Holy Work of Education

Mother Theresa Gerhardinger believed in the sacredness of education as exemplified in the following quotations.

“The School Sisters are to the children like a mother in the family.”1

“To our great distress, we find it necessary to remark that some sisters seem to have forgotten the obligation of their fourth vow. (Education of Youth) This vow places upon them certain obligations regarding instruction and education. In many places sisters do not prepare properly for their classes, neglect corrections, and completely neglect their studies. In this way we are remiss in our calling. Therefore, the sisters are admonished to give serious consideration to this fourth vow, and not to consider it less holy or less binding than the other vows. We will one day be asked to give a strict account of it before the divine Judge.”2

“The entertainment (on Carnival Days) should be simple, cheerful, innocent fun, and should not be extended too late into the night.”3

“The education of children and students should be as close to our hearts as our own salvation, so that all our prayers and good works should be offered for that intention; we should do everything we can to educate children truly in the fear and love of God, so that they will remain protected from dishonesty and hypocrisy, etc. But we shall accomplish this only as long as we live God-fearing lives, or if our lives are true examples of all the virtues to the young people in our care.”4

“Instruction in the school shall consist of:

  1. Elementary education, especially
    1. German grammar and composition
    2. Reading with expression
    3. Written and mental arithmetic
    4. Beautiful and correct penmanship
    5. Religious instruction
    6. Practical subjects, especially history, geography, natural history, ...,..botany, physiology
    7. Drawing
  1. Vocational Education
    1. Home economics as it applies to the average citizen's scale of living
    2. Practical preparation for higher positions in industry
  1. French and music
    1. Those for "C" will have been requested by parents and opened only to honor students with additional tuition.”5



  1. Found in the contract between the City Magistrate of Augsburg and the Order of the Poor School Sisters in Munich, #1452, September 26, 1853.
  2. To be read aloud to the Sisters at every Ember season, #5333, January 10, 1879.
  3. To Entire Congregation, #3201, December 20, 1860.
  4. To Entire Congregation, #2784, before 1859.
  5. Meeting with Royal School Commission at Amberg, Nov. 14, 1839, #166.

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