Tale of Two Sisters

Sister Dolores Rauch with students.
Sister Dolores Rauch with students.

In his book, Aging with Grace, Dr. David Snowdon weaves pertinent archival data in a rich pattern with the lives of sisters who are participants in the Nun Study. Chapter 5 - Tale of Two Sisters - compares two German School Sisters of Notre Dame who left Nazi Germany and settled in Milwaukee. This interesting and informative chapter is a fine example of the combination of medical research, archival data, and challenging life situations that led to the personal development of Sister Dolores Rauch and Sister Maria (not her real name).

In focusing on the life of Sister Dolores Rauch, Dr. Snowdon observed that higher education may lead to higher functioning in later life. She was a professor of elementary education at Mount Mary College and then was asked to get a degree in geography. She earned an M.A. in geography at 51 and a Ph.D at 55. When the first SSNDs went to Africa in 1974, Sister Dolores longed to be with them but thought she was too old. However, at age 68, she became a missionary in Kenya and began a forestry program to develop sustainability there. She returned to the Milwaukee province 12 years later. Discover the differences in their response to life’s challenges by reading more about her and her “sister.” Facilitator Directions are available.

 

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