Tanzania 2021

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Research Reveals Many Sacred Heart Secrets

By Katie Love

Sister Barbaralie StiefermannSister Barbaralie Stiefermann’s forthcoming book, Sacred Heart Sanitarium and Its Many Faces, will take readers on a journey through time as it examines the School Sisters of St. Francis’ history as it relates to the facility known today as Sacred Heart. The title of the book is apt because the original facility, which opened in 1893, has continued to evolve over the years to meet the needs of the times.

Sister Barbaralie began her research on Sacred Heart Sanitarium (SHS) in 2019 and began writing during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. She said she frantically started writing for fear she might succumb to the coronavirus herself. She wanted to be sure to complete this history of another health care story that began over a century ago.

Fortunately, she had already completed the research, so she was able to engage in a write-a-thon while simultaneously writing a journal on life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sister Barbaralie has previously written three books, including a memoir and biographies of Mother Stanislaus and Mother Corona.

“Not a lot of people know the many things this building was, or the tremendous legacies that have been left behind,” Sister Barbaralie noted. When asked who some of the most fascinating characters are that have emerged from writing this book and what makes them so interesting, Sister Barbaralie did not hesitate.

“Mother Alexia,” she said, “for her courage, strength, and humility in the undertaking of Sacred Heart Sanitarium, and her ability to follow through with her plans for the facility. Gospel people are basically indestructible—that’s who I think Mother Alexia was.”

Read more about Sister Barbaralie’s book in the website Media Room.

  • Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” (Mark 9)
  • Holy joy is the precious fruit of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and so it is a badge of a real servant of God. (St. Vincent Pallotti)
  • We feel what we do is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. (St. Teresa of Calcutta
  • We are called to live not as one without others, above or against others, but with and for others. (Pope Francis)
  • Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. (St. Paul)

Associate Clara Isom in Mississippi

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The School Sisters of St. Francis live the Good News of Jesus and witness to the presence of God as we enter into the lives and needs of people around the world, especially those who are poor. We strive to be a source of new life, new meaning and new hope.  Our Vision is a world transformed through peace, justice and love.

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United States

United States

The School Sisters of St. Francis meet the needs of the times in the United States through their varied ministries.

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Latin America

Latin America

Today our sisters of the Latin American Region serve in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru.

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Europe

Today our sisters of the European Province serve in Germany and Switzerland.     

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India

India

In India, the School Sisters of St. Francis have served those in need since the 1930s. In October 2015, the School Sisters of St. Francis’ Assisi Province in southern India launched a new mission to Tanzania.

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