Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A branch of the congregation founded by Blessed Julie Billiart. In 1850, Father Elting of Coesfeld, Germany, aided by the Misses Hildegonda Wollbring and Lisette Kuehling, who became the first members of this community, introduced the Order of Notre dame into Westphalia. The novices were trained by three sisters from the community of Amersfoort, Holland. Soon they were enabled to open a normal school and to take charge of parish schools. The Prussian Government objecting to teachers dependent on foreign authority, the sisters were compelled to sever their relations with the mother-house in Holland and to erect their own at Coesfeld. When in 1871, the Kulturkampf broke out in Germany, the Sisters of Coesfeld, though they had repeatedly received at the Prussian state examinations, the highest testimonials as most efficient teachers, were at once expelled. Thereupon, Father Westerholt, of St. Peter's Church, Cleveland, had Bishop Gilmour invite them to his diocese. On 5 July, 1874, the superioress-general accompanied by eight sisters arrived in New York, and the following day in Cleveland. Their first home was a small frame house near St. Peter's Church. Two months later they took charge of the parish school for girls. Presently Bishop Toebbe of Covington, Ky., invited them to his diocese, where they were first employed as teachers of the Mother of God school in Covington. In the autumn of 1874, the sisters began to conduct the parish schools of St. Stephen's, Cleveland, and of St. Joseph's, Fremont. Within four years of their first arrival on the North American continent, two hundred sisters had been transferred to the missions in Ohio and Kentucky. The centre of the community was temporarily at Covington, where in 1875 a convent with an academy was erected. The same year the superioress-general came to Cleveland, where the mother-house was built and an academy founded in 1878. In 1883 a girls' boarding-school on Woodland Hills was opened. An academy was founded in Toledo, Ohio, and opened September, 1904. Since 1877 the Sisters of Notre Dame have been in charge of two orphanages, one at Cold Springs, Ky., and the other at Bond Hill in the archdiocese of Cincinnati. In May, 1887, the Prussian Government allowed the sisters to return and their mother-house was established at Muhlhausen, Rhenish Prussia. The American branch is under the immediate direction of a privincial superioress, residing in Cleveland, and numbers 430 sisters. The sisters conduct also upwards of forty parish schools, mostly in Ohio and Kentucky, containing about 14,000 pupils.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter