Author and teacher; b. Morris, Ill., June 16, 1896; d. June 17, 1984. Alma Francis was the eighth of twelve children of Anton and Maria Czagany Schorsch. She entered the Benedictine Order at St. Scholastica Priory, Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 12, 1922, making perpetual profession Aug. 18, 1926. Sr. Dolores' first teaching assignment was at the Academy of St. Scholastica in Canon City, Colorado; later she taught history and served as principal at St. Scholastica High School in Chicago, during which time she was appointed community school supervisor, a position she held until her retirement in 1968.
At the request of the Reverend Daniel F. Cunningham, superintendent of schools of the Chicago archdiocese, and with the collaboration of her brother the Reverend Alexander Schorsch, C.M., she wrote and edited A Course in Religion for Elementary Schools (1935), later renamed the Jesu-Maria Course in Religion, based on the method developed by H. C. Morrison of the University of Chicago. The series, complete with detailed lesson plans for teachers, was intended for use in all eight grades of the elementary school. It was innovative in that it was designed to meet the needs and talents of children at their own grade level. The lessons included poetry, stories of the lives of the saints, and Church history. It also introduced children to many of the great hymns of the Church.
The entire series of books was continuously revised, the latest revision being done in the mid-1960s. It was used not only in the archdiocese of Chicago, but in many other dioceses throughout the United States, and in England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the British West Indies. An adaptation of these materials was also made in China.
Schorsch's collected papers and correspondence are in the archives of St. Scholastica Priory, Chicago.
[a. m. mongoven]