Reflecting on the 2012 SNDdeN Conference

Have you ever wondered what faculty and staff are up to during the late-start period between 8 and 9:37 a.m. on block Wednesdays?

Unlike students who may choose to catch up on sleep, teachers and other employees at CJ schedule different gatherings for the hour and a half before school starts. Their morning “Block Wednesday” calendar includes time for things like technology training, strategic planning meetings and bi-monthly Faith Sharing sessions.

The first Faith Sharing session of the school year, held the morning of September 26, centered on the teachings of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur—one of the school’s two founding orders. Faculty and staff gathered together in Sodality groups in the library where they shared breakfast and heard reflections from Molly Bardine, English teacher; Susan Eichenauer, guidance counselor; and Dan Meixner, president, who each attended the 2012 SND Education Conference.

The conference – held July 12-15 at Emmanuel College in Boston – encouraged educators from SNDdeN schools all over the world, including the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, South America and Africa, to recognize and implement the leadership styles of St. Julie Billiart, the founder of the religious order.

“Notre Dame educators are charged with the task of giving students not only the skills and mind, but the heart to live out their faith. We must teach kids to look at the world through eyes of faith and to recognize their role as agents for change,” said Bardine, who attended the national conference for a second time in 2012.

Several keynote addresses were given by a number of Sisters and university professors, who stressed St. Julie’s technique of infusing lessons with joy, hope, strength, faith, and courage, in the context of Catholic social teaching and social justice.

“I hope students can come to know St. Julie through me and develop a deeper understanding of the Notre Dame charisms by the work we are doing here in the classroom,” Bardine said.

Four more faculty and staff Faith Sharing sessions are scheduled for block Wednesday mornings throughout November, January, March and May of the 2012-13 school year.

Many chose to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness at the first Wednesday morning Faith Sharing session of the school year, held during Spirit Week September 24-28. As part of the week's daily themes, all faculty and staff members were encouraged to wear "Clothing for a Cause" on September 26.

Find a recap of the conference online at www.emmanuel.edu >