Facebook IconTwitter IconInstagram IconSpotify

Sisters reflect on NDEG

For the past few months, the Elm Grove News-Independent, a local newspaper in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, has been publishing historical articles as well as sister reflections for the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). Sisters have submitted their reflections on the time they spent at Notre Dame of Elm Grove (NDEG) and their fondest memories of becoming a sister. Below are two sisters’ reflections.


School Sisters of Notre Dame: Building a life together

By Sister Joan Penzenstadler

Sister Joan Penzenstadler

Having been attracted to sisters when I was very young, it wasn’t until high school that I knew the community calling my heart was the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Before I even had words to sort out all the reasons, I sensed not only the richness of their life of prayer, but also their commitment to the intellectual development of women. They prayed and worked and built a life together, making a difference for the sake of the Gospel.

While still working at Mount Mary University, I have been privileged to live at Notre Dame of Elm Grove in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, for the past five years with many of my sisters. This historic campus echoes with the celebrations we have enjoyed, the songs of farewell we have sung for so many, and the love and faith which has strengthened our bond over the years. Although we will depart this beloved campus, I pray that our spirit of faith, hope and love will continue to be present in Elm Grove.


A farm girl searches for God’s way in her life. That is me!

By Sister Mary Delbert Weisensel

Sister Mary Delbert Weisensel

I graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1954. During my formation training to become a School Sister of Notre Dame, I earned my bachelor of arts from Mount Mary College (now University), Milwaukee. While teaching in Wisconsin, I studied for a master’s degree as a reading specialist and school administrator at Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa.

My teaching experiences included grades one, two, three, seven, eight and substitution in all situations needed in grades kindergarten through eight and high school, which offered growing challenges. My resume also includes assistant principal and principal in elementary schools; assistant principal and principal in high schools; child care and pre-school director; auditor and advocate in a marriage tribunal; provincial councilor; resource development sister representative; and giving service in retirement.

In answering God’s way, I have lived in community in Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona and Texas. God’s way has involved me being called and being sent to minister in places I never dreamed of as a farm girl.


Read more articles about NDEG.


Want to learn more?


School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100



© 2022 School Sisters of Notre Dame