Renewed in Spirit
As educators committed to life-long learning and personal spiritual development, the Extended General Chapter that met in Honduras in 1999 responded to a suggestion from Mary Maher, SSND, to authorize a Theological Development Committee (TDC). SSND theologians met together and with the leadership of Patricia Flynn, SSND, they offered a series of workshops to up-date theology. These workshops were offered in various centers and touched hundreds of sisters, creating bonds of friendship across the congregation. One example shows Mary Maher, SSND sharing current ideas on Mary, the Mother of God. Mary Irving, SSND explores the history of the Theological Development Committee as well as the meaning of Eucharist in the TDC event in 2005, celebrating five years of commitment by members of the TDC.
Earlier in SSND history spirituality was a priority as well as more recently. In 1970 the General Chapter mirrored the renewal spirit exemplified in Vatican II. In this spirit the General Chapter proposed leadership training in post-conciliar spirituality and passed a motion to endorse a center or centers for spiritual development that accord with our charism and that implement post-conciliar spirituality.” (Appendix, YAS, 1970)
Centers for Spiritual Development were established in several Units of the congregation where directed retreats and on-going spiritual direction were offered to sisters, laity and priests. Workshops on the SSND charism encouraged study of SSND heritage. Mother Georgianne Segner was especially eager to deepen a love for our charism and to celebrate such gatherings. Support for local community leaders and education in spiritual direction through internship programs fostered a strong commitment to personal spiritual development. This ministry strengthened students, parishioners, priests and sisters. Currently the Region of Japan continues this ministry through a Center for Spiritual Development on Lake Biwa , near Kyoto.
Many SSNDs have offered reflection days, retreats, and workshops that continue to enrich the spirituality offered to and by School Sisters of Notre Dame.