Sister Barbara Hamm describes herself as a “woman of few words,” but her actions reflect a lifetime devoted to helping others, first as a teacher and later in parish ministry and liturgical ministry. Raised in Hollister, Sr. Barbara entered the Sisters of Notre Dame right after graduating from Notre Dame High School in Watsonville. She then attended the College of Notre Dame, majoring in history and later received a degree in religious education.
Sr. Barbara spent 30 years as an elementary school teacher and administrator in Notre Dame schools in California and Washington, including Mt. Carmel in Redwood City and Mission Dolores in San Francisco and in Marysville, Belmont and Santa Barbara. She then served in parish ministry in San Jose and enjoyed working with families. For her work at St. John Parish in Milpitas, she received the Pope Paul VI Award in recognition of 10 years’ service in liturgical ministry to the Church of San Jose.
Georgia Ladd, who has known Sr. Barbara for 20 years, describes her as “a woman of simplicity, integrity, humor and discernment with a straight-forward approach to life. She is someone I look up to as a mentor, so that even today, 70 years into her vocation, Sr. Barbara teaches me to face changes with grace.”
Always interested in what her Sisters of Notre Dame throughout the world were doing, Sr. Barbara went on an inspiring pilgrimage several years ago to Namur, Belgium, the original foundation of the Sisters.
Sr. Barbara has enjoyed all of her ministries and feels “very happy and privileged” to have met and made so many good friends over the years.