It was in 1970 that the work of a team began in the village of Negritos, Peru. A pastoral team of three priests of the Society of Saint James, three nursing Sisters of Saint Joseph and three Sisters of Notre Dame formed a community. Sisters Thérèse Hartley, Marie- Julie Alvarez and John Marie Thompson were the three English sisters who began the Notre Dame mission in Peru.
Through a combination of pastoral care, health services, catechetical formation and adult education, the team began their work with the people. The sisters joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph in a second mission in Tambogrande in October 1974.
In 1978, the SNDs settled in Lima where they became involved in the “Fe y Alegria” School in Delicas. The movement “Fe y Alegria” (faith and joy) is a people’s movement for education. It was begun by a Jesuit in Venezuela to provide education for children of families who had come down from the mountains in search of work. The Sisters of Notre Dame are now in charge of a “Fe y Alegria” project in the north, in the district of Tambogrande.
Peru became a province on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 1981 and was able, therefore, to begin a formation program. Since 2007, the sisters of Peru and Of Nicaragua form one province.
Today, the sisters are engaged in pastoral and social work as well as in education and health care.