Sisters begin their home-nursing ministry

A photo from an early history of the Salvatorians, published in German in 1913

While traveling aboard the Westernland, the first three missioned sisters became acquainted with Mrs. M. H. Wiltzius, a Milwaukee-area resident. Mrs. Wiltzius’ name was the first to appear on Sister Raphaela’s ledger that documented the many patients the sisters would care for during their time as home-nursing sisters. Most of the patients were not Catholic and many could not afford to pay a stipend. The ledger lists the name of each patient, address, parish, illness, the nursing sister’s name, and payment received for services.

An excerpt from the ledger reads as follows:

  1. Mrs. M. H Wiltzius, 2026 Cold Spring Avenue, cared for from July 23 to August 10, day and night. 21 years old—abdominal surgery, nurse Sister Raphaela: salary, $25.00
  2. Miss Babette Gatscher, 18 years old, 740 Milwaukee Street, St. Mary’s Parish, cared for from August 19 to September 14, day and night; illness: pneumonia; nurse Sister Walburga: salary, $13.00
  3. Three and one-half year old daughter of Mr. William Gift, 1417 State Street. Protestant family, cared for one night; illness, peritonitis; nurse Sister Agnes; salary, none (the child died)
  4. Mr. Riedy, 334 17th Avenue, St. Martin’s Parish, Lutheran, cared for from September 21 to October 15, 1895, nights; German Protestant; illness: typhus; nurse Sister Agnes: salary, none.
An early homecare ledger

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 ...