Associates are lay women and men who live out the mission and spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in their everyday lives. Each associate uses their individual and unique talents to help address changing needs, serving in their local communities and beyond. Read some of their stories to learn more about their work and impact on our world.

Prayer sacks

Sisters and associates in Coolville, Ohio, assemble prayer sacks for the Catholic youth in the area. Ohio and West Virginia — In July, 2015, Associate Cecelia Helmick brought a unique idea to our monthly associate gathering in Coolville, Ohio. She told us about “The Father’s Love Letter”, which is a compilation of about 50 Scripture quotes that are put together as a “love letter” from God. These love letters take the form of prayer sacks. Read more...



Teaching those in need

Men of Burma learning to dress in layers.Wisconsin — As a member of St. Michael parish in Milwaukee, I have had the fortune to volunteer in the English as a second language (ESL) program, teaching English to Karen people from Burma. My SSND companion, Sister Lillia Langreck, previously ran an ESL program at St. Michael helping Hmong, Laotian and Cambodian people when they arrived from refugee camps in the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's. Read more...



Writing and my bus ministry

Associate Mary Heyn of Milwaukee has a unique location for her ministry: on a bus. Wisconsin — To me, mercy means being available to joyfully and humbly serve as needed, which is what I do in my “bus ministry” as I wait at city bus stops and ride city buses in Milwaukee.

I have incorporated my bus ministry with another ministry: bringing Scripture to life by condensing it into readable poetry and publishing it as books. I share these books with those I meet. Read more...



Prayer quilts

A prayer quilt created for the nephew of a fellow associate.California — I am an SSND Associate and a member of the Quilt Club at Guardian Angels Parish in Santee, California. We provide handmade prayer quilts for those who are ill and ask for our prayers.

The prayer quilt is a visible sign that people are praying for the person in need. The layers of the quilt is held together by a long heavy piece of thread, which are tied off by a square knot. When the knot is tied, a prayer is said for the person in need. Read more...



Beekeeping shows mercy and compassion

Beekeeper - Dianne HenkeWisconsin — Most people may not think of beekeeping as an act of mercy. However, if the main reason to care for bees is to help them survive in an increasingly unsafe environment made so by human action, and to refrain from exploiting them for the honey they produce, beekeeping surely represents compassion and mercy. Read more...



Feeding the hungry - Green Hope Gardens

Associates Joan and Wayne Fontaine have been the driving force behind Green Hope Garden in Belpre, OH.  The produce from this garden is given to the local food bank.Ohio and West Virginia — In 2010, during monthly associate meetings, Sisters Mariel Kreuziger and Henrita Gonia and the associates in Ohio and West Virginia reflected on what they might do to feed the hungry, bring comfort to those in need, provide nourishment for the hungry spirit and be good stewards of the land entrusted to us. Read more...



Praying for the living and the dead

Father Chris Gernetzke & Associate Judith GregorWisconsin — I have a leadership position with the Daughters of Isabella in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The Daughters of Isabella organization is the female counterpart of the Knights of Columbus. Both organizations are dedicated to praying for life issues. Read more...



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