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Charism and History The Sisters of Notre Dame Chardon, Ohio Part of CCC’s Rich Legacy 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Charism and History The Sisters of Notre Dame Chardon, Ohio Part of CCC’s Rich Legacy 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charism and History The Sisters of Notre Dame Chardon, Ohio Part of CCC’s Rich Legacy 1

2 Some Questions to Ask: Who is the woman in the Performing Arts courtyard ? Why is she so happy? What do the words,“How good is the good God” mean? At CCC, why do our prayers end with “St. Julie Billiart, pray for us”? How are Friendship and Faith the underlying themes of SND and CCC? 2

3 CCC has an INTERNATIONAL Heritage 3

4 The Sisters of Notre Dame Evolved through the devotion of two female friends in providing a FOUNDRESS of the order Evolved through the devotion of two female friends in providing the SPIRITUAL MOTHER of the order Bottom Line: Through God’s PROVIDENTIAL CARE and DEVOTED FRIENDSHIP, the Sisters of Notre Dame came to be and grew to influence CCC. 4

5 How the Sisters of Notre Dame came to be… Hilligonde Wolbring was born Jan. 9, 1828 in Rotterdam, Holland She was orphaned by age 7 She was taken in by relatives in Westphalia, Germany where she received an excellent education in the tradition of Father Bernard Overberg which stressed: 1. Challenging studies 2. Spiritual development HOW DO YOU SEE THESE AT CCC? 5

6 Father Bernard Overberg Educated TEACHERS in methods far ahead of his time!! 1754–1826 6

7 Father Bernard Overberg “Teacher of Teachers.” TRUE EDUCATION: development of gifts that the loving Creator had given understanding the world and living responsibly in it a genuine centeredness in and union with our loving and provident God teachers must see children as being very precious to God forming children’s minds and hearts is a sacred calling children should be excited about learning and actively involved in their own learning teachers’ primary responsibility was to develop love in the children as the seed of happiness 7

8 Teachers How have teachers… – Developed your sense of academic curiosity so far at CCC? – Helped you to GROW in Faith so far at CCC? – Contributed to your overall happiness so far at CCC? 8

9 Still a teenager, Hilligonde’s enthusiasm was “toned down” by others So inspired by Overberg’s vision of education, she wanted to teach poor children in foreign lands. – Her uncle, Mr. Huesner, told her she should tend to the poor in Germany near her home. 9

10 Still a teenager, Hilligonde’s enthusiasm was “toned down” by others Hilligonde then wanted to open an orphanage in Berlin for unwanted poor children. – Once again, she was told “NO” 10

11 What do we do when others say NO to our enthusiastic IDEAS? Think of those times when your parents, teachers or friends “reel you in” and squashed your excitement. What are some the feelings you had? Has it ever caused you to want to give up? 11

12 Well… Hilligonde didn’t give up! At age 17, she dedicated herself to being the best teacher she could be. She passed the teaching exam cum laude (she was a very smart girl!) But she still wanted to build a home for those children she saw who were unwanted and in need not only of education but LOVE. 12

13 What she got was… A Friend! Elisabeth Kuhling was also a fantastic teacher She listened to Hilligonde’s dream to create a home for abandoned kids and said… Let’s Get ‘er Done! Together, these two dedicated women pitched their idea to the local priest. 13

14 Vocations Father Theodore Elting supported the young women’s plan to establish a shelter for “at risk” kids. He also helped them to see that they both had the calling to become nuns. He brought some Sisters of Notre Dame of Amersfoort, Holland to prepare Elisabeth and Hilligonde to become Sisters of Notre Dame in Coesfeld, Prussia. 14

15 Vocations At this stage of your life, what vocation seems to be attracting you? Will you live out God’s plan – As a religious sister or brother? – As a wife and mother or husband and father? – As an ordained priest or deacon? – As a single person? 15

16 They dedicated themselves to God Oct. 1, 1850 Hilligonde became Sister Maria Aloysia (right) And Elisabeth became Sister Maria Ignatia 16

17 Together, they established the Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld, Prussia (Germany) Their primary purpose was to educate and share God’s providential care with the poor and marginalized children of Germany. They also adopted the spirituality of another “fiery” woman, Julie Billiart, who we’ll meet later on. 17

18 The core belief of the Sisters of ND and the faculty/staff at CCC is that we all are in the Providential Care of a loving God. Providential means in simpler terms that our God gives us what we need to be happy. Those gifts He gives are meant to be shared. Think of one gift that God has given you and how you share that unique talent with others. 18

19 Great Challenges… The Coesfeld Sisters of Notre Dame grew to more than 200 women by 1869! Over 7,000 children (often underprivileged) were being educated. Sister Maria Ignatia (Elisabeth) died of cancer at the age of 47 on November 8, Hilligonde’s friend and support was taken from her. 19 S. Maria Ignatia

20 Think of a time when you lost an important friendship… (not through death as Hilligonde did) … maybe a move, maybe due to an argument or just through growing apart. What do you feel when you lose a friend? How does it affect all the aspects of your life? 20

21 Great Challenges Prussia outlawed Catholic education and religious orders in the early 1870’s Religious oppression led the Sisters to flee to Cleveland, Ohio to work with the poor, sick and immigrants. Hilligonde (Sister Maria Aloysia) “wore so many hats” in Ohio….. 21

22 Sister Maria Aloysia Cared for those who could not care for themselves: – She attended to the Elderly – She provided Love and a Home for neglected or abandoned children – She ran a farm to sell produce – She fostered vocations in other young women – And most of all she PRAYED! She died peacefully in Ohio at 61. Portrait of Hilligonde, Chardon Ohio 22

23 So… Two courageous friends built the legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame These sisters had a presence at CCC until 2009 The Faculty and Staff of CCC keep alive their belief in God’s providential care, service to the poor and quality education to build strong leaders Portrait of Hilligonde & Elisabeth, Chardon, Ohio 23

24 So…where does Julie Billiart fit into all of this ????? Another amazing story of FRIENDSHIP!!! 24

25 Julie The “Smiling Saint” is at the heart of the Sisters of Notre Dame AND CCC! 25

26 Trauma and Miracles Born in France, she had a rough childhood as she watched her siblings die in poverty Helped to care for a crippled brother and blind sister Hardworking dad who could not make ends meet and who dealt with numerous robberies What difficult childhood experiences (if any) have you had to face? How have you dealt with them? 26

27 Trauma and Miracles Even as a little child, Julie firmly believed “How Good is the Good God”!!!! Throughout her youth, she shared the gospel through words and loving actions for those even poorer than her. At 23, bullets riddled her father’s shop where she was helping. The combination of that traumatic event and infection rendered her paralyzed for 22 years. 27

28 Trauma and Miracles From the bed which became her physical prison, the “smiling saint” continued to house the poor and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ amidst the chaos of the French Revolution! Many of her dear friends who were Carmelite Sisters were guillotined Though paralyzed physically, she continued to tend to the needs of the poor and those spiritually oppressed by Napoleon 28

29 Friendship once again brings strength Francoise Blin de Bourdon She was born of nobility but opposed Napoleonic oppression. She barely escaped execution herself! Fran shared Julie’s dreams of educating and protecting the poor. She gave up wealth to serve the poor! 29

30 Another Dynamic Duo Julie and Fran dedicated their lives as Sisters in “We exist only for the poor, only for the poor, absolutely only for the poor” Often carried on a chair, Julie taught, ministered and with Fran, founded the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur. 30

31 Now for the miracle…. At age 53, after 22 years of paralysis, Julie was miraculously cured of the paralysis while praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With her physical strength regained, NOTHING COULD STOP THIS “FIERY” NUN! She and Fran and other educators got the new religious community knowledgeable, strong and ready to change the world! 31

32 Julie parallels St. Paul She was a missionary who traveled to so many different diocese (on horseback). Tirelessly instructing her Sisters, ministering to the poor, writing letters of encouragement to her growing communities! The image of a female St. Paul in a habit! 32

33 As Julie traveled, her heart broke to see the devastation due to the political wars Her heart ached more at the lack of Faith she saw What ways do you try to share your faith with those who deny it? 33

34 Her final burdens Julie was called “The walking Love of God” She educated and taught of Jesus’ love to thousands of children amidst the chaos of the Napoleonic wars Harsh life and criticism from her superiors caused Julie great anguish. It was as if she had too many good things to do in just one lifetime. Her religious community survived and has continued to grow internationally. 34

35 Her final endeavor was to commission her Sisters to form schools where GIRLS (especially the poor) would be educated. What a progressive vision for 1816 when women were powerless! Throughout all of her trials and challenges, Julie never waivered from her belief: “Qu’il est bon, le bon Dieu”: How good is the good God. 35

36 Julie Billiart died at 64 while she was praying the Magnificat. Her final words were “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” She was canonized a Saint in She is the spiritual Mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame. 36

37 So What do we take from these stories of two humble women? 1.God’s providential care: God gave Hilligonde and Julie just what they needed to do His will: guts, determination, vision and grace. 37

38 So What do we take from these stories of two humble women? 2.A supportive friend gives us strength: God gave Elisabeth to Hilligonde and He gave Fran to Julie. Four friends, separated by time and geography, against all odds, created the Sisters of Notre Dame whose influence and charism we feel here at CCC. 38

39 So What do we take from these stories of two humble women? 3. “How good is the good God”: He kindles in us the flames of love and compassion for others. As teachers and students at CCC, it is our job to fan those flames in service to others. 39

40 As a final reflection… 1.Identify one person who needs your friendship. Write how you will show support to them like Elisabeth and Fran. What do they need from you? 2.Identify one GOOD thing that has happened to you since coming to CCC. Write about that experience and how such goodness makes you feel. 3.Identify one goal for yourself for your freshman year. Write specifically what it is (it could be academic, social or athletic) and how you plan to attain that goal. 1.Identify one person who needs your friendship. Write how you will show support to them like Elisabeth and Fran. What do they need from you? 2.Identify one GOOD thing that has happened to you since coming to CCC. Write about that experience and how such goodness makes you feel. 3.Identify one goal for yourself for your freshman year. Write specifically what it is (it could be academic, social or athletic) and how you plan to attain that goal. 40


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