Three religious women, Mothers Alexia Hoell, Alfons Schmid and Sister Clara Seiter, emigrated to America in September of 1873 from Schwarzach, Germany. On April 28, 1874, after many trials, hardships and disappointments and with the help of new-found friends, the Sisters settled in Campbellsport, Wisconsin, then known as New Cassel. A temporary home on Main Street served as both school and convent.
The Sisters saw their mission as educating the children of the German immigrants - people who were poor and struggling in the new land. Mother Alexia (picture at the right) immediately contracted for a four story convent/boarding school to be built to accommodate the growing number of students and Sisters. In 1880, the parish began plans for building a school building while Mother Alexia began an expansion of the already too-small convent. In 1887, Milwaukee became the site for the Motherhouse of the School Sisters of St. Francis
By 1931, the convent at Campbellsport again proved to be too small for the number of Sisters. Between 1932 and 1933, a new eight story building was built east of the "old building", which from then on was referred to as "the Annex.
In 1962-63, a wing area was added to the new convent and shortly after the Annex was razed. A chaplain's residence, known as "The Ranch House" was built on the original foundation of the Annex. The new building primarily housed sick and infirm Sisters, and the convent served as a retirement home for the Sisters.
Today, the Sister residents number is one hundred thirty-eight. All volunteer their services in some capacity. For some, a prayerful presence is their full time ministry. Lay employees staff various departments serving the needs of the aged Sisters.
The symbol of the Tau Cross, official emblem of the School Sisters of St. Francis, relates themes from pagan times, Biblical times and the days of St. Francis.
In early civilization, the joined vertical/horizontal lines were symbols of human relationships supported by a vertical relationship to the gods. Biblical writers referred to landmarks as "Taus". A landowner placed stones at the edge of his property and as other people saw the Tau they would interpret ownership or belonging. Old Testament prophets proclaimed that the faithful of Yahweh would be known by the mark of the Tau on their foreheads. The word "Tau" comes from the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet and Tau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. As such, it speaks of finality, ending and forever.
St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century Italy was so awed with the significance of the Tau Cross that he adopted this symbol as the official one of his order. The story is told that on one of his frequent journeys to Rome to speak to the Pope for his new Order he stopped for Mass at the Church of St. John Lateran. A reading from Ezekiel particularly moved him. The prophet spoke of God's faithful ones being marked with the Tau on their forehead. St. Francis exclaimed, "This shall be the mark of the Friars Minor, the faithful ones of the Lord".
That is what the Tau means to the School Sisters of St. Francis. Whether the Tau Cross is on a pin, a pendant, a ring, a centennial button or a bumper sticker, the Tau is a mark of belonging - of one signed by the Lord - of one consecrated, commissioned and committed.
Click HERE to watch the live broadcast.The broadcast time zone is U.S. Central time.
Voice Newsletter was created with the intention to communicate the latest news amongst the residents in the Convent. The design team is composed by: Ann Steffes (Editor/Circulation), S. Maristella Wagner (Proofreader) and S. Antoinette Schreiber (Mailing).
The newsletter is published every other month and a year's subscription has an affordable cost of $5.00
Please notify us of any address changes or cancellations.
Page 2– Oktoberfest
Page 5 - Remember When
Page 2– Jubilarians
Page 3– Transition
Volume 42, Issue 1
Page 2 - When I am no
Page 3 - Joseph Bowls
Page 4- Thank you
Page 5 -St. Cyril and
Page 7 - Blood Drive
Volume 41, Issue 6
Page 2 - Art on Display
Page 3 - Nicaragua
Page 4- Music
Page 5 - In Memoriam
Page 9 - Remember When
Volume 41, Issue 5
Page 2 - Garden
Page 3 - St. Francis Day Concert
Page 4- In Memoriam
Page 9 - Remember When
A School Sister of St. Francis Retirement Home/Health Care Center dedicated to providing quality life for its residents and participants. In a collaborative atmosphere, staff minister with compassion and respect to the individual's total well being.
We extend our hospitality and care to the local community.