Our sisters' work in Catholic education began in Switzerland with our founding monastery! The Benedictine Sisters at Maria Rickenbach built their convent on the musenalp mountainside, and in 1864 began a school for girls with the condition to exempt ten places for children in need, even the children of Niederrickenbach (the village below) were taught there.
One of our first works as a new community in America was also education. Early sisters responded to the call of God and Bishop Martin Marty to teach on the Fort Yates Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Swiss sisters from the Alps arrived on those windswept plains as early as the late 1870's to begin this missionary work in the Dakota Territory.
|These pictures are now preserved through the State Historical Society of North Dakota |
as a part of the Frank B. Fiske Photograph Collection1952.
Sewing Room Credit: http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/u?/uw-ndshs,249
The first sisters came from South Korea, the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters. Later the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Benedictine Sisters of Our Lady Help of Christians were joining us from Tanzania, the Daughters of Mary came from Uganda, and the Missionary Benedictine Sisters joined us from throughout their international order. During the past 50 years, approximately 30 sisters have shared our Benedictine life while attending Mount Marty and nearby colleges. Their degrees and interests have been varied: music, nursing, sociology, education, philosophy, and much more. Each sister seeking to improve not only her own life, but also the ministry and service of her community and native country.