The last day of August brought Sr Judith Russi a religious sister of St Mary of Namur a congregation of Sisters of St. Mary of Namur which was established in Namur, Belgium on November 11, 1819, about 15 years after St Julie Billiart founded the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, which founded our own Notre Dame. Both religious orders dedicated their lives to education, especially those most in need
Sr Judith worked for many years in all fields of Catholic education, first as a drama teacher then in leadership, advisory, Section 48 inspection and teachers’ professional development & formation. She is the author of a variety of religious education books at primary, secondary and sixth-form levels, one of which we have in our library; How to Survive Working in a Catholic School.
Staff gathered in the hall to be encourage in their mission as teachers and workers in Catholic education. Each member of staff is a part of a jigsaw and so is vital to the whole mission of the college. She spoke about Catholic education as radical and transformational, that its mission to both educate and form young people to be the leaders our world needs, and the role of teachers is to help young people to find their gift and then know how and when to use it. In break out sessions staff were encouraged to write specific actions they agreed to implement to help this mission of transforming lives.
The morning ended with a staff led liturgy, the final reflection led by the Principal Justine Barlow
“Never underestimate the valuable and important difference that you make in every life you touch for the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.”
The staff choir ended the service with the hymn 'For the Beauty of the Earth'
Principal Justine Barlow said - the day was beautiful, Sr Judith reflected in so many ways the message of Notre Dame - that we are a college of faith, hope and love.
You can find out more about Sr Judith and her work here.