A special video message
The School Sisters of Notre Dame was founded by Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger in Bavaria on October 24, 1833. To mark this momentous occasion, the congregation celebrates Foundation Day every year on this day. In the 189 years since, sisters have established residences, schools and missions in countries all over the world, working to build community wherever they are, and assisting all to reach the fullness of their potential. In appreciation for all who continue to bring SSND’s message of love and unity to the world, the Atlantic-Midwest Province, Central Pacific Province and Province of Africa joyfully extend this special message to you.
This special publication is produced every year by communications teams from around the congregation. In this issue, we offer reflections of transforming journeys from various parts of the world.
Origin of the blessing
In 1938, School Sisters of Notre Dame of Milwaukee published the book, “Explanation of The Rule,” which details and explains each paragraph of the SSND Holy Rule of 1865. The SSND blessing of students appears in paragraph 184:
Holy Rule. Paragraph 184. With zeal, but with due discretion, they will endeavor to render love for Mary sweet and pleasant to the school children and boarding pupils entrusted to their care, by encouraging them to venerate the most Blessed Virgin and to say the Angelus with love and reverence. Daily at the close of school each Sister says: “My dear children, I commend you to the Holy Ghost through the powerful intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and I entrust you forever to her blessed hands.”
"We must encourage devotion to Mary in others. … If we consider ourselves happy to be her children we will not tire in trying to make others share our joy. This we can do towards our companion Sisters by word and example, and towards others, especially school children whom the Blessed Virgin leads to us. In regard to the children we have a most meritorious work and there in an incredible gain if we have implanted veneration to Mary in a child’s heart. … We can make the Blessed Mother dear to the minds and hearts of the children and teach them to know her virtues, her love, and her power."