MESSAGE FROM SISTER RUTH
Blessed are they…Blessed are you…
Do you feel blessed?
During these days when most of us are unable to go about our lives as usual, it might be a little harder to feel that. But the Gospel reading for today calls all of us blessed. Certainly each one of us can find ourselves somewhere in those words…poor in spirit or mourning or meek or hungering and thirsting for righteousness or merciful or clean of heart or peacemakers or maybe even persecuted.
Are you home with children or living with tension because of being confined? You are a peacemaker! Have you forgiven anyone recently? You are merciful! Do you pray for justice in our world? You are thirsting for righteousness! Are you caring for a loved one who is nearing their death or have you lost a loved one during these days? You are mourning!
Now go back to the gospel and read the second part of each statement Jesus made…Yours is the Kingdom of heaven. You will be comforted. You will inherit the land. You will be satisfied. You will be shown mercy. You will see God. You will be called children of God. Wow! If that doesn’t give us hope, I’m not sure what might.
But, if you do need another boost these days, just reread the second reading for today from the first letter of St. John: “Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1John 3: 1) Don’t you just love being called “beloved”? And “children of God”? St. John states these as facts…no maybes or buts involved.
Foundation Day of the School Sisters of Notre Dame
In 1833 Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger began a new congregation in Germany which became known as the School Sisters of Notre Dame. We celebrate our Foundation Day each year on October 24th. Since our congregation ministered here at St. Bernadette Parish from the time the school first opened in 1947, I thought you might like to know a bit more about us now.
Our mission is to proclaim the good news, directing our entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. As Jesus was sent to show God’s love to the world, we are sent to make Christ, to make God, visible by our very being, by sharing our love, faith and hope.
Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger established our mission when she founded School Sisters of Notre Dame in Germany. In 1847, she and Mother Caroline Friess bravely traveled to the United States to educate German immigrants. The Central Pacific Province was created by merging the Milwaukee, Mankato, St. Louis and Dallas provinces into one united province. As of July 2020 there are 842 sisters in this province alone. This province is only one of the 10 provinces. We have about 2,300 sisters ministering in 30 countries around the world.
Currently, School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province live and minister in 25 states, the U.S. territory of Guam, and the countries of Ghana, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Although sisters serve around the world, most reside and serve in or near four main locations: Sancta Maria in Ripa in St. Louis; Notre Dame of Elm Grove in Elm Grove, Wisconsin; Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota; and St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi.
We work to transform the world through education with the belief that education extends beyond the classroom. We serve in a variety of ministries, helping individuals and communities in need. Although many SSNDs started as teachers, God has called many to serve in hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, parishes and agencies addressing social issues…and even St. Bernadette Parish again.