van der Schrieck, Louise, Sister

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Pioneer U.S. educator, baptized Josephine; b. Bergenop-Zoom, Holland, Nov. 14, 1813; d. Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 3, 1886. She was educated in Belgium, entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and in 1840 came to the Diocese (now Archdiocese) of Cincinnati, the youngest of eight religious sent to inaugurate the work of her community in the New World. From 1848 until her death Sister Louise was superior of all Notre Dame houses east of the Rockies. She added 25 foundations to the two existing before her appointment, and extended the work to Boston, MA, in 1849; to Philadelphia, PA, in 1856; and to Washington, D.C., in 1873. Her foundations included several academies with secondary programs; nearly 50 elementary parochial schools were also staffed by her sisters.

In matters of religious discipline her outlook was traditionalist, but she was realistic about adapting educational policies and methods to existing needs. As early as 1867 she sent sisters to Cincinnati to staff a school for Negro children, and undertook the same work in Philadelphia in 1877. She opened night schools for adult Catholic immigrants in the principal cities where she had houses. In the continental tradition, however, she refused to accept schools for boys. In general, Sister Louise's administration, as religious superior and as an educational leader, was characterized by austerity, respect for the individual, and good sense. These qualities, together with unusual freedom from sentimental religious attitudes, formed the basis of the Notre Dame educational tradition in the U.S.

Bibliography: h. l. nugent, Sister Louise (Washington 1931).

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van der Schrieck, Louise, Sister

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