Salvatorian Sisters find room to grow in a generous gift of a new convent

Larger convent at No. 553 on 2nd Street was a gift

Since Sister Raphaela’s request for more sisters in fall 1895, eight sisters had arrived from Rome. Although the convent was not at full capacity, the two-story house was crowded. As calls for nursing and extra help increased, the sisters received a generous, unexpected gift from the Degelan family, their neighbors across the street. It was a rent-free house, slightly larger than their duplex. The Milwaukee Journal referred to the new residence as “a cottage convent,” and Sr. Raphaela enthusiastically recorded the gift in the Chronicles.

These good people, seeing our poverty, gave us a house, No. 553 on Second Avenue to live in free of rent with the promise of ownership after their death. Repairs and taxes we were to meet ourselves. To change this private dwelling into a convent required many minor changes. But finally a cozy complete chapel, hot and cold water facilities—gas heating and light were installed for about $700. This was a large sum of money for our poor circumstances, but we feel very happy to have at last a home and a sanctuary for the Savior to dwell in.

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 ...