St. Nazianz Fire

In 1896, Salvatorians settled in St. Nazianz, Wis., a village established by German immigrants in 1854. The villagers were proud of their heritage. They followed German customs and often spoke German. By April 1918, one year after the United States of America declared war against Germany, it was common to hear public expressions of hatred toward Americans of German descent. Villagers and businesses in St. Nazianz had received anonymous, threatening letters criticizing an “excessive pride in their German heritage.”

On April 5, a huge fire broke out in St. Nazianz that affected everyone in the village. The official cause is recorded as “explosion of a gasoline tank,” but many people believed it had been set deliberately. Some villagers “thought” they heard an automobile passing through before the fire started, but there was never official evidence of arson. No one was ever charged and there were no official suspects. Still, the question always remained.

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 ...