Mission Advancement Egram | June 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

To paraphrase the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time to remain the same and a time to adapt.  These pandemic times have shown us the need to embrace change, for it is the only constant in life. We experience transitions in nature, on our spiritual journeys, and in society.  As we have recently shared, the Sisters of Notre Dame will formally unite the four provinces in the United States this Sunday, July 5.

Arriving from Germany on July 4, 1874, the SNDs became one American province (or geographic unit) in the early 1900s. Ministries expanded and separate provinces made it easier to coordinate these efforts. The SNDs came to California in 1924 and became a province in 1961, joining the other provinces of Chardon, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky.

Over the past two decades, increasing collaboration has simplified SND structures and strengthened our response to the evolving needs of the times.  Contemporary means of communication and travel facilitate this coordination.

The SNDs will remain a strong presence in each geographic area, and this restructuring has already created new connections among the 500+ SNDs. While each region will continue its local ministries, this new model is bringing new opportunities for our partnership in mission.

Members of the current leadership team of the California province will therefore conclude their years of service.  Outgoing team members include: 

Sr. Anncarla Costello, provincial (back row, center), recently appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Sr. Rebekah Kennedy, assistant provincial  (back row, right), who will become a member of the SND USA province leadership team.

Sr. Regina Robbins (front row, left), who will become Dean of Mission at La Reina High School & Middle School.

Sr. Valerie Marie Roxburgh (back row, left), continuing her ministry in young adult outreach and vocation discernment.

and me, continuing my service in Mission Advancement for the California SNDs.

It has been our privilege to serve our sisters and all of those entrusted to our care, and we want to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported our endeavors.  Complete information about the new province's leadership team, as well as links to the July 5 ceremonies, will be available on our homepage at www.sndca.org.

Be assured that the Sisters of Notre Dame around the world carry each of you in our hearts and in our prayer.

Blessings always,
Sr. Lisa Megaffin, S.N.D.
Director of Mission Advancement Services 
fostering pastoral service to the people of God

Sr. Anncarla welcomed Sr. Annet Namakula, principal of Notre Dame Nursery School in Mpala, Uganda, to California.
The Sisters of Notre Dame congratulate Sr. Anncarla Costello on her appointment as the chancellor for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, following the retirement of Sr. Elizabeth Galt, B.V.M. The role of the chancellor is to assist with diocesan administration, fostering the pastoral nature of the services provided. As Sr. Anncarla stated in an interview for the Angelus magazine, she is grateful to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez for his trust: "I view this new ministry as a privilege to minister with him, my coworkers at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center and my sisters and brothers in the archdiocese."

In addition to her ministry background in secondary education and congregational leadership, Sr. Anncarla served as the Vicar for Women Religious for the Archdiocese from 2004 to 2011. She also received the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from St. John's Seminary in 2016.  Enjoy our video congratulatory message to Sr. Anncarla!
honoring the next generation of SND witnesses

Special congratulations to the young men and women who recently received the Notre Dame Distinguished Graduate Award.  Sponsored by the SND National Education Office, here are the graduates from local SND sponsored or affiliated schools who:
  • Value their relationship with God and strive to live the Gospel
  • Have worked to their ability and challenged themselves academically
  • Express God's goodness and provident care for all through service and outreach.
Sophia Tross La Reina High School Thousand Oaks
Lauren Gamboa Notre Dame Academy Los Angeles
Ava Hanna Notre Dame Academy Elementary Los Angeles
Viviana Alarcon St. Helen South Gate
Abraham Salas St. Helen South Gate
Christina Gonzalez St. Jude the Apostle Westlake Village
Nicholas Weisbecker St. Jude the Apostle Westlake Village
Tiare Asedo St. Mary Magdalen Camarillo
Omega Flores St. Mary Magdalen Camarillo
Briana Torres St. Pius - St. Matthias Academy Downey

Follow this link to learn more about the Sisters of Notre Dame National Education Office
protecting our community

Responding to the needs of the times, Sr. Domnic Jones, (Los Angeles) and Associate Mary Cathcart (Ventura) have been busy making masks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Sr. Domnic has made over 550:  250 for SNDs, family and friends, the parish and school staff at St. Dominic's in Eagle Rock, essential workers such as postal clerks, and an additional 300 masks for her colleagues at the Los Angeles Archdiocesan offices, where she serves in the marriage tribunal.  Her quilting supplies and materials donated by St. Dominic's parishioners are now protecting hundreds of people.

Mary Cathcart, a regular volunteer with Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, has made 521 masks herself and coordinated a group of Hospital Auxiliary Members to make an additional 611.  Many have gone to family and friends, people who work in grocery stores, her hairdresser, ophthalmologist, and those with significant public contact. She even sent masks to an ICU nurse in New York City working directly with Covid-19 patients, while her Auxiliary volunteers are supplying patients and staff at  clinics run by the hospital system.  The SNDs are grateful to be able to join our traditional prayer for divine protection with these vital necessities.
responding to changing needs

Young adult outreach has been thriving in new ways!  The SND Vocation Team has been involved with Christus Ministries, Firepit Ministries and Young Catholic Professionals (before and during the pandemic).  Many young adult activities have adapted their outreach to respond to the needs of our times. Read more and be energized by the possibilities in this National Catholic Register feature.  

Finding peace through music...  Carol Browning is a long-time SND colleague, pianist and vocalist for special liturgies. Sr. Leanne Hubbard met Carol in 2011 when she was looking for a Quaker to interview for her spirituality research, though it happened that they also had liturgical music in common. A member of the national Liturgical Composers Forum, Carol works within several Catholic circles.  Recently she released her third collection of music through GIA Publications, Inc., Unknown Blessings: Finding God in Worship and the World, featuring Sr. Leanne's artwork on the cover.  They also provide music for the Contemplative Prayer at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Camarillo.  This month Carol participated in  As Music Heals: My Soul Proclaims/Mi EspĀ­iritu Canta, a virtual collaboration of women liturgical artists from around the country.  This venture is a fundraiser for liturgical composers and parish musicians who have experienced pandemic-related unemployment as church schedules were reduced.   

Mark your calendars!  La Reina High School & Middle School is partnering with Manna of the Conejo and Vitalant for a food and blood donation drive on Saturday, July 11 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.   To learn more, follow this link and click on July 11.
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Thank you to our contributors:   Mary Cathcart, Jen Coito, Jay Cooney, Lisa Frederickson, Sr. Leanne Hubbard, Sr. Colette Theobald, and Lisa Stupar