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From the beginning education in its broadest sense was the first priority of our ministry as RNDM missionary women. The primary work of the sisters was the empowerment of women. Consequently children and young people are still at the centre of our RNDM educational institutions. In countries where access to basic education is limited centres have also been developed to promote literacy and provide health education and the social welfare for women. Our Foundress, Euphrasie Barbier in her many letters encouraged the sisters to care lovingly for the children and orphans in their care so that students of RNDM institutions were formed to be valiant young women and upright young men able to make a significant contribution to their family and society.
The monogram of our RNDM schools has V K emblazoned on the crest for Virtue and Knowledge. These two values were very strong in Euphrasie Barbier’s vision for education, “The children should receive thorough and practical religious instruction which will develop in their minds and hearts the virtues of faith, hope and charity and all other Christian virtues. . . . A woman who has been well trained should be a credit to her home by her wisdom and economy. . . She will pass on to her children the benefits of the good education she has received. She will be a wise counsellor and a strong support to her husband and a mother to the poor, the orphan and all who are in need.” (2 June 1878, letter of Euphrasie Barbier to Mary St Michael, Nelson)
Throughout the educational institutions of the congregation our students receive a strong spiritual foundation and values formation. They strive for personal excellence, learn respect for others, have a heart for the world, respect for creation and the environment and a strong awareness of mission with a global consciousness.