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Obituary: Worldwide Praise For Charismatic Leader, Sr Teresita Weind, SNDdeN

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Ipswich MA, USA – April 29, 2024   Sr. Teresita Weind, SNDdeN, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) for 14 years, died on April 28, 2024 at 81 years of age, after some months of painful suffering at Mount Notre Dame Health Center (MNDHC) in Cincinnati, Ohio.  A Catholic Sister for sixty-four years, she had served two terms in General Leadership, from 2008-2014, and 2014-2022 in Rome, Italy.  She was the 19th Superior General of the SNDdeN Congregation, known, praised and loved internationally for her charismatic, spiritual Leadership in her Religious Congregation as well as with other Women Religious. Throughout her two mandates, Sr. Teresita participated frequently in Rome with the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).

Sr. Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, Congregational Leader and 20th Superior General, and the Congregational Leadership Team speak for the Sisters internationally: “We are grateful forever for Sr. Teresita’s generous sharing with us of her abundant gifts as Congregational Leader for fourteen years. The depth of her spirituality and the breadth of her vision continue to inspire us in all that we can be as Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, serving on five continents. Her extraordinary life and ministries constitute an enduring legacy of love.”

Admired and honored nationally also, Sr. Teresita is a Founding Member of the National Black Sisters Conference (NBSC) in Washington, DC, USA, where she served on the Board and on many Committees.  She represented the NBSC also on the Board of the National Office of Black Catholics. In her leadership and belonging to the Women of Color, formed by SNDdeN General Government Group in the late 1980s, Sr. Teresita promoted effectively anti-racism and cross-cultural efforts within the Congregation which gave her such respect and love internationally among Sisters.  She continued meeting with NBSC and the Women of Color, on ZOOM even throughout months of physical pain and suffering.

Previous to being elected Congregational Leader at two General Chapters in the Congregation (2008, 2014), Sr. Teresita had served on the Province Leadership Team (2005-2007) and then was elected as Province Moderator (2007-2008) in the SNDdeN Ohio Province.

Due to the Covid pandemic, Sr. Teresita served longer than expected in her designated mandate in her second term (2014-2020) as Congregational Leader.  Unable to bring  together 49 Delegates and Staff in a face-to-face General Chapter, scheduled for June and July 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, Sr. Teresita, with her Congregational Leadership Team (CLT) petitioned the Vatican to hold a Virtual General Chapter on Zoom.  In 2021, with Delegates in 15 countries on five continents.  The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were the first Congregation of Women Religious to receive the permission from the Vatican for a Virtual General Chapter. As the “highest authority in the Congregation” while in session, the 2021 Virtual General Chapter was able to replicate the proceedings and decision-making of other General Chapters.  A prayerful spirit of unity enabled the Delegates to elect a new Congregational Leadership Team and to set strong directions for the Congregation for the next six years.

Sr. Teresita, named Helen Louise at birth on July 6, 1942, was the first daughter of eight children born to Lon Weind of Henderson, Tennessee and Lillian Marie Evans of Columbus, Ohio.  Baptized into the Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus, Helen Louise was brought into full communion with the Catholic Church on December 24, 1954. Her education in two Catholic schools had brought Helen Louise into a life-changing contact with Catholic Sisters.  She entered the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation on September 8, 1960 and took the religious name of Sister Teresita.  She made her First Profession of Vows in August 1963 and her Final Profession in August 1968.  She transferred Vows to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on February 9, 1973 with her Final Commitment as SNDdeN on August 13, 1976.

Trained in the School of Nursing at St. Andrew Hospital in Bottineau, North Dakota, Sr. Teresita received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1969 from Mary College in Bismark, North Dakota.  In 1972, Sr. Teresita attained a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois.  Skilled in nursing, Sr. Teresita was able to reach out in many of her ministries to those needing health care in Illinois, Michigan, North Dakota and Ohio.  Educated in theology and religious studies, Sr. Teresita used her gifts and education in parish service, pastoral care, spiritual direction and companioning many Sisters and lay persons throughout her life, as well as in the years after her ministry in Congregational Leadership.

Through her Leadership in the Congregation, Sr. Teresita actualized and implemented, with two different Congregational Leadership Teams (CLT), the CALLS OF THE GENERAL CHAPTERS: 2008 and 2014.   The CLT was able to promote in a spirit of Oneness, the charism and Mission of the Co-Foundresses, St. Julie Billiart and Françoise Blin de Bourdon.  The two  Teams animated successfully a Vision for Mission, in collaboration with Province Leadership Teams and the Sisters on five continents.

After her time in General Leadership, Sr. Teresita lived in the Julie Community in Cincinnati where she continued a ministry in pastoral care, liturgical and community support and spiritual direction.  She served as Co-Moderator for over a year in Mount Notre Dame Health Center (MNDHC), until she was no longer able, due to her failing health and chemotherapy treatments.  She continued reaching out to the spiritual, pastoral and health support needs of SNDdeN, other Women Religious and lay persons.

Sr. Teresita’s Leadership was grounded in “Lovingkindness,” in a prophetic spirituality through which she led her Sisters before, among and behind all of them internationally!  She had the gift and spiritual depth to inspire, uplift and animate others with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Her homilies at liturgical celebrations, her letters and writings and her conferences delivered at celebrations and special events exemplified a rare gift of God.  At times, she raised many spirits with her spontaneous SONG.  In her being and presence, she communicated profoundly her life’s convictions as a disciple of Jesus, a daughter of the Church and Shepherd Leader for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

With Sr. Teresita’s family, the Sisters, Associates, Co-Workers, Friends and Partners in Mission, worldwide, mourn the loss of this charismatic leader.  Multitudes recognize and celebrate the life and greatness of Sr. Teresita Weind as they experienced in her ministries: nurse, parish minister, spiritual director, pastoral guide, companion on the spiritual journey, leader in the Ohio Province, and charismatic General Moderator of the Congregation for 14 years (2008-2022).

 “Now is the moment, day, era to be the place where God dwells in mystery, in order to make Goodness known in the world!”                                                                                    Closing Message, General Chapter, Sr. Teresita Weind, SNDdeN, December 10, 2021


A Memorial Mass will take place at Mount Notre Dame Health Center, 699 E. Columbia Ave., Cincinnati, OH (513-821-7448), on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m.  The Mass will be livestreamed, opening 15 minutes before the Mass at: https://youtube.com/live/ofJiTnK9f2A?feature=share.

More information is available at: https://www.sndohio.org/sisters-notre-dame/blog/1633314/sister-teresita-weind-sndden.

A second Memorial Mass will take place in Columbus, OH, at a date yet to be determined.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Retirement Fund of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 701 E. Columbia Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215.

Funeral arrangements:  Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, 3183 Linwood Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208, Phone: 513-321-0404, www.rohdefuneral.com.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are an international Congregation of Catholic Sisters, founded in France in 1804 by St. Julie Billiart.  Sisters serve in Belgium, Brazil, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, and in 21 states throughout the USA.

We, SNDdeN, commit ourselves to make known God’s goodness through education in a variety of ministries.  We staff offices/centers in Rome, ITALY, Namur, BELGIUM and Ipswich, MA, USA.  “We are called to sow across the world new seeds of hope and unity; of inclusion and belonging; of invitation, welcome and dialogue; of collaboration for mission.” (CALLS 18th General Chapter 2021). We maintain a web site at: www.sndden.org.

“Goodness and Kindness will follow me all the days of my life…”  Psalm 23: 6           

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