Mission Advancement Egram | June 27, 2018
energizing Notre Dame Education 

Sr. Jolisa Lazaro of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School in Los Angeles shares ideas with another SND educator.
June 20 through 22 found approximately 150 SND educators gathered at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio for an Education Summit sponsored by the Notre 
Dame Education Office.  

Through prayer, motivational and educational speakers and informal conversations, participants were energized as they discussed practical applications of the educational vision and principles of the SNDs.  Participants included board members, administrators, student services personnel, teachers and other interested individuals.

The summer edition of  Vision & Challenge  will feature even more information about the event.
experiencing hope

A recent Angelus article entitled, "From Foster to Fulbright" featured Elizabeth Wolf, a 2018 college graduate and Fulbright Scholarship recipient who overcame trying experiences in foster care.   As a Fulbright Scholar, she will teach English in Spain's Canary Islands and hopefully, work with refugees. 

Elizabeth attributes her success to the unfailing hope she found in Catholic education, including her junior and senior years of high school at St. Pius X-Matthias Academy in Downey (the SNDs founded St. Matthias High School which eventually merged with Pius X, and have had a presence in all three schools over the years).  We are proud to see that the transformation included in our Educational Vision & Principles lives on, as "We nurture in ourselves and others an ongoing commitment to act with preferential care and love on behalf of those who are poor and marginalized, especially women and children."

Follow this link to read Liz's personal journey of transformation and join us in praising God for the hope that she can now bring to others.
coping with mental health issues

Recently, the Catholic bishops of California wrote a pastoral letter on mental health.  It states, "As pastors and bishops, we are deeply concerned with the heartbreaking prevalence of mental illness in our society and are taking action to address this tragic form of misery and sorrow.  Though not as apparent and familiar as general medical problems, mental illness is equally important and is uniquely challenging and burdensome.  It strikes deep within the human soul, impacting and influencing a person's thoughts, emotions and behaviors; thereby affecting all aspects of a person's life--work and rest, family life and relationships, prayer and one's relationship with God."   Follow this link for the complete text of
Hope and Healing .

With this background, we are pleased to publicize several new ventures.   

SND Associate Leslie Lenko and La Reina alum parent Dr. Ed Jesalva, MD have initiated a mental health ministry in partnership with St. Julie Billiart Parish in Newbury Park. The ministry aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, and provide opportunities for learning about disorders like bipolar, depression, suicide, and most importantly, their treatment. There are plans to begin parenting classes, mental health workshops, and support groups for these various needs. Contact Ed Jesalva, MD at DrJesalva@gmail.com or Leslie Lenko at alwayshopeforyou27@gmail.com for further information.

Recently, immigrant families who participate in activities at South Central LAMP are experiencing great tension and anxiety. According to Diana Pinto, Executive Director, there will be a mental health fair on Saturday, July 14, in partnership with Los Angeles City Council District 9 and other nonprofits.  She stated that this event will provide workshops on anxiety and coping mechanisms and information about other mental health resources. Special thanks to our SND partners at St. Jude's Parish for their support for this event.  For more information on South Central LAMP, follow this link.   
COURTNEY HERDA,           
digital whiz &

As a seventh grader at La Reina High School in 1996, my first impression was that the SNDs were way cooler than I expected.  Imagine my surprise seeing the sisters laughing and having fun, and not being the strict scary persona that I had expected.   I think the SND spirit of joy contributed a great deal to La Reina's community spirit, a spirit that I want my children to have.

appreciating the sacrifices of our SND refugees

Dear Friends,

The fourth of July is just around the corner, and for the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States, this is a special occasion.   As we feel burdened with the current refugee and immigration crises, these situations are reminiscent of SND history.

We had poignant refugee experiences in the early years of our congregation.  By 1874, a decree of the German government terminated the employment of the teaching sisters, virtually banishing them.   This situation was directly influenced by tensions between the German government, other nationalities and the Roman Catholic Church.    While it was painful for the sisters to leave their homeland, students and parishes, they received the grace--as refugees--to be the first SND missionaries for parish schools in the United States.  Today, some 144 years later, the presence and ministries of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States are the fruit of the seeds sown by our German pioneers.  Only God knows the thousands and thousands of lives the congregation has touched.  We thank God for their courage, and in their spirit, we proclaim our solidarity with immigrants and refugees throughout the world.

On a lighter note, according to a favorite community legend, when these German refugee pioneers sailed into New York harbor on July 4, 1874, they saw fireworks lighting up the evening sky.  Unaware of American customs, they thought that this spectacular display was intended to be a special welcome for them!

As we complete this fiscal year, we also offer our profound gratitude to every donor...your sacrifices and contributions enable us to bring hope in our diverse society.   Please be assured of our daily prayerful good wishes.   Thank you!

Blessings always,
Director of Mission Advancement Services   

PS--In celebration of the SND presence in the United States for 144 years, please consider a donation of $144 (or any other amount).  Follow this link   to make an online donation.    Thank you!
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Special thanks to our contributors to this egram:  Jen Coito, Sarah Marcuse, Diana Pinto and Lisa Stupar