Our “Family Business” Takes a Giant Step by Creating a Sponsorship Board

For nearly 100 years, our sisters’ institutional ministries operated like family businesses. The Sisters of the Divine Savior built, owned, operated and financed a number of hospitals and nursing homes, as well as a nursing school and all-girls high school. For many years, the SDS Provincial Team made all important institutional decisions, and with a few exceptions, Salvatorian Sisters served as administrators, department heads, staff and faculty. (Photo above features 2000-2003 Sponsorship Corporation Board. Left to right Sisters Virginia Honish and Beverly Heitke).

As the years went by, we learned that incorporating dedicated lay people into our ministries would serve to strengthen them. Already in the 1960s, it was apparent we needed to adopt the family business model for succession planning to take our ministries into the future. Following the family business model, our core value of collaboration would be essential to our “succession plan.”

Health care especially was becoming more and more complex. It demanded a level of expertise that only a separately incorporated, local Board of Directors with professional lay people could provide. The Provincial Team appointed Sponsorship Coordinators to ensure each institution continued to grow while preserving its core mission values. The Sponsorship Coordinators served on the newly appointed boards, thereby creating a human bridge between each institution and our Salvatorian leadership.

In the decades to follow (1970-2000), we adapted our succession plan to fit the changing times.  For example, in July 2000 Sisters of the Divine Savior formed a Sponsorship Corporation.  With this change, the Provincial Team delegated many of its reserved powers to this new entity, including appointing institutional board members and approving budgets. Sponsorship Coordinators were commissioned to work closely with the new Sponsorship Corporation, again, to uphold the Salvatorian mission in each institution. In this current sponsorship structure, the Provincial Team appoints both the Sponsorship Corporation Board and the Sponsorship Coordinators, thereby sustaining the Sisters’ influence in each institutional ministry. Today, our religious sponsorship of institutional ministries advances the mission of the Church in close collaboration with many dedicated lay persons. The institutions no longer follow a “family business” model, but the Salvatorian mission endures, thanks to committed lay people who are truly apostles responding to the evolving needs of ever-changing times.

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 ...