Mission Advancement Egram | May 31, 2018
a valiant woman concerned
about the needs of others

Sr. Dwina Marie Towle was welcomed into eternity on May 13 at the age of 80. Born in Santa Monica, Sr. Dwina was the middle child of five children. She attended Notre Dame Academy, cultivating friendships with Sr. Mary Cordelia May and Sr. Mary Giovanne Vidoni who sparked her desire to become an SND.
Sr. Dwina Marie served in various ministries--as an elementary educator and in service to the community-cooking, sewing, nursing and overseeing the maintenance at Notre Dame Center.   Like the valiant woman of the book of Proverbs, she was concerned about the needs of her household.
Of all the assignments Sr. Dwina Marie was given, she especially loved her years managing the sewing department. A sign posted outside her door read, "Welcome! Interruptions are my ministry." She greeted each sister who came to her for assistance with gentle love--which was always evident in her service to the community. Sr. Domnic Jones, who gave the eulogy at her funeral, remembered her with these words, "She remained so calm and patient with everyone, she could always lighten the mood with a joke or a funny story."
In retirement, Sr. Dwina Marie enjoyed puzzles and tending a small patio garden.   When the SNDs created "angel bags" of personal care items for homeless individuals, Sr. Dwina Marie packed the bags with great devotion. Although she suffered from respiratory health issues for the past several years, Sr. Dwina Marie was fully engaged in various province gatherings, most recently over the weekend of April 28 and 29.
In early May, her health declined quickly. She passed peacefully into eternity late in the evening on May 13, which also happened to be Mother's Day, the Feast of the Ascension and the date of St. Julie's beatification.   It seems like all of heaven gathered to welcome her home. Sr. Dwina Marie will be greatly missed and will be remembered as someone who generously used her talents and service for others. May she rest in peace. 
planting seeds for the future  

For the last two years, Sr. Valerie Marie Roxburgh and Sr. Jennifer Marie Zimmerman (shown in the photo to the right) have served young adults at the USC Caruso Catholic Center, with an emphasis on activities that cultivate vocations to religious life. One student documented an alternative spring break immersion trip to New York City (led by Sr. Jen) that engaged young women in service alongside sisters from various religious orders.    Follow this link for a unique video!  We hope you sense the energy and excitement of these women as they explore how God may be calling them. We ask your continued prayers for all young women in discernment and for our sisters whose ministry to young adults plants seeds for the future of our congregation and the Church as a whole!     
student, inspiration, colleague and friend  

The Sisters of Notre Dame offer prayerful good wishes to Bishop-elect Marc Trudeau who will be ordained to the episcopacy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Thursday, June 7.  Our paths have crossed in many ways since the mid-1980's and we thank him for being our partner and inspiration.  The summer edition of Vision & Challenge will highlight  his longstanding connection and partnership with the SNDs-- stay tuned!

In the photo to the left, Bishop-elect Trudeau (as rector of St. John's Seminary) presented a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award to Sr. M. Anncarla Costello. 
telling the good news

Special thanks to Chuck Harley, Gary Tetzlaff, and the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. O'Connell Council (St. Jude's Parish, Westlake Village) for welcoming our team for a Mission Advancement Update.   Our goal was to thank the Knights for their previous support for the SND Life & Ministry Fund and to share the impact that their gifts have made in the community.  We look forward to meeting the Knights of Columbus, Holy Cross Council (Holy Cross Church, Moorpark) in early June for a similar presentation. 

In addition to traditional school and parish religious education programs, the SNDs partner with social service agencies to meet these current needs
- Human trafficking (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking)
- Affordable housing and homelessness (Many Mansions)
- Education and supportive services for immigrant families (South Central LAMP)
- Compassionate and confidential care for the grieving (Stephen Ministry)
Another popular topic is the global impact through the SND mission in Buseesa, Uganda.  

Sr. Kristin Battles, SND Superior General, calls us to "observe the conditions of those in need and ask ourselves in what way our spirit and mission can respond to those needs."  If your parish, service organization, philanthropic group, or community agency is looking for an engaging, informative presentation on how each of us can respond to the pressing needs of our times, please contact the Mission Advancement staff.  We will be honored to design a presentation that fits the interests of your group.

These pre-schoolers at South Central LAMP enjoy a bit of recess!  LAMP will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in the coming months--congratulations to the staff, volunteers and donors who have supported this important journey.  To learn more, be sure to check out the LAMP website.
responding to the needs of the times

Dear Friends,

Since Vatican II ended some 50 years ago, Catholic parishes and religious congregations have responded to the Council's call to respond to the needs of the times.   Now with a 24-hour news cycle, it is virtually impossible to plead ignorance of the needs of our fellow sisters and brothers around the world.  As believers, our outreach and partnerships provide direct assistance to those in need; coupled with that direct assistance are advocacy and leadership efforts.  Perhaps more importantly, though, our outreach provides opportunities for our personal transformation, the change of heart that Christ encouraged throughout the Gospels.  

As we honor the heart of Christ during the month of June, we commit ourselves to embrace all people, just as Christ does in the image above.   We are deeply grateful to each of you--as our spiritual benefactors who keep us in prayer, and to our monetary benefactors.   Your personal sacrifices provide financial resources which enable us, as partners, to respond to the needs of the times, both locally and around the world.  To paraphrase Matthew 25, "when I was in need, you cared for me."   May God bless you abundantly for sharing in our mission...

Blessings always,
Director of Mission Advancement Services   
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Special thanks to our contributors to this egram:  Jen Coito, Sr. M. Domnic Jones, Sarah Marcuse, Lisa Stupar, and Sr. Jennifer Marie Zimmerman