Sister Jeanette (Marie Pierre) Braun

Reflecting on her sixty-plus years as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Sister Jeanette (Marie Pierre) Braun sees a common thread that has been woven through all of her many ministries. Her loving spirit of welcome was a gift that she received from her parents while growing up with her four brothers. There was always room at the Braun’s table for a lonely neighbor or someone in need, so it’s not surprising that Jeanette’s favorite scriptural passage is: “Continue to love one another… and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)

From the beginning of her teaching ministry, Jeanette created an inviting space of learning for young children. She continued that same spirit as a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Reading Clinic, where she nurtured immigrant students from many different cultures.

Jeanette with her production assistant at Hewlett-Packard's video facility.

Because she had a background in special education, Jeanette was asked to lead a project at Catholic Television Network to build a community of special education teachers from both Catholic and public schools using live, interactive broadcasts. Later, she applied this experience and her creativity and communication skills as a producer at KGO-TV in San Francisco. Her Sunday morning TV program focused on issues of peace and justice.

Marcela (left) was a baby when Jeanette accompanied her family though the asylum process, and Jeanette recently attended her graduation from law school.

In the 1980s, Jeanette became immersed in the Sanctuary movement. Her knowledge of Spanish was an asset as she accompanied individuals and families through the sometimes-agonizing process of gaining political asylum. The bonds made with these people whom she welcomed into her home and supported have endured. During this period, she worked at Hewlett-Packard Company, where she coordinated worldwide training broadcasts via a video network.

Jeanette with the first California-based Notre Dame AmeriCorps members.

Jeanette welcomed the first Notre Dame AmeriCorps volunteers to California during the 1990s to work in San Francisco and Redwood City. Some of the volunteers helped staff Kids in Partnership, a non-profit cross-generational tutoring program that Jeanette directed. Corporate community relations manager and friend Rachael Bertone met her through Kids in Partnership: “Jeanette set the standard with a high-quality program that was not only very effective, but created a loving, enriching environment for all participants. Since then, I've come to know Jeanette's love of beauty in all its forms and her deep capacity for empathy."

A gathering of Notre Dame Associates and Sisters in Carmel.

Hospitality was at the heart of her ministry at the House of Prayer in Carmel, where she helped create a prayerful environment for the community and guests. Jeanette’s artistic gifts frequently grace the Province Center in Belmont where she had an integral part in the selection of the furnishings and decor when it became our new home.

For ten years, Sister Jeanette served as co-coordinator of the Notre Dame Associates, and assisted with their formation, retreats, and activities that put our Associates in touch with the Notre Dame mission around the world.

Jeanette receives a hug from one of her favorite Table of Plenty guests.

Jeanette is now the director of the Table of Plenty, a non-profit organization that provides a weekly supper for the elderly, struggling families and homeless members of the Half Moon Bay Community. As she and volunteer helpers welcome and nourish the many attendees, they live out Jeanette's favorite quote from St. Julie: “Our charity must not be limited by the love we have for one another. We must have hearts as wide as the world.” In March 2022, Sister Jeanette received the Jefferson Award for Public Service for her work at the Table of Plenty.

“Looking back over these 60 years,” she said, “I am most grateful for my family, my Notre Dame Sisters, Associates, and friends who have loved, supported and challenged me. My many ministries have brought me in touch with diverse groups of people who taught and inspired me – some by their courage, faith and joy despite hardships and adversities, others by their compassion and dedication to create a more just community and world.”

She adds that, “While working alongside our Notre Dame AmeriCorps members, our Notre Dame Associates and the many volunteers at the Table of Plenty, I have witnessed tremendous generosity and compassion. This gives me hope and great joy.”

By Sister Yvonne Bondi


  1. Sr. Jeanette is very close to Sainthood! She has always is kind and sensitive to everyone who comes in contact with her. A blessing and inspiration in my life and my angel of guidance on my journey to Association. I am so lucky to call her my friend! God bless her and St. Julie on this incredible occasion! She will always walk in grace filled fields of flowers!
    Therese Curotto

  2. I have not met you personally, Sister Jeanette, but from your short biography, what a wonderful woman of fath, love and talent you are as you have shared your life for 60 years as a Sister of Notre Dame. I wish you many more years of joyful service to God's people!

  3. Sister Jeanette is loving, real and incredibly giving and energetic. She welcomes everybody with an open heart and sometimes an opportunity for a photo to capture a special moment. I love Sister Jeanette because she has taught me through her example to be courageous. God Bless you Sister Jeanette for your heart really has been and is as wide as the world that St. Julie so often spoke of. Happy, Happy 60th anniversary!

  4. Sr. Jeanette is our beloved Director of the TABLE of PLENTY in Half Moon Bay.. Under her leadership and TOP's remarkable all-volunteer team, our ministry has flourished and earned distinction in creating a memorable dining experience, where "loving one another" is the goal 52 weeks a year on Thursday. evenings for our 150 guests. Sr. Jeanette has helped us all live out the reality of "doing together what we couldn't do alone." We are blessed and grateful…

  5. I worked with Sr. Jeanette at HP. I was always amazed how she could apply her ministry with everyone around her. She brought people together in a very positive environment. This was done with a deep respect to the talents of all the people she worked with, bring the best of everyone to the surface. What a blessing it was to work with her.

  6. I remember Sr Jeanette when she and my sisier Linda ( Shenk) Pennington were in High school together at Notre Dame Belmont. Also think she taught at St Charles while I was a student there. My sister had she stayed in the convent, would be celebrating 60 years next year I believe. God had other plans for her. Congratulations on 60 years snd I will celebrate you in person on the 6 th of August along with Sr Barbara Ann my first grade teacher!

  7. Jeanette, it was a joy and an inspiration to work with you in Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. You led us places we would not have traveled. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration.

    1. Hello Sister Judy! I've spoken with Sister Jeanette and read her your message, and she said she finds you pretty inpirational yourself!

      (for the Sisters)

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