Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have a long history of serving people living in poverty, starting two centuries ago with co-foundresses Julie Billiart and Françoise Blin de Bourdon. Today, Sisters continue that tradition in a variety of ways and in many venues. Here are some of their stories.
Table of Plenty, Half Moon Bay, California
Sr. Jeanette Braun is executive director for this weekly supper for the hungry in the community. "This program is so needed. Too many people in our area don't get enough to eat. We see moms with young children, the elderly and everyone in between."
Casa de la Cultura, Pajaro, California
Sr. Rosa Dolores Rodriquez, Director since 2007, shares that the center deals with the "Poorest of the poor. Everything is free or by donation.. Casa de la Cultura Center is a heart that beats for the farm working community. It is a hospital for the sick, a pantry for the hungry, and a haven to empower the weary."
Maryhouse, Loaves & Fishes, Sacramento, California
Sr. Anne Locke works at Maryhouse, a daytime hospitality shelter in Sacramento serving homeless women and children. When not leading a knitting group at the center, she serves in the dispensary giving out emergency supplies such as coats, toiletries, diapers and formula. She also pinch hits in the hot breakfast program.
Pajaro Valley Shelter, Watsonville, California
Sr. Susan Olson co-founded the Pajaro Valley Shelter in 1984 with Sr. Veronica Wagner. Sr. Susan stepped down as executive director of the shelter but is a vital member of its advisory board.
Training teachers in South Sudan
Sr. Carolyn Buhs is part of the team training new teachers in the struggling nation of South Sudan. Click here to read Sr. Carolyn's updates from South Sudan.
Bringing schools and medical care to rural Nicaraguan communities
Sr. Sandy Price has helped start primary schools, trained teachers and provided health education for leaders in Nicaragua for many years. She has also helped start programs for handicapped children and adult literacy. Click here to watch a video about Sr. Sandy's work.
Providing support and counsel to young Sisters of Notre Dame
Sr. Phyllis Cook is based in Kenya, where she works at a local school. However, her greatest joy and most important role is to give support and counsel to Kenyan Sisters of Notre Dame. When Sr. Phyllis was contemplating returning to the U.S., the Kenyan Sisters pleaded with her to stay, because her experience as a long-time Sister of Notre Dame is an invaluable resource for them.