Foundation Day 2021

On October 24, 2021, we celebrate 188 years as the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) while remembering the strength and commitment of our foundress, Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger. Blessed Theresa established the congregation in 1833 in Neunburg vorm Wald, Bavaria. Just 14 years later, she responded to a call to open schools in North America.

Having accompanied Blessed Theresa to New York in 1847, Mother Caroline Friess was instrumental in the growth and expansion of SSND throughout North America and in turn, SSND missions reaching as far as Africa, Asia and Latin America. Like Blessed Theresa, Mother Caroline wrote many letters to sisters, filled with affection and down-to-earth advice, revealing the heart of a compassionate servant leader.

For Foundation Day 2021, sisters from the Collaborative provinces of Africa, Atlantic-Midwest and Central Pacific sent in photographs that reflect Mother Caroline’s spirit of hope and possibilities that still exists today. We’ve combined these photos with inspirational quotes from Mother Caroline’s letters into this celebratory video. Happy Foundation Day!

(Click the image to view the video.)

More Foundation Day resources:

The Atlantic-Midwest Province provides this prayer for Foundation Day 2021.

The Africa Province offers this prayer service for Foundation Day 2021.

The first SSND voyage to North America from the SSND Archives.

2021 Foundation Day Edition of “In Mission, “ a special publication produced every year by communications teams from around the congregation.

Read more about the origins of the School Sisters of Notre Dame at