History

The School Sisters of St. Francis community was founded on April 28, 1874. Our sisters began their ministry in parish schools, responding to the call of the Church in the United States.

Today we serve in ten countries and our membership in five provinces stands at nearly 1,000 sisters. Our ministries, past and present, are rooted in Christian and Franciscan values. School Sisters of St. Francis are alive with the call of the Gospel, uniting with others to build a just and peaceful world.

School Sisters of St. Francis Called by God

Called By God

In 1873, three young women—Emma Franziska (Mother Alexia) Hoell, Paulina (Mother Alfons) Schmid, and Helena (Sister Clara) Seiter—

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School Sisters of St. Francis New Institutions

New Institutions

Sharing Christ's mission through education, health care, social work and pastoral ministry became a central focus for our congregation.

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Mother Alfons

Rapid Growth

Many women joined the community in the next decade and by 1887, our sisters staffed schools in five states.

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School Sisters of St. Francis Global Outreach

Global Outreach

In the 1930s and following decades, the community’s vision became more international.

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Mother Alexia

Expansion in Europe

Mother Alexia returned to Europe in 1895, where she focused the community’s energies on ministry in...

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School Sisters of St. Francis Congregational Renewal

Congregational Renewal

The events and direction of the Second Vatican Council mandated...

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School Sisters of St. Francis Sister Helena Steffensmeier

Leadership in the Arts

Under the leadership of Mother Alfons Schmid, a lover of the arts, the community established...

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Reconciling with SSJ-TOSF

Following the 2013 formal reconciliation of our 1901 division, get to know the sisters with whom “we are truly sisters.”

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