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National Catholic Schools Week was established in 1974 as a celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January every year and is observed throughout the week. This year National Catholic Schools Week begins on January 28 and ends February 3.  In observance of this special week, we are paying tribute to all the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago who served in the ministry of education. 

The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago have a long history in the field of education. Education was one of the earliest ministries the Sister served in, starting from the very beginning years of their Congregation.  In 1901, the Sisters served at their first school, SS. Peter and Paul School in Spring Valley, Illinois.  Over the years the Sisters would teach or administer at many elementary schools, five high schools, and junior colleges and universities across various states including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Texas and Alabama.  They also established, operated and taught at Madonna High School in Chicago from 1949 to 2001. We thank our Sisters who served tirelessly in the field of education.   

In honor of all the Sisters who dedicated their lives to education we offer some articles on some schools they ministered as well as a photo gallery of Sisters through the years and a school listing below.  


The First School

This article details the early trials and tribulations at the Sisters first school SS. Peter and Paul in Spring Valley, Illinois in 1901. 

The Sisters at St. Florian

Journalist Gerard Dupczak from the Hegewisch Times discusses the history of the Sisters at St. Florian School in Hegewisch, Illinois. 

The Heroic Sister

A brief history of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in Cragin (Chicago) and the tale of bravery of a Franciscan Sister of Chicago.

A list of current Sisters who served in education

Sr. M. Bernadette Bajuscik, Sr. M. Joella Bielinski, Sr. M. Helene Galuszka, Sr. Jean Therese Jarosz
Sr. Doloria Kosiek, Sr. M. Colette Kwieczka, Sr. M. Francine Labus, Sr. Emilie Marie Lesniak, Sr. Kathleen Melia, Sr. M. Francis Clare Radke, Sr. Lois Marie Rossi, Sr. Monica Sendlosky, Sr. Jeanne Marie Toriskie, Sr. M. Celeste Walkowski, and Sr. Joseph Marie Zenda

A list of schools where the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago served:

SS. Peter and Paul School, Spring Valley
St. Roch, La Salle
St. Casimir, Streator
St. Mary of Czestochowa, Madison

St. Adalbert, East St. Louis
St. Pancratius, Chicago
St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr, Posen
St. Florian, (Hegewisch) Chicago
St. Louise de Marillac, La Grange Park
St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, Chicago
Five Holy Martyrs, Chicago

Our Lady of Victory High School, Chicago

Madonna High School, Chicago

Immaculate Heart of Mary High SchoolLa Grange Park

Olive-Harvey College, Chicago

Wilbur Wright College, Chicago

Oakton College, Des Plaines

Triton College, River Grove

St. Xavier University, Chicago

Daley College, Chicago

Assumption, New Chicago
John Cantius, East Chicago
St. Hedwig, Gary
St. Joseph, Calumet
Blessed Sacrament, Gary
Sacred Heart, Gary
Sacred Heart, LaPorte
St. Adalbert, Whiting
St. Mary,  Hammond

Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond

Sacred Heart, Cleveland
Anthony of Padua, Parma
St. Casimir, Cleveland
St. Leo The Great, Cleveland
St. John the Baptist, Campbell
St. Stanislaus Kostka, Youngstown
St. Joeseph the Provider, Campbell
SS. Philip and James, Cleveland

North Dakota
South Heart Public School, South Heart

St. Casimir, St. Louis
St. Stanislaus Kostka School, St. Louis


Assumption BVM, Conemaugh
t. Adalbert, Farrell 
St. Casimir, Johnstown
St. Michael, Glen Campbell
St. Peter and Paul, Arcadia

Johnstown Central Catholic High School, Johnstown

St. Peter Claver, Mobile



Holy Trinity, Falls City


St. Joseph, Oshkosh

St. Michael, Berlin


Photo Gallery - Franciscan Sisters of Chicago in Education 


Group shot of children and unnamed Sister at St. Roch School in LaSalle, Illinois (1911).

Sr. Martha Bywalec with students at St. Florian (1914).


Madonna High School in Chicago


The newer Madonna High School in Chicago.

A May Crowning ceremony at Madonna High School (1950's).


Students with an unidentified Sister at
Blessed Sacrament School in Gary, Indiana. 


Sister Placidia with a young student at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr School in Chicago.

Three unnamed Sisters within a large group of children in front of the original St. Mary of Czestochowa School in Hammond, Indiana.

Sr. Dolorine St. Leo w students.jpg

Sister Dolorine with students at St. Leo the Great
in Cleveland, Ohio.


Sister Anne Marie  playing baseball with boys at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr School in Chicago.


Sister M. Alvernia with children at a fair at Madonna High School in Chicago


Sr. Annuncia with students at St. Joseph the Provider, Campbell, Ohio.


Sr. M. Francesca giving a Fluto-phone lesson at St. Joseph School in Campbell, Ohio.


Sr. Carole Marie at Madonna High School in Chicago.


Sr. Hugoline at Madonna High School in Chicago.


Sr. Joseph Marie at Madonna High School in Chicago.


Sr.Diane Marie at Madonna High School in Chicago.


Sister Roberta with students at St. Pancratius in Chicago

The first faculty at Madonna High School, 1952:  (Seated) Srs. Alvernia, Seraphinia, Maxentia, and Therese Grajek. (Row 2) Srs. Roseann, Marinella, Sponsa, Tarcisia, Leontia. (Standing) Srs. Kingnetta, Maristella, Alberta and Dorothy.


Sister Claudiana with students at SS. Philip and James, Cleveland, Ohio.


Sister Lillian with students at St. Casimir,
Johnstown, Pennsylvania.


Sr. Amata and children at Christmas at St. Casimir in
Cleveland, Ohio.


Sr. Eleanor Plocki with students at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr School.

Grads with Sr. Jeanne Marie and Sr. Doloria.jpg

Sister Jeanne Marie and Sister Doloria with Madonna Foundation scholars.


Sister Helene and Sister Francis Clare with Madonna Foundation scholars.

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