School Sisters of Notre Dame – Africa

Transforming the World through Education


Continuing the Vision of our Foundress

By Magdalene Akpan

In celebration of the year of Consecrated life the School Sisters of Notre Dame will be sharing their call to religious life. This stories have been published in our newsletter “Trust and Dare” visit sisters  for more stories.


Professed July 2011

Sister Magdalene Akpan attributes her strong Catholic background with providing the incentive to listen and respond to the call to religious life. Growing up in the southern part of Nigeria, she was involved in different groups in her parish, which provided her opportunities to serve and evangelize.

Magdalene Good.

“As a result, there was a growing desire in me to be more,”

Sister Magdalene said. “I had a quest for closer union with

God, for living with those who have this same desire and

also for reaching out in service to God’s people.

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Sisters Gloria, Judy, Magdalene and Marceline pose for a group picture on their profession day.

I believed the desire would be fulfilled in responding to the call to religious life.” In college, a friend introduced her to the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

“I fell in love with the spirit of the School Sisters of

Notre Dame from the first moment I was introduced to

the congregation,” Sister Magdalene said. “I felt a deep

resonance with their charism of unity and their ministry

of education. Also, the simplicity of the sisters, their joyful

and welcoming spirit and their having interest in people

were some of the attributes that attracted me during my first

meeting with the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Magdalene Akpan on Profession Day

Newly professed sisters pose for a group photo S. Judy, Marcy, Magdalene and Gloria

“I have enjoyed the support of sisters in community, which has helped me draw closer to God each day, which in turn

has given me the energy to be about the mission of Jesus Christ. Our internationality is also a great gift.” Sister Magdalene teaches agriculture and business studies in Sister Michaela Girls’ Secondary School in Kenya. She also is co-vocation director in Kenya.

Sr Magdalene Akpan on her profession Day

Sr Magdalene Akpan on her profession day in 2011

“I am ready for all, since I propose to do nothing else but  God’s holy will alone, which should be done in and with us.”

– Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger, foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame


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Come and See! Young women respond to the call.

By Sr Magdalene Akpan  and Sr Theodoah Ihiro SSND

“Through our life as apostolic women religious, we witness to the joy and challenge of following Christ. Gifted with God’s grace and drawn to our way of life, other women perceive within themselves God’s call to share in the life of our Congregation. We welcome these women and together with them enter into a process of discerning their call to be School Sisters of Notre Dame.” (You Are Sent. Par 43, Constitution of the School Sisters of Notre Dame)


In late November last year, young women (from different parts of Nigeria) gathered on the grounds of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) at Mbribit  Itam community, Nigeria.

Nigeria Vocation Seminars

Sr. Theodora (far right) Novices Edna,Beatrice,Julie and Joy pose for a group photo with the young women.

The aim of this gathering was to help these young women who are aspiring to join religious life begin to discern their call to this worthy life style through various seminars facilitated by SSND novices and sisters.

Apart from the formal sessions, young women participated in other day to day  activities like cleaning and cooking.They were sensitive to each other’s needs; their caring spirit and attitude was admirable.

The last evening, which was set apart as social night, saw the young women explore their gifts and talents in songs, poems, dances and drama.

Kenya      By Sr.Magdalene Akpan SSND

Vocation Seminars girls 1

Young women arrive at St Francis Girls Kiptere,Kenya for the come and see days.

In Kenya, the Come and See Seminars took place in early December. Young women  interested in knowing more about religious life  came from different parts of the country.We  converged in St. Francis School, Kiptere. The seminars are held each year in December . During these three days, we  journeyed with these young women helping  each of them  listen and discern where God may be calling them.

Prayer, reflection and mutual interaction created a conducive environment  for the participants to discern the movements of God in their hearts.

Kanini's washing of feet vocation Seminars Kenya

Sr Kanini washes participants’ feet in the Prayer and service seminar.

For these young women , this  was an enriching experience ; a time to find answers for some  their questions

On our part, we were touched and blessed by the presence  of these young women during these days.

Novices Nduke and Monica

Novices Nduke and Monica (far right ) pose with the young women who attended the seminar on Call and Jesus.

Follow the star design

Magdalene Good.

Sr Magdalene Akpan SSND