Divine Savior High School opens in Milwaukee

A four-story addition to the back of St. Mary’s Convent makes room for growth in our school and sisters’ community.

Under the direction of Mother Hedwig Poetsch, Divine Savior High School opened on the first floor of St. Mary’s Convent with an enrollment of 20 students. It may have been a high school by name, but the students attending were not typical high schoolers. Divine Savior was established as a “prep” school for new candidates, young women who wanted to join the Sisters of the Divine Savior. As Salvatorian schools and hospitals grew in enrollment and size, Mother Hedwig wanted the prep school to ensure the highest standards for teaching and nursing practice among the Sisters. To their excitement, the prep school would eventually open enrollment to lay students, paving the way for a new all-girls high school on 100th Street.

SDS Preps welcoming newcomer, Sr. Pauline Feiner (center) in 1952, include Sr. Margaret Hansknecht (third from left) and Lay Salvatorian Patricia Tennesson (far right).
SDS preps with Sr. Cecilia Van de Kamp in 1957 include Srs. Jean Schafer and Marion Etzel (fourth and fifth from right).
Prep school library at St. Mary’s

Our 125 Year Celebration

As we look back on our 125th anniversary of coming to the USA, we invite you to reminisce with us. We've launched all 5 time lines with historical milestones and stories that bring to life the experiences of our sisters who came before us.

Era 1: 1895-1920
Responding to Immigrant Needs

The missionary response of hearty immigrant women religious characterizes the first 25 years of Salvatorian Sisters’ presence in the United States ...

Era 2: 1920-1950
Expanding in an “American” Church

By 1920, life for a Salvatorian Sister in the USA was radically different than it had been 25 years earlier. World War I ....

Era 3: 1950-1970
Embracing Renewal

Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic, The Times They Are A Changing, captures the high energy of this era.  Change was afoot both outside and inside the Salvatorian convent walls...

Era 4: 1970-2000
Building Collaboration

Events of the mid-1960s renewed the collaborative energy that had always characterized Salvatorian life. Cloistered living ...

Era 5: 2000-2020
Searching for New Footing in a Changing World

When the new millennium arrived on January 1, 2000, Salvatorian Sisters were already five years into our second century on USA soil.  Our ...