The Ministry Formation Program

The Ministry Formation Program is designed to educate, form and support lay leaders co-ministering with the School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Atlantic-Midwest Province.

Participants will learn about SSND's unfolding charism, mission and educational vision and explore ways to integrate these into their ministry in SSND sponsored ministries, province departments and continuum of care centers.

They will also meet with others who work in similar SSND ministries and will have opportunities to nurture their own spiritual lives.

The program serves:

  • Board chairs, administrators, and other selected leaders of SSND sponsored ministries;
  • Province department directors;
  • Administrators of SSND continuum of care centers

Components of the Program:

  • One-on-One Mentoring

    • Leaders are able to meet one-on-one with a member of the Ministry Services team to explore SSND values, charism, mission and educational vision and how they apply in their places of ministry
  • Ministry Formation Sessions

    • Together with others in key leadership positions, participants learn more about SSND charism and culture, Catholic social teaching, justice and peace, and spirituality and prayer.
  • "Claiming the Fire Within" Retreat

    • This time is dedicated to deepening SSND themes, communal prayer, quiet reflection, and small-group sharing.
  • Heritage Pilgrimage

    • Visits to significant SSND sites in Bavaria, Vienna, and Rome and meetings with sisters in their places of ministry, provides the pilgrim with a unique, first-hand perspective of SSND's foundations, internationality and ministries.

Upcoming Sessions and Retreats

2021 - 2023

  • October 22-23, 2021
    • Ministry Formation Session 3 at Villa Notre Dame, Wilton, CT or Virtually
  • March 4-5, 2022
    • Ministry Formation Session 4 at Villa Assumpta, Baltimore, MD or Virtually
  • October 21 - 22, 2022
    • Ministry Formation Session 1 at Villa Notre Dame, Wilton, CT or Virtually
  • March 3-4, 2023
    • Ministry Formation Session 2 at Villa Assumpta, Baltimore, MD or Virtually

Click to open PDF on Ministry Formation Sessions and Retreats


  • June 28-30, 2022
    • Proclaiming the Fire Within at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia - check back for more information

For more information, please contact:

The Fire Continues to Burn Brightly

Claiming the Fire Within had a different feel this year, rescheduled from last year and taking place virtually due to ongoing safety concerns. Thirteen leaders courageously said “yes” to go on retreat, despite not being able to participate in person. The retreat featured online times to hear presenters and engage in small and large group sharing. There were offline times as well for retreatants to pray, reflect and explore contemplative activities.
Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger and quotes

A Journey with Common Threads

On October 23-24th, the Department of Ministry Services offered its first-ever virtual ministry formation session. Fourteen participants tuned in from Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, New York, Connecticut and Canada.  Participants ranged from executive directors, board chairs, department directors, and those with leading roles in development, communications, campus ministry, health care, ministry formation and behavioral health.

Ministry Formation Sessions began its third cycle in October 2018

For the first time since the inception of the sessions in 2014, lay campus ministers were included, to strengthen the relationship between their ministry leadership and the SSND component on campus. Other participants hold a leadership role in a province department, in healthcare administration for a province facility, as a board chair, as executive director and program director, and as an assistant head of school for academics.