Congrats to the class of 1972

I am happy to celebrate the graduates of Notre Dame Academy this year. Some of you may already know me, as I was a graduate of the NDA class of 1965. I was an educator as well, spending more than two decades on the Pine Ridge Reservation at Our Lady of Lourdes in Porcupine, South Dakota. In July, I was selected by my Sisters to serve as the Provincial President, and look forward to four years of serving the community in this new capacity.

Congrats to class of 1972

This year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the class of 1972 graduating from NDA. That was a harrowing year to graduate high school and move into college as an adult. The Watergate scandal shook the nation, anti-war protests swelled in cities large and small, and bombings were reported in countries from Ireland to the Philippines. The song “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers topped the charts in 1972, and that is what students were doing, leaning on one another. Your class was able to become civically-minded, good-hearted, and strong women, with your values rooted in Christ’s love.

Now, in 2022, the world feels as chaotic as it did 50 years ago, but we remain strong and optimistic when we lean on each other, being a strength to our loved ones, and allowing others to be a strength for us.

Sisters lean on one another

We Sisters remain a support for one another as the years go by. For our Sisters in skilled care living communities, we visit often and make sure they remain a part of our community and never feel isolated. We were able to host our Community Weekend in-person for the first time this year and could feel one another’s presence. For those who could not travel (our Sisters ministering in Colorado and Iowa), they watched the event on live stream and participated via phone calls and text messages. Back in 1972, we could not even conceive of these advances that keep us all close, even when far away.

Some of the Sisters have traveled this year. Sr. Mary Kay Meagher spent two weeks at the Mexican border to volunteer serving people who had immigrated to the United States. Four of us traveled to Europe to meet with the Sisters of the Bavarian, Czech, and Slovak Provinces. We were blessed to gather and plan together for the future in person for the first time in years.

Keep on Keeping on

We continue to reach out to people with unmet needs, to nurture in them a conviction of God’s love. We lean on one another to support our ministerial work. We lean on one another for prayer in good times, in uncertain times, and in times of distress. We pray, too, for you and your families.

We are incredibly grateful for the years we spent together at Notre Dame Academy, as students and teachers. We are blessed for our continued relationships that formed at NDA, and we are always proud of the women you have become. Remember that you can always lean on your fellow graduates, the Sisters, and God in good times and in the challenging ones. Looking forward to seeing all of you at the September Alumnae Reunion.

Sincerely,

Rita Ostry, Provincial President of the Notre Dame Sisters