"Our charism continues to develop in the LIVING COMMUNITY, which enriched by the past, enables the congregation to unfold in the present and to be challenged by the future." Prologue, You Are Sent, p. 19
Our present Rule ( You Are Sent ) is the result of many years of lived experience and formation within various spiritualities.
It is influenced by Jesuit spirituality, especially through retreats.
There is also a Carmelite influence because of Mother Theresa's love for this tradition as evidenced in her chosen religious name as well as an emphasis on contemplation and Eucharist.
There is a rich Benedictine influence. This was predominant in Bavaria during the lifetime of both Mother Theresa and Mother Caroline. Together on their way to America, Mother Theresa made a special stop at Eichstaedt where Mother Caroline said good-bye to her beloved teachers.
There is a Franciscan sense of poverty in the central place given to our simple lifestyle so that we could be sent to small towns and learn total reliance on a Provident God. It is noteworthy that the Munich Motherhouse was originally a Poor Clare Convent dating back to 1284. In 1803, Napoleon confiscated the convent and used it to employ poor people. In 1843, King Ludwig handed it over to Mother Theresa.
The basic idea of community, however, is founded on the Augustinian Rule of the Canons Regular. This is more fully described in The Spirit of the Constitutions by Father Sebastian Job.
It has also been fostered by a strong desire to serve the Church through education in its broadest sense. This missionary spirit has resulted in School Sisters of Notre Dame serving in more than thirty countries, all following the same Rule and united under one General Superior.
We are grateful for this family tree. It has grown in many climates and given shade and borne the fruit of justice throughout the world. The diversity of new membership can be viewed in "Seeds of Hope."