Archives Feature Stories

September 26, 2022
By Grace Avila, Assistant Archivist Beginnings are not without their challenges. When School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) founded missions at parish schools, they would never know what type of situation they were getting into. The sisters could be warmly received by the community, met with open hostility or every other possibility in between. Opening missions in states with an...Read more
August 25, 2022
By Tim Cary, Processing Archivist Transforming the world through education. The ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) is meaningful to the people they teach. The words are also important to the sisters themselves. Prior to the early 1950s, teaching sisters got relatively little formal training before being placed into the classroom. They met the same standards that...Read more
August 16, 2022
In 1965, Mother Georgianne Segner, the provincial for the Dallas Province, was traveling to Wilton, Connecticut, to attend the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Conference. The SSND-ECs were annual events where North American sisters would attend lectures on various topics related to education and teaching. Along the way she had a very interesting encounter. The following was recorded in...Read more
July 31, 2022
“Yesterday, Friday, July 30 [1847], at five in the evening, we set foot on solid ground for the first time in America – in New York.” Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger wrote these words at the end of the long and arduous trip from Munich to New York. She left Bavaria with the intention of establishing a motherhouse in a...Read more
June 23, 2022
Margaret Wessels was born January 8, 1902 in St. Louis, Missouri. She entered the congregation in 1919 and was given the religious name Eulogia. Sister Eulogia professed her first vows in 1923 and for the next 40 years, she worked primarily as an elementary school teacher in Missouri, Illinois, Texas and Louisiana. When Sister Eulogia entered the congregation, teachers were...Read more
May 26, 2022
Why is Sister Virginia Grumlich hanging out with actor Robert Young? The story is simple. In 1969, the Preparatory Institute of Notre Dame in Sunland, California closed. The following year, the SSND and the Eddie Cantor Charitable Foundation established what became known as Tierra del Sol, a program originally conceived to be an alternative to training in a sheltered workshop....Read more
April 26, 2022
From the Michele Levandoski, archivist at the School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives: Mother Caroline Friess was known for her embroidery skills. She established the Tapestry Department at the Milwaukee Motherhouse as a means to generate income to support the sisters. The department made various types of liturgical items, such as vestments, palls, chasubles and burses. The photos...Read more
March 22, 2022
From the Michele Levandoski, archivist at the School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives: When people hear the name, “School Sisters of Notre Dame,” they think of them as educators. However, not all SSND were teachers. There were a group of sisters known as “homemaking sisters,” whose job it was to keep the sisters living in the Motherhouses, convents,...Read more
February 22, 2022
The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) North American Archives is the repository of historical documents and artifacts for the congregation in North America. Located at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the archives include more than 2,000 linear feet of records that date back to the establishment of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in North America. Learn more...Read more
January 27, 2022
From Michele Levandoski, archivist at the School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives: The original story behind this spoon was that Mother Caroline Friess brought it with her from Germany when she emigrated to the United States in 1847. The issue, however, is that it was engraved with the following: “Ven. Mother M. Caroline.” When Mother Caroline came to...Read more