Sturdy Roots

THE SSND FAMILY TREE
The Founding Mothers and Fathers of The School Sisters of Notre Dame

St. Augustine
(354 - August 28, 430)

"One day, after years of interior struggle, a friend introduced Augustine to Athanasius' biography of Anthony of the Desert. Hearing his story angered Augustine so deeply that he retreated into the garden alone and wept on the ground saying, 'How long will I go on saying 'tomorrow and again tomorrow?' Why not now, why not have an end to my uncleanness this very hour?"

Bk. VIII: vi, xii. Confessions .


"Augustine formed a community to be of one heart and one soul in God. Seeing in the Trinity the basis, source and goal of community."

Prologue, You Are Sent , 1986, p.18.


"What drew me closest to my (brothers) was the delight of the laughing and chatting together; of showing our affection for one another by kindly services; of reading together from books that spoke of pleasant things; of joking together amicably; of disputing now and then but without resentment, as one is wont to do with (him)self; of awakening by rare contest the pleasure of being one in mind; of mutually instructing one another; of longing for the absent one, and tasting the joy of (his) return. We loved each other with all our hearts, and these marks of our friendship that were shown in our faces, by our voices, in our eyes and a thousand other ways were among us like ardent flames that fused our souls together and of many made but one."

Augustine, Confessions , Bk. IV, vii, xiii and frontispiece, You Are Sent , 1970, p.28


The emphasis among School Sisters of Notre Dame on conversion, community , and church commitment , especially through education, may be traced to Augustine. Today we realize that his reflective spirit, as evidenced in the Confessions is also a part of this tradition. Our spirituality is built on a deep desire for union with God. "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, Oh God."

Augustine , Confessions , Bk. I, i. p. 3
The SSND Family Tree
The Holy Trinity
St. Anthony of the Desert
St. Augustine
St. Peter Fourier
Blessed Alix LeClerc
Bishop Michael Wittmann
Fr. Francis Sebastian Job
Blessed Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger
Mother Caroline Friess
The Living Coomunity
The SSND Family Tree in Artistic Form

Audio of St. Augustine Confession
Text of Augustine Confession

© Judith Best, SSND - 2010 - School Sisters of Notre Dame
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