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From St. Mary’s High School to NDeC-lawrence

In 1859, five Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur came to St. Mary's in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, to establish a ministry of education, social services and pastoral care for the diverse Italian and Irish immigrant population.

One hundred thirty seven years later, St. Mary's High School closed.

After doing a needs assessment in 1996, the Sisters of Notre Dame, eager to continue their work with the immigrants of Lawrence, established the Notre Dame Education Center. Together with the Lawrence community, we are making known in our time that “God is good,” a message imprinted in the hearts of many for 150 uninterrupted years of presence and service from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for the people of Lawrence.


Notre Dame Education Center (NDEC-L), located in Lawrence, Massachusetts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-based organization established by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1997. Its primary goal is to educate low-income, under-educated adults and empower them to improve their lives and those of their families. Our mission is to:
• Promote a quality of life through education
• Collaborate with people in the community to   
   facilitate improved services to immigrants in

   the area
• Generate a spirit of welcome and respect for

   the dignity of each person
• Provide for the development of self-esteem 

  and literacy that will support employment 

  opportunities, a better family life and 

  participation within the community.
• Develop diverse and integrated educational 

  programs including: English for Speakers of

  Other Languages (ESOL), computer training,

  distance learning in English, Nursing

  Assistant/Home Health Aide (NAP/HHA)  training and preparation for both the computerized High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), General Educational Development (GED) and the citizenship interview. Tutoring and academic career coaching are provided as needed.