IPSWICH, Mass. (CNS) — Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur gathered for their annual chapter accepted the challenge of being “called to be women of justice and peace in the midst of the inequality and violence in our world.”

The congregation held its general chapter July 12-Aug. 2 at Trinity University in Washington. The meeting, convened every six years, is the highest decision-making body for the sisters internationally.

Members of leadership teams and elected delegates from 18 provinces in 14 countries on five continents attended the general chapter.


Delegates re-elected Sister Teresita Weind, a member of the Ohio province, as the congregational leader for a second six-year term. They elected also a new leadership team: Sisters Patricia O’Brien of Britain, Liliane Sweko of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Masheti Wangoyi of Kenya and Maureen White of the U.S. They will serve from 2014 to 2020. (Sister Sweko was re-elected to her position.)

Chapter delegates shaped future directions of the congregation, with concrete steps for implementation, and determined priorities for “Life in Mission” during the next six years for more than 1,300 members.

Considering the “diminished value of human life, the destruction of the earth and intolerance toward people perceived to be different,” the sisters addressed their “personal and collective responsibility in (the) movement forward through action for justice,” according to a news release.

Founded in 1804 in Amiens, France, by St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816), the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, serve in a variety of ministries with associates, co-workers and volunteers in Africa, Asia, Europe and North, Central and South America.

“The congregation strives to respond, through education and programs for social justice, to the needs of people around the world, especially those living in poverty,” the release said.

In addition to Ipswich, the sisters staff offices or centers in Rome and in Namur, Belgium. The congregation also maintains a website: www.sndden.org.