The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

SNDdeN Mission Statement: Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, women with hearts as wide as the world, make known God’s goodness and love of the poor through a Gospel way of life, community and prayer. Continuing a strong educational tradition, we take our stand with poor people, especially women and children, in the most abandoned places. Each of us commits her one and only life to work with others to create justice and peace for all.

St. Julie Billiart founded the Sisters of Notre Dame with the aid of Françoise Blin de Bourdon in 1804. Motivated by the desire "to make known God's goodness," St. Julie established a Catholic religious congregation that today serves on five continents — Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. From the beginning, St. Julie and Françoise were convinced of education's power to help individuals to lead lives of freedom and human dignity. Their passion for teaching and learning is enshrined in the constitution of the Sisters of Notre Dame, which describes education as "fundamental to bringing about the reign of God." 

Many of the principles St. Julie and Françoise established for the Sisters of Notre Dame more than 200 years ago still characterize the Congregation to this day: a passion for education as "the greatest work on earth," a commitment to the poor, a global apostolic mission, a life that balances prayer and action, a focus on community building, and an abiding and deeply rooted trust in the goodness of God. 

The first Sisters to come to America settled in Cincinnati in 1840. Nine years later, members of the Congregation came to Boston, where they taught at St. Mary School in the North End. From there, they established schools in Cambridge and Somerville and in mill towns such as Lynn, Lowell, Lawrence, Chicopee and Springfield. 

In 1919, the Sisters founded Emmanuel College, the flagship SND institution of higher education in North America. Today, members of the Emmanuel community continue to live out the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame through education, a commitment to social justice and a longstanding tradition of service to the wider Boston community. 

Explore Emmanuel

Emmanuel Awarded Cummings Foundation Grant for Service Initiatives

In May 2019, Emmanuel College was selected as one of 100 Boston-area nonprofits to receive a $100,000 grant through Cummings Foundation's "$100K for 100" program. The grant will help support service initiatives through Emmanuel's Cardinal Seán O'Malley Center for Mission & Ministry.

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A Commitment to Service: Justin Prairie '05

Although half a world away in Pakistan, Justin Prairie '05 is never far from Emmanuel and Boston. A foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, Justin currently works on political and military affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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Saints Spotlight: Meghan Larkin '19

When Meghan Larkin '19 was a first-year student at Emmanuel, she paid close attention to her resident assistants (RAs) and became inspired by the effort they put into creating a positive living environment.

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Location, Opportunity Driving Influences for McGrath '20

When Rachael was applying to college, she hadn't quite figured out what she wanted to study. There were several routes she could take on the path to her future, but deciding on one seemed impossible. It was then that she realized she needed to attend a school that could support all of her interests.

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Saints Abroad: Ellison Chang '18

During her academic year at Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia, political science major Ellison Chang '18 has learned to "live in the moment" and embrace the unfamiliar.

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Emmanuel is a place where students broaden their sense of what’s possible and prepare for inspiring careers in an ever-changing world. Be here.