Category Archives: Associate Events

Simone Campbell, SSS at 2019 September BACAR Presentation

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK was the presenter at BACAR’s 21st Gathering at Notre Dame High School, in Belmont, CA on September 21, 2019. Simone shared her insights on the intersection of faith, contemplation, and doing justice.

Simone reminded the assembled that Prayer is not a private practice, but rather one that impels us into action. She invited us to explore the call to engage this chaotic and painful world.”

Below are pictures from the event.

Associate and Religious Celebrations

Sister Pat Bombard, BVM gave a presentation in Nairobi, Kenya to Sisters who feted her at the end of the Workshop. Sister Pat teaches at DePaul University, Chicago and does outreach in Kenya and China. Click on Arrows to the top left to make video full screen.

Sr. Patricia M. Bombard, BVM, D.Min. Director of Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project at DePaul University

Patricia M. Bombard, BVM, D.Min., serves at DePaul University as director of Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project, which conducts research, training and education furthering the leadership legacy of Saint Vincent de Paul.

In addition, the Project is the DePaul base for the Chinese Leadership Initiative (CLI), a four-week summer program of leadership development begun in 2011 for native priests and women religious who live and minister in China. As a CLI co-coordinator and program director, Dr. Bombard guides program and curriculum development and assists with fundraising, evaluation and reporting.

Dr. Bombard also directs a partnership between DePaul University and Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya to identify and train a team of local facilitators to develop a leadership program for women religious unique to the African context and research its impact.

Her own international teaching and travel experiences include Australia, China, Ecuador, India, Ireland, Kenya, South Africa and the Philippines.


Celebration of Associate Commitment

Associates and BVMs Celebrate Renewal of                   Associate  Promises and BVM Vows.

With virtual presence 11 members of the BVM family gathered in the Sunnyvale home of BVMs to pray, renew commitment, and socialize. Present virtually were BVMs from Washington, DC, Belmont, CA,  and Associates from Ashland, OR, Los Gatos and Pacifica, CA. Following the prayer Associates and BVMs continued the celebration with a hearty meal. The roses in front of the prayer table add to the remembrance of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Welcoming New Associates to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, CA

The Sisters and Associates of Notre Dame de Namur welcomed six women at the Celebration of Commitment ceremony held at the Belmont, CA, Province Center on March 11, 2018. Cari Alexander, Mary Chan, Laura Leon, Karen Rende, LaVerne Vitale, and Partner in Mission – Patti Andrews each were graciously introduced by their Companion On their Journey, and then each gave a few words defining their reasons for choosing to be an integral part of Notre Dame. These women of courage spoke so generously from their hearts that it gave us all pause to remember the joy of being on this spiritual journey together with the Sisters of Notre Dame.

We weredeeply grateful to Associates Shyrl McCormick and Joanne Rossi for leading our new Associates towards their initial commitment. It was a growing experience for new and old, sisters and Associates, who participated in the Saturday sessions planned for the women seeking to become part of the Notre Dame Family. The leaders provided sessions that would be unique and enriching for the candidates andfor Sisters and Associates who joined them to share in praying together, relationship building, and getting to know the community of SND’s and Associates.  This bonding effort helped to create the experience of community through prayer, sharing, and support.

Monthly an invitation was sent to Sisters and Associates saying, “We are hoping you will be able to participate in some of the Saturday gatherings while the candidates will be discerning and preparing for their commitment. Even if you don’t have a formal role, you will be acquainting our candidates with the community to which they belong. Come be with us and enhance our experience of prayer, story-telling, learning, support and inspiration.”  Throughout the sessions it was apparent that a truly significant contribution to the process came from Sisters who joined in the sessions and shared their stories, remembrances and reflections.  All these things came up spontaneously out of the conversations while inspiring knowledge and understanding.

Shyrl and Joanne invited Sisters and Associates to plan monthly Saturday sessions with themes including: Sisters of Notre Dame – Founded on Friendship; Spirituality and Prayer; Sisters and Associates Partnering in Mission; Discerning Association as a Way of Life;Peace and Justice; and finally, the Commitment Retreat. The Candidates were welcomed to all events the sisters and Associates have had throughout the year. One of our sisters, Sr. Kay McMullen, prepared and led the prayer experiences for all of the sessions before she became seriously ill. These rich and spiritually alive presentations concluded with the Associate Commitment Ceremony and Celebration in March.

Together all Sisters and Associates present this March day recommitted themselves to the mission and charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur established by Saint Julie Billiart and her dear friend, Francoise Blin, in 1804. The Call of Notre Dame Associates draws ‘women and men, living their baptismal call in the spirit of St. Julie Billiart. They have experienced a strong attraction to Saint Julie, who proclaimed God’s goodness throughout her entire life. Based on their desire to grow in Notre Dame spirituality and mission, these women and men have a special relationship to the SNDs,” stated on the SNDdeN website – These women have personified the gift of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur that the “Good God is so very good” (Saint Julie Billiart)!

Kathy Noether, Associate SNDdeN, BACAR Co-Director





How Our Charisms Are Carried Forward

BACAR has a theme of action for the year 2018-2019 particularly with homelessness, immigration and trafficking. After the last DG which focused on Joan Chittester’s article Let the Call Be Heard

 At the last meeting the time spent in reflection and discussion was rich and reminded of us our deep commitment to the individual charisms embedded in each of our congregations. It is also true that this affirmation inspires each of us to continue the Call with renewed energy and focus, particularly as we share compassionate goals. Mark Piper in his article found in the NCR, August 23, 2018 says The largest factors that attract new associates are: 

  • The community’s spirituality
  • A personal desire for a deeper spiritual life
  • The community’s mission
  • A personal desire to be of service.
To read Mark’s article Click Here
Join Us at these BACAR Discussion Groups                                                                                                        September 8, 2018 at 1399 Santee Drive, San Jose. Topic: Homelessness
May 18, 2019 (at either Holy Spirit in Campbell or Notre Dame Province Center)
September 21, 2019: BACAR Conference tentatively at Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz.
We decided to go with 3 meetings instead of 4 this coming year, and one of these will be an event rather than a discussion group. It is not firm yet but tentatively a movie on trafficking at Notre Dame HS Belmont in their theater for January. Not definite!!)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious recently published an article on resistance. “Resistance as a response to injustice and social sin has received a surprising signal boost in 2017. From protests against police brutal- ity and executive orders, to creative displays at marches for women’s rights or climate justice, or even as
a trending hashtag on social media, resistance is suddenly on the radar of the body politic.” To read full article LCWR_rta4-17

2017 April Social Justice Activities


Screenshot 2017-04-20 09.56.51

Sisters and Associates of Notre Dame de Namur spent a day reflecting on stories shared by Sr. Mary Ellen Howard, SND, and Notre Dame Associates Kai Marks and DeDe Waters-Masters. They shared their growth in understanding of the women and men in jail and prisons. Each entered into the ministry for different reasons and shared the process of vetting that occurs before one can even enter into the jail or prison. Each had a unique experience which has had a profound effect on their spirituality. The sisters and associates who participated in the day were moved and encouraged to open themselves to the women and men returning to communities from incarcerated life. The day was uplifting and gave us time to share and remember the struggles of not just the incarcerated, but their families as well as the families of the victims. The sisters and associates have planned these days to recall the many ministries Notre Dame has and is concerned about it in witnessing to peace and justice.

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Sister Mary Ellen Howard                sharing her story



April 8, 2017 Opportunity for Holy Names and Holy Family Associates to meet.  Info:  Associates Meet and Greet.docx

Check BACAR calendar for April Activities. Attached is the Holy Family Social Justice newsletter.  2017.4 Justice newsletter