Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

A Gentle Nudge, Covington, USA

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That’s all it took, a gentle nudge to set in motion a delightful and blessed mission project. The So-Sew Mission endeavor started in 2014 when Ina McCord, a seamstress from Augusta, KY was moving and needed to dispose of her supply of fabric. She gave the fabric to her friend, an SND Associate, who in turn gave the lovely material to the sisters at the Covington provincial house sewing room.

Sr. Mary Janet Stamm had returned from the Uganda Mission in East Africa and was helping in the sewing room. When she saw the fabric she thought of ways it could be used. You can easily guess that Sr. Janet’s thoughts went back to the Uganda Mission. “P.J.’s – night clothes, that’s it!” Children often would come to the St. Julie Boarding School without pajamas. These could easily be made using the fabric.

Sr. Mary Noella McEntee, director of the sewing room, and Sr. Marie Sand, an assistant and recently retired, offered to help. When the work began, Jo Ann McQueen, a volunteer and an SND Associate, also offered to join the team. Shortly after this Irene Nichols, an SND Associate and a veteran teacher of 50 years recently retired, visited the sewing room. She was looking for opportunities to volunteer. When she saw the spacious, cheery sewing room and noted what the busy So-Sew Team was accomplishing, she asked to join the group. What a blessing! Both Jo Ann and Irene are accomplished seamstresses.

As the team grew in members so did the projects undertaken. What a delight it was to cut and sew shorts, pants, dresses, skirts, blouses, vests, etc. Crocheted dish clothes and table wipers for the Mission schools and convent were crocheted using cotton yarn–Sr. Marylyn and her sibling sisters crocheted these. It was evident that the work, which began with God’s gentle nudge, was indeed His project. More fabric and cotton yarn continued to be donated.  Additional seamstresses joined the team. An SND Associate couple viewing the creative accomplishments of the So-Sew Team which were ready for shipment gave a generous donation in the form of a gift card to buy additional fabric, t-shirts, and sewing supplies needed.

In the health care area and also for the provincial house community the So-Sew team displayed the items ready for sending. Sounds of delight and awe could be heard and interest and concern for the children and others in the Uganda Mission was stirred up.

Since God’s first gentle nudge and the small initiative of sewing pajamas and nightclothes much has been accomplished.

  • Over 500 sets of children’s clothing and also pajamas and nightclothes have been sent to St. Julie Mission in Buseesa, Uganda.
  • Children’s clothing was also sent to Bright Kids Mission in Entebbe, Uganda.
  • 40 pajama sets were sewn and sent to a depressed former coal mining area in southern Kentucky.
  • 31 children’s aprons were prepared and sent to Sr. Cristina Marie in California for an after-school program, which she is initiating for poor children.
  • More than 120 aprons for cooks, caretakers, teachers, etc., were sent to Uganda along with 2 altar cloths, table napkins, and potholders for the formation house.
  • 200 crocheted dishcloths/table wipers were made by various helpers and sent for the schools and convents in Uganda.

Amazing and wonderful is God’s way of stirring into flame concern for his poor children! The mission spirit generated through this project is surely good reason for us to affirm and exclaim, HOW GOOD IS THE GOOD GOD!

December 2017
By Sr. Mary Janet Stamm
Covington, KY

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