First report of the Spanish flu

As a temporary moment of peace settled after World War I, the Spanish flu began to spread throughout the world. Soldiers returning home from Europe carried the disease that would cause more than 50 million deaths worldwide. The Spanish flu caused more casualties than the Great War, as quarantine and bloodletting was the only treatment at the time. Development of a flu vaccine was still about 13 years away. Tragically, young adults were affected most by the 1918 flu outbreak that claimed the lives of four of the first USA-born Salvatorians. Below, we remember these “spiritual daughters and sons” who died from the disease.

  • Sister Maryanna Schuch, SDS, 23, Lima, Wis.; Died: April 9, 1919
  • Sister Virgilia Schuessler, SDS, 20, Sheboygan, Wis.; Died: December 17, 1918
  • Novice Gregory Nazianzenus Vogelsang, SDS, 21, West Bend, Wis.; Died: December 15, 1918
  • Frater Edward Lesch, SDS, 25, Holy Cross, Wis.; Died: December 7, 1918
Source: Archives of the Society of the Divine Savior in the United States

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 ...