Africa, Asia, North America

Sister Justine Nutz

In March, I will be 77 – a magical age! Growing older is a continuous adventure because physical energy transmutes into spiritual and psychic energy. As soon as God hears my ‘Final Yes,’ my greatest adventure will begin!" 

- Sister Justine Nutz, SSND

  Sister Justine Nutz (center) celebrates the graduation of the Level 4 students at SSND-sponsored Caroline House in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she ministers as art and English as a Second Language teacher. 

Sister Justine Nutz (far right) participates a 1983 peace march in Washington. Sister Justine designed the banner,  which says “Blessed are the Peacemakers - Daughters and Sons of God - School Sisters of Notre Dame.” About 30 SSNDs from Wilton, Connecticut, went to Washington for the peace march.

Inspired by adventure

"In 1947, a comic book depicted an adventurous group of German women sailing the stormy Atlantic, crossing the continent on wagon trains and educating poor children. This precious little book honored the 100th anniversary of School Sisters of Notre Dame in America, and as a very imaginative fifth grader, I saw myself in every frame. Adventure brought me to SSND.

"Born and raised on an island, Manhattan, and watching the constant arrival of ships from many nations, I knew there was a wide world beyond New York. My parents were German immigrants with deep and strong ties to Bavaria. Sitting on a tenement fire escape with my cat, suspended between concrete and clouds, I felt myself part of the universe. The Statue of Liberty was real to me. Now I stand between her and Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger as I teach English to immigrant women."

‘I love what I do’

"Adventures of all kinds shape my life. Community living is an adventure. My SSND life has traveled through teaching, ministry with homeless women, nurse aide to our sisters, spiritual direction, renewal ministry and province leadership. In 1974, during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to work in a Saigon orphanage.

"My presentations as Blessed Teresa or Mother Caroline Friess, in original habit, suit the occasion and the audience. This October, I will be Caroline at the 20th Anniversary of Caroline House in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Madre Teresa in Puerto Rico for SSND: 100 Years! The silver thread connecting all my adventures is art. I am an untrained artist; a wild artist, like a wild flower. I do what I love, and I love what I do. SSND is the beloved field in which I have grown and continue to grow."

- Sister Justine NutzSSND

Sister Justine Nutz (far right) joined with more than 300,000 people in New York City for the People's Climate March in 2014 to demand action on climate change.

Read the SSND comic book that inspired
Sister Justine Nutz as an imaginative fifth grader


Transforming the world through education