There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.  

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

A charism is a gift of the Spirit to be shared in service to the church and world. What is our SSND charism?

In the prologue to our constitution, You Are Sent, we explain our charism by talking about the people who influence what we do and how we do it.

*We, School Sisters of Notre Dame, hold as essential to our constitution, life and mission,

  • Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father, sends us in the power of the Spirit, to proclaim the gospel by our lives;
  • the church, which by its very nature, continues the presence and mission of Christ;
  • the world, which is the concrete situation in which we carry out Christ’s mission;
  • our charism, which gives focus to our life and mission.

Our charism, gift of the Spirit, was embodied in

Blessed Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger …

who longing for the oneness of all in God, grounded the congregation in Eucharist, anchored it in poverty and dedicated it to Mary.

A woman of faith, ever seeking God’s will, she struggled for unity in our international community and responded to urgent needs, preferring the poor and educating with a world vision…

Our charism flows from our spiritual heritage, especially the gifts of …

 St. Augustine,
who formed a community to be of one heart and one soul, seeing in the Trinity the basis,source and goal of all community …

Blessed Alix LeClerc and St. Peter Fourier,
who gave a new direction to religious life, insisting that ministry be integral to the community …

Bishop George Michael Wittmann and Father Francis Sebastian Job,
who held Christian education for girls as their special concern…

Mother Caroline Friess,
who through courageous leadership, adapted the congregation to life on another continent, perceptively reading the signs of the times, risking innovative response to the needs of the new world.

Our charism continues to develop in the living community, which, enriched by the past, enables the congregation to unfold in the present and to be challenged by the future. In a spirit of creative fidelity to Jesus Christ, the church, and our charism, we commit ourselves …to continue the mission of Christ for which we have been consecrated.

Through the power of the Spirit, we carry out this mission particularly through

  • our efforts toward unity
  • our community life
  • our ministry directed toward education
  • our common search for and doing of God’s will.

Mary, Mother of the Church and of our congregation, gently challenges us: Do whatever he tells you. (John 2:5)