Sharing God’s Goodness through Pastoral Ministry Spirituality

A reflection by Sister Kathleen Gallivan, SNDdeN

I am grateful for the deep sense of being bonded in heart and Spirit with the Notre Dame world and for the diverse ministries through which we proclaim God’s goodness.

The sense of bonding began long before I entered the congregation. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were. My teachers and mentors in elementary and high school. Even as a child, I was inspired by the story of Julie Billiart and contributed my pennies to the Sisters’ global missionary work. Julie’s story spoke to my heart. Contemplating a career path, I debated between joining the Sisters or pursuing nursing, ultimately opting for the former, a decision I’ve never regretted.

Over the years, I have ministered in various educational roles from elementary to college. I have worked as a parish Director of Religious Education and a Formation Coordinator for the Boston Province. I was privileged to spend time in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and begin the International Final Vow Program with Sister Dorothy Connelly, SNDdeN (rip). These experiences have deepened a sense of bonding in heart and Spirit, realizing that the world is my home. I feel pride in all the ways we serve God’s people.

The opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in theology, pastoral care and psychology broadened my horizons to embrace interfaith ministry, a value I hold dear. For the last 21 years, I served as the Director of Spiritual Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a large trauma 1 hospital in Boston. In this ministry, I realized my early calling to healthcare. I have been honored to lead a multifaith, multicultural staff, work with amazing healthcare professionals, educate the next generation of chaplains, and care for patients, families and staff.

I have witnessed the sanctity of life’s transitions, from welcoming new lives to comforting the departing. Being an essential worker during the pandemic reinforced the privilege of sharing our mission of God’s goodness. I am profoundly blessed by these experiences and the opportunity to live out our charism in service to others.

Two Sisters praying at the Emmanuel 2024 Jubilee.
Sisters Kathleen Gallivan and Ann Mary Donovan. SNDdeN at the 2024 Jubilee at Emmanuel College.

Read Sowing Goodness – Summer 2024

Read more stories from our summer magazine about the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from the East-West Province, who are bonded in heart and spirit and strong in shared vision.