Living Our Call as SSND: Transformative Education, Part 2 – On the Margins

January 19, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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“As School Sisters of Notre Dame, we further Christ’s mission through our ministry as educators, drawing forth the full potential of others.” (from You Are Sent, the SSND Constitution, GD 31).

Women ages 18-45 are invited to this second of a three-part series about our call as educators and the educational vision that frames it. Part 2 will focus on our SSND educational vision as it relates to ministries with and among those who are poor and marginalized. Read about the presenters.

This online event will begin Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT / 5 p.m. PT. 

Registration for this event is now closed. If you have questions, please contact


>>PDF flyer
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About the presenters:

Sister Joan Penzenstadler was born and raised in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where she met SSND in high school and entered the congregation after graduation.  She was attracted to the sisters’ enthusiasm, encouragement and joy in teaching and learning. From teaching high school French to directing a youth ministry program, to being a theology professor, she has witnessed the transformative power of education. Her doctoral dissertation is titled, “Contemplation as Loving Attentiveness and Receptivity to Mystery and Its Implications for Education.” She is currently Vice President for Mission and Identity at Mount Mary University.


Sister Peg Regan has lived out the beatitudes in three different cultures, starting with her early assignments to Puerto Rico and Chile as a teacher and Community Development leader. She learned a lot from the simple people she worked with and loved. When she returned to the U.S., she continued to work in Hispanic pastoral ministry in parishes in New Jersey which included support to recent immigrants, adult formation, bereavement and bridge-building with the African-American and the European heritage communities. She also spent seven years as a Prison Chaplain in Massachusetts. Peg served as Administrator of our SSND retirement home in Puerto Rico and then, returning Stateside, has focused on teaching ESL and life skills to immigrant women and children primarily at Caroline House in Connecticut, which she continues to do.


Sister Dorothy Zeller attended a SSND school in North Dakota, and entered the community after graduation. She began teaching primary grades in 1965, received a BA in Elementary Education from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee (1972) and an MA in Elementary Administration from St. Thomas University in St. Paul (1983). After teaching just two years in Minnesota, she taught or was principal in Catholic schools in North Dakota, Iowa, Washington and Arizona. Most of these experiences were in rural areas except for the four years in downtown Mesa, Arizona, where she had her first in-depth intercultural experience with the Latino community.  She returned to Minnesota in 2014 to be the director of Good Counsel Learning Center, where both her experience with rural and immigrant communities are needed.


Sister Anne Francioni is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, where she first felt the call to religious life while teaching with SSND at St. Michael Special School, and later while serving as a dormitory mother and director of childcare and nursing at St. Mary Special School in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1980, she received a registered nursing diploma from Touro Infirmary School of Nursing in New Orleans. She then received a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1991 and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Webster University in 1993. In 1997, Sister Anne professed first vows in St. Louis. She has served as a staff nurse at Touro Infirmary and Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Nurses for Newborns, all in St. Louis. In 1999, she founded Whole Kids Outreach in Ellington, Missouri, providing services for pregnant women/teens and families in eleven impoverished counties. She continues to serve as the organization’s executive director.


> Watch the recording of Transformative Education, Part 1: In the Classroom.
> Check back in Spring 2022 for Transformative Education, Part 3: Around the Globe.