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Preserving the legacy of SSND

Archivist Michele Levandoski puts the last box onto the shelves in the new North American Archives. The history of the School Sisters of Notre Dame reveals a legacy of courage, leadership, and vision. Our belief that every person can make a difference also prompted us to preserve many unique records that would otherwise have been lost, forgotten or even destroyed. Historians can now study these documents and learn about our contributions to Catholic education, the church in North America and around the world.

For many years, the School Sisters of Notre Dame held our historical documents in eight different archives in the United States and Canada. After a long search for one place to preserve all of our North American records for future generations, we finally found a very suitable space at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee.

Sisters in St. Louis gave their blessings to their archives, which are moving to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. The School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives will hold records of our lives and ministries from the current Atlantic-Midwest and Central Pacific Provinces, as well as from eight former provinces: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Mankato, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Wilton, and Waterdown, Ontario. We opened missions in Guam, Puerto Rico, Japan, England and various countries of Africa and Latin America, and records documenting the development of these missions will also be contained in the new archives.

The movers loaded up the archives from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota, and moved them to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee.Since our ministries have always been directed toward education, our records help document the history of Catholic education in North America. For example, during our first 50 years in North America (1847-1897), we staffed or opened more than 260 schools. However, this number grew considerably during the following century. The records contained in our archives are unique and often cannot be found elsewhere.

Sisters in Chatawa, Mississippi, bid farewell to their archives, which will be moved to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. The new archives is a costly initiative, however, and $250,000 is needed to help cover expenses for the renovation of the space at Mount Mary University. You are invited to help preserve the legacy of the School Sisters of Notre Dame by giving a gift in honor or memory of a sister or a loved one who made a difference in your life. The funds will ensure that these precious documents can be preserved in a suitable environment and will help pay for the transport of the many archival collections to the new archives. Your gift will be permanently displayed in a commemorative book and on our recognition wall in the new archives.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives will be open to the public for research and tours after January 1, 2018, and will be dedicated on June 2, 2018. To learn more about how you can give, please contact Mary Kay Murray at mmurray@ssndcp.org or call 262-787-1037.

Archives Update

The final collection from Elm Grove arrived just after Thanksgiving. Since that time, the archivist and volunteers have started working on several big projects, including organizing and cataloging the reference library and organizing the deceased sister files (consists of about 9,000 files). The archives officially opened to the public on January 2, 2018, and since then have received many visitors and answered 120 reference requests. Each month, the archives website will feature something from the collection along with a brief history of the item.

So far, approximately $120,000 in donations have been received, bringing the archives project closer to its $250,000 goal. Three out of the four rooms and one stained glass window have been sponsored. A recognition wall is being created that will feature a carving by Sister Mary Ann Osborne depicting the landing of the first SSNDs in North America. The archives will be formally dedicated on June 2, 2018.


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School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100



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