The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

Service

“Good will alone is not enough; it must also be put into practice.” - Saint Julie

At the heart of the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is Saint Julie Billiart’s belief in the goodness of God. Notre Dame students reflect the spirituality of Saint Julie Billiart in their own lives through direct service to people in need. Students participate in service projects at all grade levels.

The Academy requires 45 hours of service for upper school students as a graduation requirement. The students are required to enter their service hours on x2VOL, write a one page reflection on their service experience, and provide verification from the organization where the service took place. Service Learning at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur embraces the call to reach out to the poor and those in need, and integrates service learning into the academic and co-curricular programs.

Service Learning is a process in which students learn about social justice issues, engage with others affected by these issues, and after their experience, reflect upon how their interaction with others was both beneficial to those being served and those giving service. The students also reflect on their overall experience and how they witnessed God’s love within that experience.  

Program Goals

The Hallmarks of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur reflect Saint Julie’s belief in God’s goodness, and are characterized by a deep respect for the dignity of each individual. Hallmark Four proclaims, “We commit our lives to community service.” The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur has committed our school community to live out this calling and live out the charism of St. Julie by serving the greater community, especially with a focus on the poor and abandoned.

In Luke 16: 19-30, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. In that parable, Jesus asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Our students seek to answer that question, through direct service with members of our local communities, with an understanding that we are all created in God’s image and likeness.

In addition to service trips with Religion classes students have the opportunity to participate in service projects after school, and on the weekends, as well as a summer service trip to Costa Rica.

Upper School Service Opportunities
  • Women of Hope is a shelter that responds to the growing problem of homeless women with mental illness. The students provide meals and companionship during their visit. Women of Hope is located at 1210 Lombard Street, Philadelphia. 

  • Women of Change is a residence for women, providing 25 semi-private dormitory style beds. Residents are offered service coordination, personal recovery services, healthcare, education, social enterprise, and employment opportunities. The students cook meals, serve dinner and provide companionship during their visit. Women of Change is located 2042 Arch Street, Philadelphia. 
  • Saint Francis Inn serves over 350 meals a day to the poor and homeless of Philadelphia. Their meal is unique because they serve meals restaurant-style; the guests don’t walk through a line to get their food, the volunteers serve them at their tables. The students serve meals and provide companionship. Saint Francis is located at 2441 Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia. 
  • Walk for Water is an annual walk hosted by Campus Ministry on the campus of Notre Dame. Faculty, students, staff, alumnae, parents, siblings, neighbors, and friends walk three miles symbolizing the three miles that many women and children walk daily to access water. Often, that water is dirty, contains parasites and bacteria, and can be harmful to those who use it. The money raised goes to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who help to provide access to clean water in villages in Africa.
  • The Patrician Society is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization designed to meet the basic human needs of economically disadvantaged adults, children and families in our community. They provide an emergency food cupboard and assist clients with mortgage and utility payments. Students make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a monthly basis and the school community conducts a canned food drive during the Lenten season. The Patrician Society is located on 121 E. Chestnut Street, Norristown.
  • The Society of Saint Vincent DePaul helps those in need with material, moral, and spiritual support. Additional outreach can include transportation for elderly/shut-ins; bereavement support; nursing home visitation; holiday dinner/gift drives, etc. Students donate gently-used clothing, shoes, blankets, and athletic wear. Saint Vincent DePaul is located 49 W Logan Street, Philadelphia. 
  • Thanksgiving Basket Drive supports Saint Francis Inn. Faculty, staff, and students donate 30 turkey baskets filled with Thanksgiving dinner items and other basic food necessities for families in need.
  • Catholic Charities provides service to people in need, advocates for justice in social structures, and calls the entire church and other people of good will to do the same. Each year, the Academy conducts a Baby Goods Drive and students donate diapers, formula, and wipes for distribution families in need. Catholic Charities is located at 100 N 20th Street, Philadelphia.
  • iCan Bike Camp is a program for people with disabilities ages eight and up. The vast majority of people with disabilities never experience the thrill of independently riding a two-wheel bicycle during their lifetime. This program is hosted by the Academy of Notre Dame and sponsored by the Parents’ Association. Students help children learn how to ride a two wheel bike  and  volunteer to serve as spotters, provide water, and provide support and encouragement.
  • Divine Providence Village is a residential facility for men and women with developmental disabilities. Every Sunday, there is a 10:30 am Mass in their chapel. Upper School students are welcomed and encouraged to come and assist the residents to Mass. Divine Providence is located at 686 Old Marple Rd, Springfield, PA 19064.

Middle School Service Opportunities
  • The Share Food Program is a nonprofit organization serving a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education, and advocacy. Share is committed to ensuring that no hungry individual or family is turned away from a food cupboard. Students help weigh, pack and distribute boxes of food. Share is located at 2901 West Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia.

  • Walk for Water is an annual walk hosted by Campus Ministry on the campus of Notre Dame. Faculty, students, staff, alumnae, parents, siblings, neighbors, and friends walk three miles symbolizing the three miles that many women and children walk daily to access water. Often, that water is dirty, contains parasites and bacteria, and can be harmful to those who use it. The money raised goes to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who help to provide access to clean water in villages in Africa. 
  • The Patrician Society is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization designed to meet the basic human needs of economically disadvantaged adults, children and families in our community. They provide an emergency food cupboard and assist clients with mortgage and utility payments. Students make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a monthly basis and the school community conducts a canned food drive during the Lenten season. The Patrician Society is located on 121 E. Chestnut Street, Norristown.  
  • The Society of Saint Vincent DePaul helps those in need with material, moral, and spiritual support. Additional outreach can include transportation for elderly/shut-ins; bereavement support; nursing home visitation; holiday dinner/gift drives, etc. Students donate gently-used clothing, shoes, blankets, and athletic wear. Saint Vincent DePaul is located at 49 W Logan Street, Philadelphia. 
  • Thanksgiving Basket Drive supports Saint Francis Inn. Faculty, staff, and students donate 30 turkey baskets filled with Thanksgiving dinner items and other basic food necessities for families in need.  
  • Catholic Charities provides service to people in need, advocates for justice in social structures, and calls the entire church and other people of good will to do the same. Each year, the Academy conducts a Baby Goods Drive and students donate diapers, formula, and wipes for distribution families in need. Catholic Charities is located at 100 N 20th Street, Philadelphia.
  • iCan Bike Camp is a program for people with disabilities ages eight and up. The vast majority of people with disabilities never experience the thrill of independently riding a two-wheel bicycle during their lifetime. This program is hosted by the Academy of Notre Dame and sponsored by the Parents’ Association. Students help children learn how to ride a two wheel bike  and  volunteer to serve as spotters, provide water, and provide support and encouragement.  
  • MANNA is a leader in evidence-based nutrition services, bringing together dietitians, chefs, drivers, and thousands of volunteers to cook and deliver nutritious, medically appropriate meals and provide nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, and HIV/AIDS. Each middle school student will visit and help prepare meals for the clients at MANNA. MANNA is located at 420 North 20th Street, Philadelphia.
  • The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House supports families of seriously ill children by creating a community of comfort and hope. Their programs include two Ronald McDonald Houses in West and North Philadelphia. The Guest Chef program at the Front & Erie House has volunteers purchase ingredients independently to prepare meals in their kitchen for the families. This service gives families an opportunity to rest while not worrying about buying or making dinner.   
Students prepare to serve dinner to the residents of Women of Hope.
Students volunteer their time at the Share Food Program.
Students prepare PB & J sandwiches for the local food shelter.
Four Notre Dame students volunteer their time at the Walk for Water event held at Notre Dame.