School Sisters of Notre Dame – Africa

Transforming the World through Education

Celebrating 40 years in Ghana!

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Ghana celebrates 40 years

All those celebrating the 40th anniversary.

Cheers for Mother Theresa’s daughters

Hurrah for our Ghana-based crew.

Cheers for the support of all who have helped us

To accomplish what we were sent to do.

(From S. Kathleen Feeley’s Poem)

The 28 School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) who minister in Ghana came to Sunyani for an Area Meeting at the Novitiate, March 13 – 16, during which they celebrated the 40th anniversary of SSND in Ghana.   Two of the original five sisters who came on Feb. 17, 1974 are still ministering in Ghana.

All the SSNDs, wearing our Province of Africa cloth, celebrated Eucharist with the people of Sunyani/Fiapre on Sunday morning at the parish church.  The pastor informed the parishioners about the works of the sisters, and introduced the Area Leader, Sister Elizabeth Newman, and Sister Mary Ann Matachinskas, the two  pioneers .  Sister Elizabeth spoke of the welcoming spirit of the Ghanaian people.

Sisters from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Poland, Germany, United States, and Canada work together in four major ministries and in SSND formation in Ghana.

Mary, Queen of Peace School in Cape Coast was founded in 1991 and still is led by Sister Mary Ann.  The school grew year by year, and now it comprises kindergarten, six elementary grades, and a junior high school.  In August, 2014, the first year of a senior high school will be added.  It is a strong, independent Catholic school with deep community support. Among the teachers are two  SSNDs and a group of lay teachers with a long commitment to the school.  Mary Ann was formerly National Director of Catechetics  for Ghana.

Sister Elizabeth directs the Orthopedic Training Center at Nsawam. She taught in school in her first year of ministry in Ghana, but then joined the staff of this Center in 1975, and eventually became its director.  The Center workshop makes prosthetic devices to enable handicapped people to walk, and provides training to use these devices.  The services range from physical therapy for babies with club feet to a residential school for children who are relearning to walk.  Many adults also take advantage of the Center’s services.  OTC is known all over Ghana, and, through a traveling clinic, it serves handicapped people throughout the country.

Sister Cecelia Gross has been Administrator of Notre Dame Clinic, also in Nsawam, since 1988. The chief mission of the Clinic is midwifery; it is helping to reduce the problem of maternal deaths and lack of pre-and post-natal care in the area. However, it also serves as multi-purpose clinic for all the health needs of the surrounding community.

Sister Carolyn Anyega, Headmistress of Notre Dame Girls Senior High School, Fiapre, led the celebration of the school’s 25th anniversary this year. Over 700 students, most of them living in the school’s dormitories, appreciate the strong academic program and the beautiful campus. Three SSNDs teach in the school, which has a large lay teaching and non-teaching staff.

The SSND Novitiate in Fiapre, where young African women are imbued with the spirit of the congregation and prepared to take religious vows, is directed by Sisters Delia Calis and Mara Frundt.  They are assisted by three other SSND teachers.

In addition to Ghana, the 70 SSNDs in Africa minister in Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia.

First Group of Missionaries

First Group of Missionaries: Mary Ann Matachinskas, Liz Newman, Sylvia Provost, Bernice Orscheln, Paulette

Early Missionaries

Sisters Bernice, Liz and Mary Ann with Brother James from Togo

First Missionaries who are still in Ghana

Sisters Liz and Mary Ann who were in the first group to come to Ghana.

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2 thoughts on “Celebrating 40 years in Ghana!

  1. Congratulations and blessings on all of you!

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