At-Risk Children in Scotland a Priority for Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

The Scottish West Highlands are a magnet for impoverished families from across the globe. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur work at schools and centers to help children and teens overcome adversity and integrate them into a multicultural world.
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Dec. 9, 2013 - PRLog -- With individual expertise in psychological counseling and emotional development, several Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur serve as a pivotal presence in the lives of Scotland’s uprooted and impoverished children. Our Sisters work toward uniting students who come from as far away as Eastern Europe and Africa, and as near as the inner cities and rural Gaelic-speaking communities of Scotland. In particular, they have made it a priority to educate and integrate Muslim girls, who are most at-risk for being segregated and isolated in their adopted land.

At St. Columba’s Primary School in Oban, many students suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem and behavior problems as well as the inability to pay attention and learn effectively. With these children comprising the majority of its population, the school administers programs that emphasize creative expression and the development of a spiritual life. Most recently, our Sisters introduced a Christian Meditation for Children Program, which helps children achieve inner peace and sense of self-esteem as well as cultivate such ‘fruits of the Spirit’ as patience, self-control and joy.

At Notre Dame High School in Glasgow, a school administered entirely by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur until 1978, Sister Mary McClure serves as the school’s spiritual leader. As such, Sister Mary directs reflections for both students and faculty members, offers counseling and participates in events at the school. One of her most recent efforts in community formation included hosting a weekend retreat for pupils in their final year of school. The retreat emphasized spiritual practices and faith-based principles while strengthening inter-religious and cultural ties, encouraging inclusion and promoting self-confidence.

As one of the young high school women taking part in the retreat said, “Caritas is the love that sees every person as a brother or sister made in God’s image and likeness. It does not matter whether a person is Christian, Muslim or has no faith, because they are still members of God’s creation.”

Or, to paraphrase the late Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, we do not educate and care for children because they are Catholic; we do it because we are.

For more stories on how Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are making a difference in the lives of children coping with family dysfunction and economic hardship in Scotland, visit our latest e-newsletter:

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are an international Congregation of women religious, founded by St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816) in Amiens, France in 1804.  The Congregation is committed to making known God’s goodness through education in a variety of ministries. Sisters serve on five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, and work to change lives by a “fundamental commitment to stand with our sisters and brothers who live in poverty and accompany them in their struggle.” Offices/centers are located in Rome, ITALY, Namur, BELGIUM and Ipswich, MA, USA.  Visit our web site at:

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur CMO
978-356-2159, ext. 12
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