Sister Mary Johnson

"Better mistakes than paralysis."

-St. Julie Billiart

I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the older daughter of Irish immigrants of deep faith and love of learning. My sister and I grew up in a wonderful parish, Sacred Heart, and were educated there by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for 12 years. We both attended Emmanuel College. I entered Notre Dame two years after graduation from Emmanuel.

As a second year novice, I discovered my passion for teaching and education at St. Gregory High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a passion I continued to embrace in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and as Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Emmanuel College in Boston and now at Trinity Washington University (formerly Trinity College) in Washington, D.C. As part of my teaching ministry, I have also been privileged to be involved in numerous research projects, presentations and publications.

At this time of my 40th Jubilee in Notre Dame [in 2021] I am grateful for St. Julie’s urging us to risk; “Better mistakes than paralysis” is one of my favorite quotes of hers. It has inspired me over the years to try to respond to the signs of the times in the light of the Gospel and for the sake of living the liberty of spirit to which she calls us.

Sister Mary now serves as a member of the congregational leadership team for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and is based in Rome.

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