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SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME, TOLEDO PROVINCE

This is the latest in an irregular series of profiles of religious communities that live and minister in the Diocese of Orange. The profiles are compiled by Sister Eymard Flood, O.S.C., the Vicar for Consecrated Life for the Diocese of Orange.

By Sister Eymard Flood     7/22/2015

Year Founded: 1850

Name of Founder: Hilligonde Wolbring (aka Sister Maria Aloysia Wolbring)

Country of Foundation: Coesfeld, Germany

Charism: Sisters of Notre are missioned to incarnate the lLove of our good and provident God

Apostolic Works: Teachers and administrators at all levels of education; parish work as pastoral associates, pastoral administrators and directors of religious education; spiritual and retreat directors; missionaries; direct service to the poor; advocates for social justice and integrity of creation. The sisters sponsor Notre Dame Academy and Junior Academy, Lial Catholic Elementary School, Maria Early Learning Center, and Double ARC, an agency assisting children and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). All sponsored institutions are in the Toledo area.

Represented in the following countries: USA, Italy, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and South Korea.

USA contact: Sister Mary Teresita Richards, vocation director, trichards@toledosnd.org, (419) 724-1371.

Brief History: In Germany, in 1850, Hilligonde Wolbring and her friend Elisabeth Kuhling gathered many poor, orphan street children, taught them, gave them a home and a rich education. Their parish priest encouraged them to continue their service to poor children as women religious. Forced to leave Germany because of the oppression of Catholics and religious orders during the Kulturkampf, the Sisters of Notre Dame came to the United States in 1874. They first arrived in Cleveland and their educational ministries stretched across Ohio. The Toledo Province was founded in 1924 and a mission in Papua New Guinea was established in 1961. Today SNDs serve in 11 states including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, California, and Texas.