Leadership

The School Sisters of Notre Dame Province of Africa installed a new provincial council on August 28, 2019, the Feast of St. Augustine.

Left to right: Sisters Dawida Krzempek, Oyin-oza Asishana and Antoinette Cornelius.
Left to right: Sisters Dawida Krzempek, Oyin-oza Asishana and Antoinette Cornelius.

Sisters from Ghana and Assembly delegates from The Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone attended the installation ceremony at the Provincial House in Accra, Ghana. Father Raymond Tangonyire, SJ, presided at the Eucharistic celebration.

Sister Oyin-oza Asishana was installed as the Provincial Leader, and Sisters Dawida Krzempek and Antoinette Cornelius were installed as the Provincial Councilors.

Sister Oyin-oza Asishana

Sister Oyin-oza Asishana was born in Nigeria, West Africa. She began her relationship with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 2000. She made her first profession in 2005 and perpetual profession in 2012.

Sister Oyin-oza earned a B.S. degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She served as a bursar in Notre Dame Girls’ Secondary School as well as an Area Bursar for Nigeria, 2005–2011. She also served as Provincial Treasurer in Ghana from 2011–2019.

Through this ministry, Sister Oyin-oza assisted leadership and members with the call to management of the province resources. Stewardship for Sister Oyin-oza is eucharistic, as the Province strive daily to share our meager resources with one another and all to whom we minister. “My role as a treasurer called me to foster greater unity and a deeper sense of reverence of the many people I encountered. Indeed, it is a ministry of relationships and interconnectedness."

Sister Oyin-oza was also a delegate for the District Assembly and thereafter, Provincial Assembly. Presently, she is one of the facilitators of the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative in Africa (SLDI). Sister Oyin-oza is currently the Provincial Leader of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Province of Africa.

“As a member of our Provincial Council, my goal is to strive daily to give witness to viable community life. I feel we are all responsible to keep the flame of Mother Theresa’s charism, burning alive in our time. It is my hope that we can work together, so that the little that each one of us can give will go a long way towards the realization of our goal, thereby strengthening the bond of unity among us and in those we serve.”

Sister Dawida Krzempek

Sister Dawida is originally from the region called Silesia, south of Poland, which borders the Czech Republic. She was professed in 1992 in Opole, Poland. She has been an SSND for 28 years.

In the year 2000, Sister Dawida was missioned to The Gambia. As she had a diploma in Dress Design from Poland Secondary Technical School, she was sent to teach Sewing and Dress Design in Notre Dame Vocational School in Soma. She also was asked to do pastoral work in Mary Mother of God Parish in Soma. She was responsible for Soma Pastoral Center, in which she welcomed children and teenagers from the region, and organized meetings for their missionary activities.

In 2008 she was sent to study at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, with a specialization in Elementary and Early Children Education which would enable her to respond fully to the educational needs and aptitudes of children.

In August 2012, she returned to The Gambia. The vocational school had closed in 2010, and in its place, SSND created Notre Dame Basic School in 2012, where Sister Dawida began a new ministry, teaching Mathematics and Arts and Crafts. She continued doing parish work, visiting Christian families and offering prayer services in outstations. She always tried to be an agent of unity for others in a country where Christians were a minority.

Sister Dawida was elected as The Gambia Area Local Leader in 2016 and served for nearly three years. In this leadership position, Sister Dawida emphasized the SSND charism of unity, living out Mother Theresa’s words, “In unity is our strength; therefore, we must hold to this anchor above all.”

In 2019, Sister Dawida was elected as Provincial Councilor of Africa, where she shares her love for the eight-year-old Province of Africa. She expresses her love for the eight-year-old Province of Africa with Sister Maura Eichner’s poem.

Peace
Who I am
where I stand
are gifts. I am
in God’s hand.

Sister Antoinette Cornelius

Sister Antoinette comes from Ghana in West Africa and she is the oldest of three children. She was raised in Fanti (Akan) matrilineal culture where the girl child is the heartbeat of the family.

As a member of the SSND, Sister Antoinette took her first professional vows in July 2007 and the perpetual vows in April 2016. Having trained as a teacher, she taught at the primary level from 2007 till 2009 when she entered the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, to pursue a four-year Bachelors degree in Education. On completion of her university studies in 2013, she was missioned to form community and to teach at St. Martin’s Senior Secondary School in Nsawam, Ghana. This appointment afforded her the occasion to espouse the SSND vision of education which seeks the fullest development of the student's abilities.

Sister Antoinette served as a member of the Provincial Assembly and, for three years journeyed with interested women as an Affiliate Director. Indeed, these roles helped shape and deepen her understanding of the SSND charism, and life of the province as she built relationships, mentored and invited others experience our charism. In 2016, she was invited to Rome as a pioneering member of the congregational novitiate community for a three-year period. The ministry in Rome further deepened her experience of the SSND as a true intercultural and multi-generational faith community and exposed her to the heart of the congregation.

Sister derives both her inspiration and passion from the Blessed Mother and Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger, women of great faith. They always point to the true meaning of life in union with God and what it is to be human. It is her hope that in our ministry and mission, we may promote unity and love which inspire faith in the communities, provinces and in the world at large.

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