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Notre Dame Sisters celebrate jubilees

October 8, 2015

75 Years

Sister Helen Dugan, SNDdeN: A native San Franciscan, Sister Helen taught in schools in cities including Belmont, San Jose, Santa Clara and Santa Barbara and more recently served at John XXIII Senior Center in San Jose. She is grateful for her Notre Dame family she says, as well as “all the friends I’ve known and loved in my 75 years as a Sister of Notre Dame.”


70 Years

Sister Barbara Hanagan, SNDdeN: Sister Barbara especially enjoyed teaching high school students especially at Star of the Sea School in Honolulu. Sister Barbara said “the presence of God is the greatest – in the ordinariness of life, the small miracles, in community and in the quiet of prayer.”


Sister Bernice Heinz, SNDdeN: Sister Bernice always went above and beyond for her students including those at Madonna del Sasso School in Salinas where she taught for 27 years. She is also a musician. “God has been holding my hand all my life,” she said.


Sister Peggy Offley, SNDdeN: Sister Peggy entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur after high school in San Francisco. She has especially liked teaching fifth grade: “They were happy and happy to learn and mostly well behaved!” she said. “The special blessing of my life in Notre Dame is the way I was led closer to God.”


60 Years

Sister Joan Bernhart, SNDdeN: Sister Joan has taught in elementary schools and Notre Dame high schools in Belmont and San José. She has also served at her congregation’s Notre Dame de Namur University. Sister Joan views her life as one in which “everything has been a gift. God is with us in all the ups and downs of life.”


Sister Jacinta Martinez, SNDdeN: Sister Jacinta entered religious life from Notre Dame High School, San Francisco. She has a long tenure teaching in Catholic schools and later as a chaplain and at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco.Sister Jacinta said: “I’ve done it all, and all of it is grace and gratitude.”


Sister Sharonann Skain, SNDdeN: Sister Sharonann is a native of San Francisco and has taught at schools in San Carlos, San Francisco and Millbrae. She has served for 22 years as RCIA director at St Christopher Parish in San Jose. Sister Sharon said: “Thank you, thank you Holy Spirit, for the gift of joy to celebrate 60 years as an SND among your people.”


50 Years

Sister Sharon Joyer, SNDdeN: Sister Sharon served in Appalachia, West Virginia. She taught all grades at Big Laurel School, served as emergency midwife, buried the dead and responded to other unexpected challenges. “The Spirit has worked marvels in my life. It is a grace to be here,” Sister Sharon said.


Sister Nancy McCarron, SNDdeN: Sister Nancy guided and encouraged hundreds of future educators during her years in the Education Department at Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont. She also worked with teams of teachers in organizing retreats. “We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good,” Sister Nancy said.


Sister Louise O’Reilly, SNDdeN: As a teacher, principal, and development director, Sister Louise has served in Notre Dame schools in California and Hawaii. A favorite ministry was as pastoral associate, helping adults to grow as effective liturgical ministers. Sister Louise is grateful “for our Notre Dame community, the many people I’ve worked with and learned from, and my own family’s example of fidelity and lives well-lived.”


40 Years

Sister Liane Delsuc, SNDdeN: With a degree in special education, fluency in Spanish, determination and creative approaches for turning learning disabilities into abilities, Sister Liane has helped scores of young people in Los Angeles, Watsonville, San Francisco and beyond. A summer of service in Peru led to a 16-year commitment there., “We are blessed with an incredible potential to love,” she said.


Sister Theresa Linehan, SNDdeN: Sister Theresa has served as a teacher or principal in Northern California schools later earning a nursing degree and nurse practitioner. With a specialty in diabetes care, she worked for many years with farmworkers in the Pajaro Valley. Sister Theresa is part Mohican and serves at Springbank Retreat Center in South Carolina. “In the native words, ‘mitakuye Oyasin,’ – we are all related. I am deeply grateful for the love and support of my SND community,” she said.


Sister Sharon McMillan, SNDdeN: Sister Sharon entered religious life after serving as a Jesuit Volunteer. She holds a doctorate in sacred liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome and has served as assistant professor of sacred liturgy at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park. She is now liturgy coordinator at San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey. “It is an almost inexpressible joy to sing the SND litany at the jubilee Mass, letting the names ring out and touch everyone’s heart: a most precious memory,” she said.

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