By Sister Elizabeth Tiernan, SNDdeN
Invited by the Jesuit missionary, Fr. De Smet, SJ, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur arrived from Belgium in the Pacific Northwest in 1844. ” In St. Paul, Oregon, the Sisters established a school for the daughters of the fur traders and Native Americans or mixed-blood women. The Sisters also prepared local Indian women and fur traders’ wives to receive the sacraments. The offered instruction in French and also acquired some knowledge of the Chinook language.
… “Sr. Julie Codd, CSJP, introduced me to the native community who inspired me by their spirituality, sense of relationship with all Creation, and their belief in the power of tradition and sacred ceremonies. With Sr. Julie, I do believe that: “The Church needs the native people.”
From Good Works, March 2015, pp. 18-19. Excepts reprinted with permission.
St. Bonaventure Mission in Thoreau , New Mexico is located in the midst of this beauty and desert poverty. This Mission is an oasis, a special place where Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, with other caring and devoted people from all areas of the United States, minister to God’s people living in poverty. On this Navajo Land, specific ministries include providing housing for low-income families, repairing roofs, delivering water, building outhouses for those with no water, food and other much needed supplies such as blankets and clothing. Many hundreds of donors who assist us by their financial gifts provide these goods and services. Our “Outreach” department provides employment for Navajo people. The major ministry at the Mission is St. Bonaventure School, a preschool and elementary school through the 8th grade.
www.SNDdeN.org and www.stbonaventuremission.org