History and Mission Statement
The spirituality of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
is characterized by the call to discover and to become the very goodness of God in our world. We commit ourselves to deepen our relationships with God, one another, those living in poverty, and with the
whole of creation. We embrace our mission seeking life in abundance for all.
The Notre Dame Spirituality Center provides a contemplative setting as well as spiritual and educational opportunities to enable others to experience more deeply the goodness of life.
Marie Rose Julie Billiart was born in Cuvilly, France, on July 12, 1751. Her whole life was animated by a great desire to make known the goodness of God. A catechist at a very early age, she continued to teach about God in spite of the paralysis that crippled her at the age of 22. Persecuted during the French Revolution, taken to Amiens, she retained always her unshakeable confidence in the good God.
On February 2, 1804, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. After her miraculous cure, she dedicated herself to the education of poor girls. Opposition, however, obliged her to leave France in 1807. Her welcome by the Bishop of Namur, Belgium, ensured that the Sisters of Notre Dame could continue their work of education in the spirit that Julie had envisioned. From the heart of her experience was born her well known expression, ”Oh, how good is the good God!”
Julie died on April the 8, 1816, only 12 years after the founding of her religious community. Beatified on May 13, 1906, Julie Billiart was canonized on June 22, 1969.
Days of Special Prayer
February 2 – Foundation Day for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (1804)
April 8 – Death of St. Julie (1816)
May 13 – Feast of St. Julie
June 22 – Canonization Day (1969)
July 12 – St. Julie’s Birthday (1751)