School Sisters of Notre Dame welcome new associates

Ten new SSND associates made initial covenant at St. Anthony Parish in Effingham March 8. Front row, from left, are Paula Bushur, Kathy Fearday, Ann Hotze, Judy Goeckner and Irene Koester; back row are Sister Christina Frick, Judy Luchtefeld, Sister Jane Marie Hotze, Patti Devall, Dolores Kroeger, Teresa Tegeler, Barbara Tegenkamp, Sister Lois Martens and Sister Jane Boos. Not pictured is Sister Pat Thies.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) welcomed 10 new associates March 8 at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Effingham. Associates are women and men called to live Gospel values within their own vocation in the spirit and vision of Blessed Theresa, foundress of the SSND. Together, associates and sisters continue the mission of Blessed Theresa.

“Through this special relationship as associates, women and men are called to address the divisions in our world with audacity and hope,” said Sister Kathy Schmittgens, Co-Director SSNDCP Associates. “Associates focus on the needs of women, youth and persons who are poor and marginalized. Integral to the gospel commitment is SSND work for justice, peace and integrity of creation.”

These 10 women accepted an invitation to become associates in January 2020, just as the world began to recognize and deal with the pandemic. They prepared with five local SSND despite the many challenges facing all of us in those changing times.

“The sisters and pre-associates met in person and online as everyone adjusted to the new reality,” said Anne Carey, Co-Director SSNDCP Associates. “However, persistence is in their nature.”

“Many of our newest associates have interacted with SSND their entire lives through schools, parishes and community organizations,” said Schmittgens. “Four of the associates have blood sisters who are SSND, including Patti (Emmerich) Devall, Kathy (Boos) Fearday, Ann (Spour) Hotze and Irene (Schmidt) Koester.”

Dozens of SSND call the Effingham/Teutopolis area home. There is a rich SSND legacy, including 67 women from the area becoming SSND. In 2011, SSND celebrated 150 years of continued presence of SSND through continued prayer, presence and ministry.

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