What Makes an SNJM school SNJM?

In Their Own Words: What Makes an SNJM School SNJM?

People say there’s something unique about an SNJM school. But what is it? Holy Names educators, including Sister Ann Regan (above), share their thoughts about “heart learning.” We invite you to prayer the prayer below before viewing the video. Reflection questions follow the prayer. Download the prayer/questions.

5 minutes 39 seconds

What Makes an SNJM School SNJM: Activity, prayer, questions

When considering clichés about the heart, we hear “at the heart of the matter” or “in the heart of the city” or “heart and soul.” These all imply and relate to something of importance. If something “comes from the heart” you know it comes with an outpouring of love from the giver. It is more than just a simple ordinary gift.

Think for a moment of what is at the heart of your school. What is most important to you? What is at the foundation that is critical to its success? (Pause for reflection)

Activity: There is a picture of a heart at your tables. Write your word(s) within the outline of the heart.


In the name of our Creator, our Redeemer and the Sanctifying Holy Spirit,

Creator God, Keep us always mindful of the importance of the heart. In our community it breathes purpose, communion, energy and life. Guide us to return to the heart often, protecting it and honoring it.

Holy Redeemer, You came to earth to prove God’s love. Remind us that we are in the business of “heart learning.” Yes, academics are important, but what we do with the hearts of our students is essential. It is our promise to God and to our world.

Inspiring Spirit, Give us the insight to make this a place that overflows with beauty, possibilities, and love. Help us to say YES whenever we can so that every opportunity may be realized.

Take another look at the heart at your table. I ask that you randomly call out what you believe is at the heart of our community.

Blessed Marie Rose understood the importance of heart. At the core of her Congregation is the love of God and concern for our world. As stated by Sisters Ann Pizelo and Laura Michels:

Love is the beginning, the middle and the end of all that we as Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary profess to live and act in our times. Love animates all our ministries and gives heart to our Mission. Whether we minister to children, to adults, to those on the margins of society, we face the days ahead knowing that we are doing this in the Name of Jesus, Who is Love. We have the awesome power of putting love into those spaces of emptiness, and celebrating the fullness of God’s promise to be with us always.



  1. What do you think sets an SNJM school apart from other schools?
  2. Sister Mary Patricia says what is important is what we do with the hearts of our students. What do you think she means by that? Cite an example of how that gets carried out at your school.
  3. When you first walk into your school, what do you see, what do you notice? Does that illuminate its SNJMness? What about your classroom/working space?
  4. Sister Ann Regan tells us that even in times of change we must be careful to keep the school’s SNJM foundation strong. W must protect the non-negotiables. List your school’s non-negotiables.
  5. In what ways does your school’s climate and culture mirror SNJM values? Can you cite examples of when it does not?