A Graced Journey of 190 Years

Sister Roxanne Schares, General Superior

Sister Roxanne Schares

Sister Roxanne Schares, SSND, General Superior

190 years ago, our congregation came to life when Caroline (Blessed M. Theresa of Jesus) Gerhardinger and two other women began a common religious life in Neunburg vorm Wald, Bavaria, Germany.  A journey of love was undertaken, one of discerning and responding to urgent, evolving needs in society.  It became a graced journey that has encircled the globe.

Through a profound experience of God’s love, a love that could not wait to give everything (MT, 1), Blessed Theresa was impelled to make God’s cause the only concern of her heart and address the urgent needs of her times through education. Her spirit inspired others to live this same love commitment: to be deeply inserted in the world, address its basic needs, lay down their lives so others might live, and bring all to one-ness with God (cf. YAS, Foreword, C 33).

These 190 years have been a journey of faith, vision, and courage of more than 20,000 School Sisters of Notre Dame. It has been an experience of the overwhelming love of God, calling forth a bold response of love and fidelity that has touched, shaped, and transformed countless lives around the world even through in-credibly challenging and turbulent periods in history.

This issue of In Mission shares reflections of different moments of this 190-year journey, from its earliest beginnings in Europe to crossing oceans and spanning the continents of North and South America, Asia and Africa. The stories highlight attentiveness to evolving situations, discerning God’s call in the signs of the times, and daring to respond in unsuspected ways to critical global concerns caused by social upheaval, war, and climate change.

Together, Sisters, Associates, and partners in mission are addressing the crises of the times and witnessing to the unconditional, universal love of God. It has been, it is a shared, graced journey of love.