1. Our name only tells part of the story. We minister in formal education AND we are also spiritual directors, pastoral ministers, youth ministers, artists, companions to prisoners, the homeless, immigrants/refugees, advocates for the marginalized and much more! For us, education means enabling people to reach the fullness of their potential as individuals created in God’s image and assisting them to share their gifts.
2. Our charism (gift of the Holy Spirit) is the striving for UNITY. Unity – not uniformity. Our mission is to proclaim the good news as SSNDs, directing our entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. (John 17:18, 21) Jesus is our model for caring, listening, and reaching out to others – no one is outside our care.
3. Eucharist is the center of our vowed life. Striving for reconciliation and unity wherever we are, we return to the Eucharistic table with a keener awareness of our own sinfulness, of the brokenness of our world, and of the power of Christ’s saving love. We are most truly who we are when we celebrate and live this sacrament of unity.
4. We are an international congregation. Our internationality challenges us to witness to unity in a divided world; to discover unsuspected ways to share what we have, especially with the poor and marginalized, and to search for new channels of service in the universal church. We minister in 30 countries and on 5 continents; our Generalate is in Rome, Italy and we are a Pontifical Institute.
5. We live a communal life. Sharing meals, daily prayer and saying yes to the joys and inevitable tensions of creating and recreating community each day. In our vowed life we find strength in unity and love, security in God’s providence, and direction in God’s will. Mary’s life perfectly models the response to the Spirit, the commitment to Christ, and the total gift of self to God that we strive for in living the spirit of our vows.