They may live nearly 7,500 miles away in a nation as different as night and day from Chardon, Ohio but the SND Sisters from Uganda fit right into the fabric of life at the Provincial Center. Joyful, full of life, and passionate about their work Sr. Mary Sunday, Sr. Mary Juliet, Sr. Anita Marie and Sr. Violet Marie visited the Chardon Province between visits to Covington, KY and Toledo, OH and en-route to Thousand Oaks, California.
First established in 1995, the Uganda Mission, its Sisters and missionaries operate the St. Julie Model Primary Boarding School for students in grades 3–7 and offer secondary education at Notre Dame Senior Secondary School. A brand new pre-school will in September of 2016 – much to the delight of the staff and families living nearby. The design features a free-standing building with three classrooms, office space, and an outdoor gathering area for assemblies, a play area with a swing set, pit latrines, and an outdoor kitchen. In 2002, the first Ugandan women were accepted as candidates for the Sisters of Notre Dame. They professed first vows in October 2006.
While in Chardon, the Sisters toured the grave of Sr. Marie Aloysia, the founder of the SND community, and the Notre Dame Education Center. They also entertained the Chardon community with lively singing and dancing to music from their native country. We at the National Education Office were delighted to get a chance to meet the Sisters and present them with a few mementoes. As we map out a plan to build strong connections between U.S. and International schools through a new collaborative program with Catholic Relief Services we’ll reach back to the Uganda community and its teachers and students. Technology will bridge the 7,500 mile gap; a shared love of education and witness to God’s goodness and provident care will all but make the distance disappear.