Sisters of Notre Dame Celebrate Foundation Day!

Sisters of Notre Dame Celebrate Foundation Day!

Today, more than 2,000 Sisters of Notre Dame celebrate October 1 as Foundation Day. The congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld, Germany, was founded 167 years ago, during a time of religious and social need. A young teacher, Hilligonde Wolbring, took orphaned and neglected children into her home. Together with Elisabeth Kühling, her friend and colleague, she educated and cared for them. Other young women joined them, and their work was formalized as an established religious community.

From 1850 to 1855, Sisters of Notre Dame from Amersfoort introduced the growing Coesfeld community to the spirit and rule of the Amersfoort congregation, which they had received from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, founded in France by Julie Billiart in 1804. In 1855 the foundation in Coesfeld became an independent congregation.

In the spirit of St. Julie Billiart, Sister Maria Aloysia (Hilligonde Wolbring), Sister Maria Ignatia (Elisabeth Kühling) and the first Coesfeld Sisters, our international congregation continues to incarnate the love of our good and provident God. We invite you to visit our congregational website at to meet our sisters who live and minister on 5 continents and 16 countries.

Sisters of Notre Dame from around the world pray beneath the Coesfeld Crucifix in St. Lamberti Church, as did our co-foundresses Hilligonde Wolbring and Elisabeth Kühling.

Children in Passo Fundo, Brazil, sing about “Sowing the Seed of God’s Word” during their Bible Class.