweet moment indeed as significant change always is. Sr. Mary Ethel has been appointed to the new Board of Directors for the National Ministry Corporation – she is one of seven leaders from around the country who will sit on this Board. I am hoping she will also take a much deserved break.
Please join me in congratulating the Sisters of Notre Dame in making this major transition and never wavering from the commitment to their mission to serve others and transform our world. Just as they do for us, let us keep them in our prayers and embrace them today and always with “hearts as wide as the world.”