Sister Adelinda Laskowski, SDS becomes director of St. Mary’s School of Nursing

Sister Adelinda Laskowski, SDS, (second from right above) who entered the congregation on December 29, 1913, enrolled at St. Mary’s School of Nursing following her novitiate in Milwaukee. Just five years after graduating in the first class in 1925, she became nursing school director.

Sr. Adelinda was assisted by Sister Olympia Heuel, SDS, who had earned her master’s degree in nursing education at Catholic University in Washington D.C. Sr. Olympia was a natural leader who helped move both the nursing school and the Salvatorian community forward with her progressive ideas and innovative plans.

Sr. Adelinda (back row, far right) is one of St. Mary’s inaugural nursing Class of 1925.

Together, Sisters Adelinda and Olympia advanced St. Mary’s School of Nursing into a strong academic and clinical program. At her 25-year Jubilee celebration, Sr. Adelinda was honored for her dedication to the nursing school. In a sermon by Father Ambrose, OFM, he compared her to Saint Veronica, who wiped the face of Jesus as He carried the cross, despite disapproval of others:

And that was the work of Sister Adelinda—to help these [young student nurses] roll up their sleeves and become true Veronicas, to prepare them for their beautiful but difficult vocation. No doubt it was frequently a difficult task. Over the long span of 25 years there must have been hundreds of obstacles to overcome, thousands of problems to be faced and solved. No doubt there were mistakes and faults too—Sister would be the first to admit that—for we are all human, and human beings always have faults and make mistakes. And as a result, she probably had to face much criticism—for one in a position like hers must always be met with criticism. But those faults and mistakes only serve to bring into bolder relief the tremendous amount of good she has done. For they were 25 years of beautiful, unselfish service, 25 years of giving and giving and giving.

Sr. Adelinda held her position for 26 years. She retired in 1956 as longest serving director of the nursing school.

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 ...