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Educate the Girl-Child, Strengthen the Family

Blessed Theresa’s first concern was for economically poor girls in small towns, villages and rural areas. In 1847 Theresa brought the School Sisters of Notre Dame to America. In her letter of May 30, 1847 Theresa writes: “For years, several American bishops and missionaries pleaded for School Sisters to teach the young girls in America—‘whose education is completely neglected’—so that Catholic Christianity could take deeper root in families and grow stronger there.”

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Theresa’s commitment to educating girls is emphasized in her writings in 1858: “with God’s grace the sisters will do their part in the teaching and character formation of girls so a new and better generation will arise” (adapted Letter 2724). In the 1940s School Sisters of Notre Dame journeyed to Japan and Guam to initiate education for girls. Soon after, the Sisters were called to countries in Central and South America. In the 1970s Bishops in Africa requested School Sisters to teach girls, the most forgotten of their countries.

Let us celebrate and honor the women of our world who are committed to the transformative power of education.

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