SND foundation established in 1807
From 1807 until about 1965, all of our Belgian communities were devoted to the elementary and secondary education of girls, either through day or boarding schools. During the last 40 years, our ministries have become more diverse.
Today, we have over 100 Sisters in Belgium. Our community in Namur, which was founded by St. Julie Billiart, remains our Motherhouse.
Ministries in Belgium
- Congregational Archives and Heritage Sites
- Social Service
- Justice, Peace and Community Action Work
- Pastoral Service
- International Religious Pilgrimages
Ministries in France
The village of Cuvilly, in the French province of Picardy, is the birthplace of our Foundress, St. Julie Billiart. After having been expelled from Amiens in 1809, the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame returned to minister again in northern France in 1953. Another religious congregation, the Soeurs de la Nativité de la Sainte Vièrge (Sisters of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin), serving in Picardy, merged with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDs). At that time, the SNDs returned to France to teach in schools and serve in parishes in Noyon, Orvillers-Sorel and the environs.
Cuvilly Convent, founded in 1985.
The community lives on the same grounds where St Julie's family home and oratory are located. These Sisters minister with the laity in St. Julie Billiart Parish which comprises 25 churches in the region of Picardy.
- Rosary teams
- Communion to sick
- ‘Listening’ to students in Orvillers
- Participation in missionary cooperation
- Group ‘Faith and light’ (families of mentally-challenged children)
- Preparation of baptisms
- Liturgical team
- Group for the celebration of funerals (often without a priest)
- Welcoming pilgrimages
- Community services
SND foundation established in 1845
In 1845, our Sisters came to Penryn in Cornwall and subsequently moved across Britain to the major industrial cities in England and Scotland. The early sisters were instrumental in pioneering the development of education in the early part of the 19th century, working in the heart of cities and industrial towns. The sisters opened a college for teacher training in Liverpool in 1856 and in Glasgow in 1895 – the first of their kind. Initially the work was mainly in schools and colleges of further education.
Responding to the evolving needs in our society, we now work in education in its broadest context, in many areas across Britain. Belonging to the international community of Notre Dame we commit ourselves to living out the message of the Gospel, helping to spread God’s love in our world of today. Everything we have is held in common and we are prepared to go wherever we are needed.
Naming the ministries within the British Province reveals a mere glimpse of their richness and the depth of commitment required. They are underpinned with a wide understanding of life in community, which calls for the adaptation of living patterns to rapidly changing needs. They reveal the riches of apostolic life which can be lived quietly and unobstrusively, traditionally in schools, universities and clinics or innovatively in challenging new ventures.
Many British Sisters are currently living and working in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Nicaragua etc.
Ministries in the United Kingdom
- Social Service
- Pastoral Work
- Work with Refugees
- The Arts
- Apostolate of Prayer
View the catechetical resources of Sr. Joan Mary Brown SNDdeN on her publisher's website.
SND foundation established in 1930
In addition to our Sisters who are on the team that leads the worldwide Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (called the Congregational Leadership Team), there is a second SND community in Rome, Italy. These Sisters live in a convent attached to the Istituto Giulia Billiart, a school in the southeast sector of the City of Rome. The school and convent were established by our Congregation in 1931 with an international community of Sisters from Belgium, Britain, and the United States.
Our Italian Sisters are involved in various forms of education at the school, which enrolls 250 children and features day care, nursery school, kindergarten, and elementary-level programs.
In the 1960s, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur moved the Generalate Offices from Namur, Belgium to Rome, Italy. Since that time, offices for the Congregational Leadership have been located in four different places in Rome and its environs.
Ministries in Italy
- Generalate of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
- Apostolate of Prayer