Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Sister Margaret Foley

Sister Margaret Foley entered Notre Dame in the 1950s, after being educated at Notre Dame High School, Clerkhill in Scotland. After initial formation and university, she went back there as a member of staff for twelve happy and busy years. In 1960, Pope John 23rd called the 2nd Vatican Council which transformed the religious and teaching lives of the Sisters. They attended summer schools in the new catechetics; they collaborated with other religious in youth ministry at weekends. It was a wonderful time of energy, new life and new maps.
In the 1970s, after training as a Youth Leader, Sr. Margaret was asked by Archbishop Scanlan to be part of a new Religious Education Team for the diocese as Religious Education Advisor in Secondary Education (12 – 18). She found her work with teachers and chaplains was especially welcomed. From there, she went to the University of Strasbourg in France, to qualify as a specialist in religious education for adults and young adults. The student body in the theology department at Strasbourg was very international and opened up a whole new world of church to her.
By chance in the late 1970s, her Provincial asked her to help in Nigeria for several months. She went fearfully; she lived with Sisters Margaret Birkett and Bernadette Gannon in Uzairue. Sr. Peggy Loftus joined them for some weeks in her new role as Mission Coordinator. It was a wonderful time of friendship and ministry. She learned so much from each of them.
In the 1980s, Sister Mary Daniel Turner entered her life and remained a mentor and close friend. She asked Sr. Margaret to become European Coordinator for the Local Church assemblies. This was a role that expanded her view of the Sisters of Notre Dame at an international gathering.
Sr. Margaret went from Scotland to London; she is still there 30 years later. For over 20 years in London, she worked at the secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in the Department for Education and Formation. As part of this work, she was delegate to the Equipe Européenne de Catechèse. For two periods of four years, she was elected to serve on the Steering Committee of the Equipe. This position gave her an unprecedented oversight of catechetical ministry in Europe – from Holland to Russia, from Norway to Italy. As delegate to the International Forum for Adult Religious Education, she went with Sister Anne Elizabeth McDowell, also a member, to study meetings every two years in England, Canada, USA, India and Thailand.
In 20005, she was asked by the Congregational Leadership Team to be a member of a committee to prepare a feasibility report for the 2008 General Chapter on a proposed Heritage Centre. It was a time of reflection and inspiration. Now in 2010, she is celebrating the year of diamond jubilee in Notre Dame. She ponders deeply interested what vowed life will mean in the 21st century, with new maps.

Sister Margaret Foley entered Notre Dame in the 1950s, after being educated at Notre Dame High School, Clerkhill in Scotland. After initial formation and university, she went back there as a member of staff for twelve happy and busy years. In 1960, Pope John 23rd called the 2nd Vatican Council which transformed the religious and teaching lives of the Sisters. They attended summer schools in the new catechetics; they collaborated with other religious in youth ministry at weekends. It was a wonderful time of energy, new life and new maps.

In the 1970s, after training as a Youth Leader, Sr. Margaret was asked by Archbishop Scanlan to be part of a new Religious Education Team for the diocese as Religious Education Advisor in Secondary Education (12 – 18). She found her work with teachers and chaplains was especially welcomed. From there, she went to the University of Strasbourg in France, to qualify as a specialist in religious education for adults and young adults. The student body in the theology department at Strasbourg was very international and opened up a whole new world of church to her.

By chance in the late 1970s, her Provincial asked her to help in Nigeria for several months. She went fearfully; she lived with Sisters Margaret Birkett and Bernadette Gannon in Uzairue. Sr. Peggy Loftus joined them for some weeks in her new role as Mission Coordinator. It was a wonderful time of friendship and ministry. She learned so much from each of them.

In the 1980s, Sister Mary Daniel Turner entered her life and remained a mentor and close friend. She asked Sr. Margaret to become European Coordinator for the Local Church assemblies. This was a role that expanded her view of the Sisters of Notre Dame at an international gathering.

Sr. Margaret went from Scotland to London; she is still there 30 years later. For over 20 years in London, she worked at the secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in the Department for Education and Formation. As part of this work, she was delegate to the Equipe Européenne de Catechèse. For two periods of four years, she was elected to serve on the Steering Committee of the Equipe. This position gave her an unprecedented oversight of catechetical ministry in Europe – from Holland to Russia, from Norway to Italy. As delegate to the International Forum for Adult Religious Education, she went with Sister Anne Elizabeth McDowell, also a member, to study meetings every two years in England, Canada, USA, India and Thailand.

In 2005, she was asked by the Congregational Leadership Team to be a member of a committee to prepare a feasibility report for the 2008 General Chapter on a proposed Heritage Centre. It was a time of reflection and inspiration. Now in 2016, she ponders deeply what vowed life will mean in the 21st century, with new maps.

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