Become an Associate

Association is a call of the Spirit inviting women and men to participate with Sisters, Brothers and Priests in the ministry and prayer of their Congregations in today’s Church. This relationship expands the gifts of each congregation and enriches the faith community.


Who are Notre Dame Associates?

A diverse group of women and men, Notre Dame Associates include alumni, Notre Dame teachers, former Sisters, co-workers, and friends. They are social workers, homemakers, educators, pastoral ministers, office workers, health care professionals and retirees. Each brings his or her own spiritual, professional and life experiences to the Associate relationship.

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Who can be a Notre Dame Associate?

Association is open to Christian women and men who seek a deeper experience of Jesus Christ and the Gospel and wish to engage with the Sisters of Notre Dame in service to others. Acceptance as an Associate comes after a period of preparation and is based on a mutual discernment process. Associates make a one-year commitment, renewable annually, to live in the spirit of the Gospel and St. Julie Billiart.

I believe that the Association model is a wonderful direction in the Church today. I have longed for a spiritual sisterhood of support and feel so blessed to have found it. St. Julie’s vision, the empowerment of women and the keen focus on public service have attracted me to this community. – Dede Waters-Masters, Co-Coordinator

What Does Notre Dame Association Offer?

For more than 25 years, the Sisters of Notre Dame have welcomed Associates into their lives, and both Sisters and Associates have been enriched by the relationship. Forming an integral part of the Notre Dame family, Associates join with Sisters in prayer, ministry, and friendship—doing together what neither could do alone. The Associate shares with the Sisters his or her own gifts, and the Sisters provide a supportive environment in which to grow.

Associates participate in:

  • spirituality programs, including retreat weekends and cluster meetings for prayer/reflection
  • service projects, both locally and internationally
  • issues of justice and peace
  • community gatherings and programs.

Association has given me spiritual companions who find God in the midst of their daily joys and struggles. It has also offered me the opportunity to share in the Notre Dame mission to promote global peace, social justice and service to the community. I have grown to love our foundress, St. Julie, a woman of courage and faith whose legacy lives on in the Sisters and Associates. – Joanne Marie Thompson

How to Become an Associate

  • Any person interested in becoming an Associate spends time—generally one year—meeting with Sisters and Associates in a variety of gatherings and participating in the life of the Sisters..
  • A prospective Associate completes a period of formal preparation with Sisters and Associates.
  • New Associates make their initial commitment in February at the same time when the Sisters renew their vows and current Associates renew their commitment.
  • Associates are invited to reflect and evaluate their participation in Notre Dame annually and to renew their commitment as an Associate each year.

For more information, send an email to Jeanette Braun, SND.