9 October 2017

Today was a full day. Chapter participants were divided into three groups; each group visited one of three sponsored ministries in Baltimore: Caroline Center and the Institute of Notre Dame (IND); Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP); and Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU). By 8:00am everyone was on the road – in the rain – to their destinations. Today we share information and photos about the visit to Notre Dame Prep. On Wednesday, the focus will be NDMU and on Thursday, IND and Caroline Center.

Notre Dame Prep

Students, faculty and staff at Notre Dame Prep welcomed the visiting Chapter members with a program that included prayer, a campus tour, a luncheon and presentations on SSND mission integration, academic excellence, spiritual growth and social service. The school’s theme for the year, “beauty and simplicity,” evolved from the General Chapter theme, said Sister Patricia McCarron, headmistress of the school.

“Here at Notre Dame Prep, we are rooted in tradition and dedicated to contemporary education,” Sister Patricia said. “What is most important is that our girls embrace the gospel message of serving others and live that gospel message and charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame to make the world a better place. We often say there is a spirt about this place. It is the spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.”

The photos in the photo gallery to the right, are of the visit to Notre Dame Prep.

The Election Process

The Chapter members were back in the aula by 2:30 pm where they reviewed the revisions to the election process that were requested at the Pre-Chapter meeting. After time for discussion and clarification, the Election Process was approved.

Sister Bridget Ehlert, SSL, then reviewed principles for communal discernment in the context of choosing leadership. Here is a brief summary:

  • Readiness or preparation for discernment: In order to hear the voice of the Spirit, certain attitudes are necessary – faith, openness and availability, inner freedom, willingness to experience a conversion of heart, courage.
  • Rhythm of communal discernment: This calls for being attentive both to what is going on inside of you and what you are hearing and sensing from others.
  • Gathering information: It is important that everyone has as much information as possible and the same information.
  • Prior commitment: This is the acceptance in faith that whatever the outcome, each person will believe that this is what God wants for this community at this time.
  • Building consensus: This involves being open to being influenced.

Included in her review was a meditation on freedom. “We express our freedom,” said S. Bridget, “by being aware of the gifts we bring as well as all we need to let go of in order to enter fully into the process.”

Sister Patricia Flynn finished the session by praying the prayer of the chapter for the delegates. Sister Patricia presides over the election of the General Superior and the General Councilors.

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