Structure of the cong

The School Sisters of Notre Dame is an international congregation of more than 2,000 women religious in 30 countries. Their mission, to deepen communion with God and among all people, is lived out in ministries focused on education. They educate with a world vision believing that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons. The congregation, founded on October 24, 1833, by Blessed M. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger in Bavaria, Germany.

To enable us as a faith community to respond to God and to minister effectively, we establish governmental structures that free us for the ways of the Spirit. Our government flows from and animates our shared life and mission.

Our governmental structures at the local, provincial, and international levels provide for the participation of each member and for the exercise of authority.

We share Mother Theresa’s conviction that for our congregation central government strengthens us in our proclamation of the good news and is indispensable for fostering unity.

You Are Sent, Constitution 40, 42, 43

The Generalate

The Generalate

The Generalate is the name given to the house in Rome where the General Council lives and works. There are six sisters on the General Council: the General Superior and five General Councilors. Also living and working at the Generalate are staff who support the work of the General Council, coordinate various congregational offices and maintain the property. This is a multicultural, multilingual community with sisters from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Kenya, Slovenia, and the USA.

Since 2016, the congregational novitiate has also been part of the Generalate building. The novitiate is also multicultural with sisters and novices from Brazil, Ghana, Hungary, Kenya,  Nigeria, and Poland.

General Council

General Council, 2024-2018 Left to right: Irmã Inês Camiran, General Councilor/Vicar; Sestra M. Martina Radež, General Councilor; Sister Roxanne Schares, General Superior;  Sister Julianne Lattner, General Councilor; Sister Carolyn Anyega, General Councilor

General Council, 2018-2024 Left to right: Irmã Inês Camiran, General Councilor/Vicar; Sestra M. Martina Radež, General Councilor; Sister Roxanne Schares, General Superior; Sister Carolyn Anyega, General Councilor; Sister Julianne Lattner, General Councilor; Sister Kathleen Storms, General Councilor.

Sister Roxanne Schares was elected general superior at the chapter. She will work with a team of four elected general councilors: Sister Inês Camiran, general councilor/vicar; Sister Carolyn Anyega, general councilor; Sister Julianne Lattner, general councilor; and Sister M. Martina Radež, general councilor; and Sister Kathleen Storms, general councilor.

The  general council members began their six-year term when they were installed on 20 January 2018, at the Generalate in Rome, Italy.

Sister Roxanne Schares, general superior, will be the 12th successor to Blessed M. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, the foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Before her election Sister Roxanne lived in Nairobi, Kenya, and served as the temporary professed director for the Province of Africa which includes The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. Previously, Sister Roxanne was novice director for seven years; worked with the Jesuit Refugee Services in Africa for 10 years; and served as the International Shalom Coordinator (2007-2015) in Rome, Italy. Sister Roxanne entered the congregation in Mankato, Minnesota, USA, and was professed in 1972. She was missioned to Kenya in 1982 and is now a member of the Province of Africa.

Sister Inês Camiran, is a general councilor/vicar is a native of Brazil. This is her second term as a general councilor and also now serve as vicar. Previously she was provincial leader of the former São Paulo Province, and worked as a teacher and in the formation of postulants. She was professed in 1985 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Sister Carolyn Anyega, general councilor, was headmistress of Notre Dame Senior Secondary School and lived in Sunyani, Ghana. She is a native of Kenya and has served in Ghana since 2005, when she was missioned to form community with the sisters in Sunyani and teach at the secondary school. Previously she taught in schools and served as headmistress in both East and West Africa; worked as vocation director and in the formation of postulants; and served as temporary professed director. She was professed in 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa.

Sister Julianne Lattner, general councilor, served as a facilitator working with religious community groups and returning missionary groups in Canada. She has served as temporary professed director in the Province of Africa; as postulant director in Kenya; and as novice director for the former Interprovincial Novitiate in the United States. As a provincial councilor of the former Canadian Province, her leadership role took her to Bolivia, Peru, and England. She was professed in 1966 in Canada.

Sister Kathleen Storms, general councilor, was director of Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat Center in Wheatland, Iowa, USA, before her election. Her previous assignments included elementary and secondary education; novitiate director of the former Mankato Province; director of the Office of Vocations Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota; co-director of the SSND Center for Earth Spirituality in Mankato; and member of the Provincial Council of the former Mankato Province. She made her initial profession in 1966.

Sister M. Martina Radež, general councilor is a native of Slovenia. Prior to her election, she served as local leader of the community at Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia, as well as working in the Mother Theresa Retreat Center in Ilirska Bistrica. Previously, she served on the provincial council for three terms and in the formation of candidates, postulants, and junior sisters. She was a novice in the Bavarian Province and professed her first vows in 1980 in Munich, Germany.

Future Direction of the Congregation

The directional statement was the result of a congregation-wide consultation before the Chapter and intense dialogue and prayerful reflection during the Chapter. It is shared on the congregational website in the languages of the different provinces . The general council leads the congregation in implementing the Spirit-inspired direction set by the Chapter members.

“This Chapter and our directional statement for the future have been an act of love, a love that gives everything, gladly and gratefully,” Sister Roxanne said. “In that spirit, in the spirit of our Foundress Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are committed with the entire congregation to follow the direction that God has given us and live into the future what this directional statement and these Acts of the Chapter call us to be and to do – out of love that gives everything.”

The Generalate Staff

Members of the Generalate Community

The generalate staff  majority of whom live at the generalate, helps facilitate the work of the General Council as they seek to implement the directional statement and acts of the general chapter through specific roles.  Like all SSNDs, the sisters who live in Rome, form a faith community that gathers for prayer, faith sharing, and times of celebration and relaxation. Positions include House Coordinator, General Treasurer, General Secretary, Congregational Communications Coordinator,  Secretary to the General Council, Food Service and Refectorian, Sacristan-Laundress, and International Shalom Coordinator and UN-NGO who resides in New York, USA.

Learn about the Congregational Novitiate

Location:  Via della Stazione Aurelia, 95  – 00165  Roma, Italia
Tel.  + 39 06-6652-01
Click here for directions

Provinces

We are organized into 10 administrative units called “Provinces”:

  • Province of Africa (AF)
  • Atlantic-Midwest Province (AM)
  • Central Pacific Province (CP)
  • Province of Latin America and the Caribbean (ALC)
  • Bavarian Province (BY)
  • Hungarian Province (MG)
  • Province of Austria-Italy (ÖR-IT) includes Czechoslovakian Province (CE)
  • Polish Province (PO)
  • Slovenian Province (SI)
Learn more about the provinces

Unity

“Many things have changed in the history of our congregation, but neither political revolutions, persecution and suppression, nor radical social, philosophical, or theological developments have been able to destroy our unity. … Over the years we have become diversified in our externals and lifestyles, yet remain united in the essential of our religious life. The fact that the diversity in dress, name, lifestyle, and traditions does not separate us reflects the vitality of our spirituality.” (Mirroring Our Charism, 2007)