Archives Feature Stories

May 30, 2023
By: Michele Levandoski Dorothy Lillian Hensgen was born on November 18, 1914, in St. Louis, Missouri, the oldest of Jules and Louise Hensgen’s three children. According to her autobiography, “three times before the age of four, she lay at death’s door.” The third instance occurred in 1918 at the height of the influenza pandemic when Dorothy and her father contracted...Read more
April 25, 2023
By Tim Cary, Archivist The series of articles over the past year acknowledging the 175th anniversary of the School Sisters of Notre Dame arrival in North America has sought to explore interesting SSND “firsts.” A discussion of such firsts would be incomplete without Mother Ambrosia Roecklein, who accomplished many firsts. She was the first North American sister to be elected...Read more
March 27, 2023
By Grace Avila, Assistant Archivist The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) were established in Bavaria in 1833 by Mother Theresa Gerhardinger to provide children with a good education regardless of their background or social status. Mother Caroline Friess brought these same ideals to North America in 1847. Therefore, it was only natural for SSND to work with the Archdiocese...Read more
February 21, 2023
By Tim Cary, Archivist On September 1, 1948, in Strasburg and Mantador, North Dakota, an interesting side note in the history of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) began. A new school year was about to begin, and the teachers at the schools in those towns (Sisters Celine Koktan, Lucida Kunz, Thomas Caven, Isabel Kathrein, Josepha Forster, Kathleen Rother,...Read more
January 25, 2023
By Michele Levandoski, Archivist Let’s begin 2023 by celebrating trailblazing School Sisters of Notre Dame. This month we highlight sisters who were the first or the only in the congregation who held certain distinctions, such as earning a Ph.D., serving as a college president or getting a chauffer’s license. Note: Every attempt has been made to correctly identify the “first”...Read more
December 21, 2022
By Grace Avila, Assistant Archivist This article is part of the School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives’ 175th anniversary celebration of SSND arriving in North America. For the next year, the staff at the North American Archives will celebrate this milestone by highlighting SSND “firsts.” Each month will focus on a particular sister, event or mission that has a unique...Read more
November 22, 2022
By Tim Cary, Archivist School Sisters of Notre Dame – it’s in the name. The congregation is well known for the excellence of its teachers. That remains true however, the sisters are also known for the breadth of their gifts. Vatican II urged religious to open their windows to a changing world and to examine ministries that engaged in activities...Read more
October 27, 2022
The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) have opened academies, institutes, high schools and colleges which have offered a high-quality education to thousands of young women. This month, the 175th celebration of SSND in North America highlights some of the unique traditions, sports and celebrations at several of these schools in the United States and Canada. This is a small...Read more
October 12, 2022
October is American Archives Month, which was created to promote the value of archives and the importance of archivists. People often have misconceptions about what an archive is, and what archivists do. The public seems to have an image of archivists sitting in rooms pouring over old, dusty documents that they keep away from the public eye. Nothing could be...Read more
October 5, 2022
The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) North American Archives staff was awarded with the 2022 Governor’s Award for Archival Achievement from the Wisconsin Historical Society during an award presentation on October 4. Read about the award at The SSND North American Archives is the repository of historical documents for the congregation in North America. Located at Mount Mary University...Read more