Sr. Susan Kidd Photo courtesy of Sr. Susan Kidd

Congregation de Notre Dame sisters reach out online to show value of consecrated life

By 
  • April 24, 2015

Sr. Susan Kidd said the need for consecrated life in the world hasn’t changed, but she admits there was a time when the religious were more visible and it was easier to connect with a sister.

As part of the communications committee for the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, she said anything they can do to reach out beyond their immediate community has to be a part of their mission.

So reflecting on Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of Consecrated Life, the committee has launched an online web series about vocations, religious life and mission.

“It was sort of in that committee setting that we were trying to think of ways to (reach out to) people who don’t know that sisters are around any more,” said Kidd.

As a campus minister at University of Prince Edward Island’s Chaplaincy Centre, Kidd said that even her students don’t really know what it means to be a sister.

“They know me as Sr. Sue, but they don’t know I’m a part of the Congregation of Notre Dame. They don’t know St. Marguerite Bourgeoys necessarily,” she said.

The first video in the series launched on the Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s YouTube channel Jan. 12 to coincide with the feast day of congregation foundress, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. The three-minute video features Kidd with Sr. Della Gaudet, Sr. Réjeanne Bourque and Sr. Anne T. Gillis telling stories of how they came to answer the call to religious life.

“Consecrated life is a term familiar to some people but not everybody, so for the first one, we really needed to focus on what is consecrated life and what does it mean,” said Kidd.

Shortly after the video was released, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shared the video and the congregation got a wave of positive feedback. Kidd said that it was around this time that she received an e-mail from a young woman who wanted to connect with her.

“I just assumed she was from the States, so I was saying what about Skype... but it turns out she lives three blocks away from me here in Charlottetown,” she said.

Kidd said this is why social media is such an integral part of the communications mission. Sometimes, the audience social media reaches is larger than what they had first anticipated.

Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s YouTube channel released the second instalment of the video series on April 17 to coincide with St. Marguerite Bourgeoys’ birthday. In the second video, the sisters discuss St. Marguerite’s passion as an educator and how her life has been an inspiration for their mission.

The third instalment is set to be released May 31, the same day the sisters renew their religious vows.

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