Sisters Limétèze and Magdalene
Professed August 2010
Final Vows: June 18, 2016
Born and raised in Haiti, Sister Limétèze Pierre-Gilles started thinking about religious life at a very young age.
“I simply wanted to be like the religious women that I had the privilege of witnessing in their action of serving God and God’s people with joy,” Sister Limétèze said. “I wanted to devote and commit my life to the kind of service they were doing in the church and for the children in the community. I wanted to serve like them.”
After joining her family in Florida, Sister Limétèze met SSNDs who were working with homeless men and women. That encounter, combined with her curiosity about a picture she had seen of the SSND foundress with two girls, influenced her to start thinking again about religious life.
“Was it the picture or the ministry of the sisters or was it simply God that first attracted me? God works in mysterious ways,” Sister Limétèze said. "I can only pray like Prophet Jeremiah: 'You have seduced me, God, and I let myself be seduced: you were too strong for me, and you prevailed.'”
As she spoke more to the sisters in Florida, she began another chapter in her journey with God. She experienced SSND ministries, prayer life as a community and activities that helped her to get to know the sisters and congregation.
“God is the first blessing of religious life for God is the one who calls and sends," Sister Limétèze said. "In addition, the vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience that we religious profess are blessings, each one in its own way. They free us for the mission.
"Vows free us to be generous, to share, to live with the awareness that we have nothing of our own, to be in solidarity with the whole creation especially the poor and the marginalized, to become who we are and who we are called to be, to cooperate with the rest of creation especially to keep our planet healthy and livable, and to love in non-possessive and non-exclusive ways for we are one not just with one another but with the whole creation.”
Sister Limétèze currently lives in Baltimore, where she ministers at Mother Seton Academy, an inner-city Catholic school for boys and girls in sixth through eighth grades.
Professed July 2011
Sister Magdalene Akpan attributes her strong Catholic background with providing the incentive to listen and respond to the call to religious life. Growing up in the southern part of Nigeria, she was involved in different groups in her parish, which provided her opportunities to serve and evangelize.
“As a result, there was a growing desire in me to be more,” Sister Magdalene said. “I had a quest for closer union with God, for living with those who have this same desire and also for reaching out in service to God’s people. I believed the desire would be fulfilled in responding to the call to religious life.”
In college, a friend introduced her to the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
“I fell in love with the spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame from the first moment I was introduced to the congregation,” Sister Magdalene said. “I felt a deep resonance with their charism of unity and their ministry of education. Also, the simplicity of the sisters, their joyful and welcoming spirit and their having interest in people were some of the attributes that attracted me during my first meeting with the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
“I have enjoyed the support of sisters in community, which has helped me draw closer to God each day, which in turn has given me the energy to be about the mission of Jesus Christ. Our internationality is also a great gift.”
Sister Magdalene teaches agriculture and business studies in Sister Michaela Girls’ Secondary School in Kenya. She also is co-vocation director in Kenya.