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May 2011

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In This Issue
Become an Associate Member
Mission Volunteers
A World of Service
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Associate Member

Associate Lynn Clarkin
Lynne Clarkin of Ipswich, Mass., has been a Notre Dame Associate since the membership program was launched in the U.S. forty years ago.
As an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, you take no formal vows. You live your own life as a professional and/or parent, and you live according to your own means in your own home.
But Associates, like vowed Sisters and Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, join in our Congregation's mission and collective efforts to educate, support and advocate for impoverished people in the world's most abandoned places. This may mean actually traveling to these places or it may mean working on projects in your own neighborhood, parish or community. (One such project is  Pennies for the Missions, which is currently in need of several volunteers.)
In processing applications for Associate membership, we do not discriminate on any basis, including gender. In fact, many couples make the commitment together. All Associates are invited to theological reflections, spiritual discernment programs, pilgrimages and attendance at Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur official meetings. More information.

 

Living in (and out) Your Faith
 "...the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it..."
-- Philippians 1:6               

During her volunteer assignment in Peru, Notre Dame Mission Volunteer Kathleen Fritz discovered that there were many ways to live in (and out) her faith. Kathleen volunteered as a teacher and tutor, formed a children's choir and led a high school Confirmation Program. She also traveled around the country, fell in love with the people of Peru and came face to face with the sacred black llama of Machu Picchu.   

 

In this edition of our e-newsletter, we outline some of the ways you can walk in mission with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur while expanding your world. We offer a variety of service work and learning opportunities to women and men, young and old, married or single. How you choose to live in (and out) your faith is up to you. 

 

Off Key, Out of Synch and Full of Joy! 

Kathleen and kids

Notre Dame Mission Volunteer Kathleen Fritz is surrounded by her fourth and fifth grade choir in Lima, Peru. According to Kathleen, being choir master was no easy task. Along with the students' limited powers of concentration and varying musical talents, their teachers resisted their departure from class for rehearsals. And, she says, "the tiny kid in orange in the front row sold fliers for the free concert as tickets to the event in the local marketplace!" In the end, Kathleen learned to let go of all expectations and was delighted by the students' joyful, if uneven, performance. Read more about Kathleen's experiences in her blog, How Kathleen Met a Llama and Other Adventures.  

Mission Volunteers are Diverse and Dedicated
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., formed a partnership with the federal volunteer agency AmeriCorps in 1995. Since then, opportunities and financial support for both Notre Dame Mission Volunteers and AmeriCorps volunteers have expanded.
Notre Dame AmeriCorps volunteers, who encompass a broad spectrum of ages and stages in life, serve in 23 cities at approximately 150 agencies, schools and organizations. The organization's primary focus is to promote education as the tool to propel impoverished people along the path of human dignity, self-esteem and self-determination. There are both national and international volunteer opportunities. Find out more. 

A World of Service Opportunities  

SNDdeN Volunteer Barry Rowe Assists Student

Every Tuesday evening for the past nine years, Barry Rowe (left) has volunteered to teach English to adult Spanish-speaking students at the Notre Dame Education Center in Lawrence, Mass. Why?
Because, he says, he greatly admires the commitment of these adults to improving their lives.
"They could easily get by speaking only Spanish," said Barry. "But they want to participate and contribute to a much greater degree and they want to create a greater sense of community. Why wouldn't I volunteer to help them? To paraphrase George Herbert Walker Bush, 'there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others.'"
Notre Dame Education Center is currently seeking more volunteers. No experience is necessary; training will be provided.

If you have an idea and desire, please inquire!
You don't need to commit yourself long term or invest years of your life overseas if you want to volunteer with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. All you need do is send us an email, outlining your interests and the metropolitan area or town where you would like to volunteer. We will send your message on to the appropriate mission site director who will then get in touch with you.
According to Sister Barbara-Jean Kubik, associate director of Notre Dame AmeriCorps, two sites currently in need of both short and long term volunteers are located in New Olreans, La., and Apopka, Fla. "Even if you don't want to become an official Notre Dame Mission Volunteer, our mission sites are always in need of other more informal volunteers," she said.