Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur


Founded, Date/Place 1804, France
Foundress St. Julie Billiart
Canonical Status Pontifical, Order
Motto How good is the Good God
Charism To witness to God's Goodness
Mission Statement Sisters of Notre Dame, women with hearts as wide as the world, make known God's goodness and love of the poor through a gospel way of life, community and prayer...
Purpose Spreading God's Goodness through Education


Sr. Fidelia Chukwu, SNDdeN
Provincial Moderator: Sr. Fidelia Chukwu, SNDdeN

Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur
14 John Nwodo Close
P.O.Box 3777, Enugu 400001

Email: sndnigprovsec@gmail.com

Private: fidelia.chukwu@snden.org

Mobile: 08131905401, 08095772175

Our Apostolate

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Is an international religious Congregation of about 1,500 sisters living and working in 17 countries on 5 continents. Our main focus and our strength throughout our history is education and teacher training at all levels. And our mission is to serve the poor in the most abandoned places. We were founded in Amiens, France, on 2nd February, 1804, by St. Julie Billiart and Francoise Blin de Bourdon Julie, an invalid, paralysed for 23 years before being miraculously cured during a novena to the Sacred Heart, and Francoise, a member of the nobility who was known at the court of the King of France, were called by God in post-revolutionary France to restore the Catholic faith, to educate girls, and to teach the poor what they needed to know for life. Julie named her Congregation Sisters of Notre Dame (Our Lady) because of her love for Mary, woman of faith and humble servant of the Lord. In 1969 we had the great joy of celebrating the canonisation of our Foundress. April 8, the day of her death, is the new feast day of Saint Julie Billiart in the world-wide liturgical calendar.

After some years, the Bishop of Amiens insisted that we be a diocesan Congregation subject to his authority. However, St. Julie had a vision in which it was clear that her Congregation was not made for one diocese only, but was to go throughout the world proclaiming the goodness of God. This continues to be our charism today. Our spirituality is apostolic in the tradition of St. Julie. Her unique experience of prayer and action enabled her to find God's goodness everywhere - and in a special way among the poor. Like Mary, whose name we bear, we are called to hear the word of God and keep it. Our attentive listening shapes our contemplative outlook toward the whole of life. It enables us to act as witnesses to God's love and goodness with those we serve. We give time each day to prayer in solitude and silence.

At the height of difficulties and misunderstandings in Amiens, the Bishop of Namur in Belgium warmly welcomed Julie and Francoise and their blossoming new Congregation to take up residence and minister in his diocese. The big move took place in 1807, and from that year we have been officially known as The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Julie died in 1816 and Francoise in 1838. Soon two other Congregations--the Sisters of Our Lady (Amersfoort, Holland, 1835) and the Sisters of Notre Dame (Coesfeld, Germany, 1850) were founded according to their spirit. It was not long then before the original Congregation began to expand--to Europe, the United States, Japan, and Central and South America. Today we live and work in 17 countries throughout the world: Belgium, Brazil, France, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as 7 African countries. Our mission to Africa began in 1894 with the arrival of Belgian sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From there we have spread to Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

We came to Nigeria through the instrumentality of Bishop Williiam Mahony, SMA, in 1963. A year before, a Sister of Notre Dame from the British Province, was invited to Nigeria to give a specialised course in catechetics to teachers at the Sacred Heart Training College in Kaduna. He was so impressed with her that he told himself he must have these sisters in his diocese. He was then Prefect Apostolic of llorin Prefecture. On 4th January, 1963, three sisters left Liverpool by boat from the United Kingdom to begin their ministry at Notre Dame Girls' secondary boarding school in Oro, arriving at the port in Lagos 17th January, 1963.

Three years later we came to the Benin Archdiocese in Edo State at the request of then Bishop Kelly, SMA. His Lordship was so eager to have our sisters working in his diocese that he traveled all the way to our Generalate in Rome to meet with our Superior General and would not leave until he had received a positive answer to his demand for Sisters of Notre Dame. A promise of personnel was given; and in August, 1966, the first Sisters of Notre Dame arrived followed soon by two others. As requested by Bishop Kelly, they took over the management of St. Angela's Girls' Secondary School in Uzairue and began to build Notre Dame Hospital with monies begged from their families and friends.

In 1981, in response to a request of the Nigerian Conference of Women Religious, Sisters of Notre Dame took up the responsibility of the newly launched national Renewal Centre at Iva Valley, Enugu. That same year we began accepting Nigerian women into the Congregation and training them in various professional capacities. The Novitiate House was completed in 1985 in Ilorin, Kwara State, and the Postulate, which had begun in Agenebode, was moved to our newly built residence in Fugar, Auchi Diocese, in 1999.

Our Congregational Generalate is in Rome, while the administrative offices of Finance and Mission are in Ipswich, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Our international Congregation is divided into Provinces, of which Nigeria is one with its Provincial Headquarters in Kuje, Abuja. At present the Nigerian Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur consists of 88 professed Nigerian sisters, 4 expatriate sisters from 3 different countries, and 9 novices, and 8 postulants. We live in 16 communities and serve in 10 Catholic dioceses in 8 states in Nigeria, while 2 Nigerian sisters are currently living and working in South Africa. Our main apostolate throughout the Congregation is education at every level. In Nigeria we currently manage 6 primary and 5 secondary schools and are building a new girls' secondary boarding school in Kuje, Abuja.

Our mission, given us by our Foundress, is to teach children what they need to know for life. In addition to our apostolate of education, we manage 3 medical institutions, work in Peace and Justice, communications, social work, retreats and spiritual direction, as well as Pastoral ministry. But the ministry closest to our hearts is catechetics bringing children as well as adults to come to know how good is the good God (the mottoof our foundress, St. Julie). In the Congregation at large our ministries are varied and uncountable, but our current focus, as has been the case throughout our history, is to serve the poor in the most abandoned places, especially women and children. This continues to be our focus in Nigeria as well.

Sisters in Perpetual Vows

  1. Sr. Abarosah Jacinta
  2. Sr. Adama Esther
  3. Sr. Adeniran Juliana
  4. Sr. Adinnu, Veronica
  5. Sr. Ajaegbu Caroline
  6. Sr. Akhibi Martina
  7. Sr. Aliu Priscilla
  8. Sr. Aneke Franca
  9. Sr. Anikwata Theresa
  10. Sr. Anokwulu Schola
  11. Sr. Apeakumhe Rebecca
  12. Sr. Aririatu Evelyn
  13. Sr. Atkinson Julie
  14. Sr. Balogun Josephine
  15. Sr. Balogun Jumoke
  16. Sr. Chime Dorothy
  17. Sr. Chukwu Fidelia
  18. Sr. Chukwu Ifeoma
  19. Sr. Damissah Anthonia
  20. Sr. Duru Bernadine
  21. Sr. Duru Franca
  22. Sr. Eboh Mary Bernadette
  23. Sr. Egwuchukwu Virginia
  24. Sr. Enyi Agnes
  25. Sr. Ezeigwe Eucharia
  26. Sr. Ezekwem Rita
  27. Sr. Ezeonu Amarachi
  28. Sr. Ezewuzie Obioma
  29. Sr. Fatoyinbo Veronica
  30. Sr. Ibekwe Apollonia
  31. Sr. Igbafe Evelyn
  32. Sr. Igbozulike Prisca
  33. Sr. Ignatius Rosita
  34. Sr. Igwe Theresa
  35. Sr. Iribhogbe Perpetua
  36. Sr. Iyiogwe Maria
  37. Sr. Izuchukwu Gertrude
  38. Sr. Madueke Eucharia
  1. Sr. Mokidi Julie
  2. Sr. Ndianefo Rose
  3. Sr. Nwaoha Esther
  4. Sr. Nwodo Celestina
  5. Sr. Obiefule Rita
  6. Sr. Ogbeide Obehi
  7. Sr. Oguguo Chinwendu
  8. Sr. Okafor Gloria
  9. Sr. Okechukwu Chizoba
  10. Sr. Okeke Maureen
  11. Sr. Okoebor Isi
  12. Sr. Okoligan Bernadette
  13. Sr. Okonroma Esther
  14. Sr. Okoye Eucharia
  15. Sr. Okoye Ijeoma
  16. Sr. Okpala Ifeoma
  17. Sr. Oledinma Florence
  18. Sr. Onwumar Scholastica
  19. Sr. Onyekonwu Uche
  20. Sr. Onyenagubo Cordelia
  21. Sr. Oparah Jacinta
  22. Sr. Osigbo Jacinta
  23. Sr. Osueke Eugenia
  24. Sr. Otono Charity
  25. Sr. Oviasogie Clare
  26. Sr. Sidi Christiana
  27. Sr. Sule Christiana
  28. Sr. Sullivan Annette
  29. Sr. Ubah Ifeoma
  30. Sr. Ugwu Martha
  31. Sr. Ugwuoke MaryPrecious
  32. Sr. Umeasiegbu Chidiebere
  33. Sr. Umeh Maria
  34. Sr. Umeh Monica
  35. Sr. Uwakwe Anthonia
  36. Sr. Uwakwe Ijeoma
  37. Sr. Uzochukwu Rosemary
  38. Sr. Wetli Carol

Number of Sisters in Temporary Vows – 24

Necrology

  1. Sr. Catherine Amune 1999
  2. Sr. Marie Julie Beveridge 1999
  3. Sr. Josephine Etaifo 2000
  1. Sr. Margaret Biekett 2001
  2. Sr. Frances Ugbeni 2013