Love for Children

Mother Theresa Gerhardinger was a "kinder freund," a friend of children whose love is expressed in excerpts from her letters.

  • "(a)The nursery school is built on even ground. For children from the ages of three to six, steps are dangerous unless some one is assigned to watch each child. Going up stairs is difficult, and they fall down them easily." (To the Royal Inspector at Waldsassen, #1539, Dec. 13, 1853)

  • "The adults are very happy with the School Sisters and love them as much as the children do. One child in Pittsburgh said in her naive way to Sister Alexandra, 'If you were sugar, I would eat you every day; if you were milk, I would drink you, so much I love you.'" (Reporting to King Ludwig I about School Sisters of Notre Dame in America, #908, July 3, 1850)

  • "To God be the honor, but to the children be salvation!" (To Very Reverend and Esteemed Canon, #2295, October 24, 1856)

  • "Your most recent letter with the donation of 50 florins for the poor children of Karlskron has arrived. How your sacrificial love moves me! I could not keep from making known to the sisters the contents of your letter so that they may be encouraged to go forward anew in assisting the poor children. I am reminded of another priest who for seven years gave up coffee and beer in order to establish a convent and to build a second one in his hometown. Such sacrifices must be pleasing to God!" (To pastor of Karlskron, #1614, February 27, 1854)

  • "The letter from the children show that they have learned much in this short time from Sister Josepha's instructions, and they will progress even more in handwriting if they always have a good model before them. Father that is why I insisted so at the beginning on a large blackboard. Their zeal and eagerness show up on every page (of the children's letters). In sheer delight, I rushed off to the other sisters in the community room to show them the results of your fatherly care and the dear children's diligence. Together spontaneously we all praised and thanked God." (To Reverend Dionysius Fink, #135, January 3, 1839)

  • "A child's prayer is an angel's prayer." (To Frederica Ringseis, #47, June 9, 1836)

  • "May the children grow up to the honor of God, the consolation of your noble heart, the good of the State. This is the goal the Poor School Sisters set for themselves." (To Prince Lowenstein, #2193, July 6, 1856)

  • "Kindly accept our warmest thanks for your efforts in this matter, and for the sacrifices you make on behalf of the institution. Jesus, a divine friend of children will reward you, if not here, certainly in the next world. We shall do our best for the prosperity of the institution." (To Reverend Wolfgang Braun, #1563, January 2, 1854)

  • "Oh, let us never forget the love of Jesus for children whom He took upon His lap, caressed and blessed. Of them, he said, 'Whosoever receives one of these little ones in My name, receives Me.'" (To my dearly loved companion sisters, #714, Mary 30, 1847)

  • "May the sisters go hand in hand to heaven with the children entrusted to their care. May they lead the little ones to the Friend of children, always following the star which points out to them the way of salvation." (To Reverend Bartholomew Enders, #2338, December 31, 1856)

  • "The poor children come to our convent from miles away. They set out for school at five o'clock in the morning, walking through ice and snow, especially in the mountain regions. They are here until noon with empty stomachs and consider themselves fortunate to receive some thin soup at mid-day from the sisters. The love of the sisters seems to season it; it is a spiritual joy for them to feed these poor children." (To the Pastor of Karlskron, #1614, February 27, 1854)

  • "To work for children, to forget self in order to save the souls of children, was always the distinctive characteristic of the pioneers of our Order; this must always remain a tradition in our Order." (Circular Letter of Mother Almeda, Munich, June 16, 1933)

  • "My dear children, I commend you to the Holy Spirit through the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and I entrust you forever to her blessed hands." (SSND Blessing of Students, Rule of 1865.)

  • "In remembrance of the ignominy that Jesus endured, we ought to beg to do some lowly menial housework, or beg to wash the head of some poor child, or mend her garments." (To Entire Congregation, #2780, before January 1859)

To learn more about Then and Now, explore the following options.

Love for ChildrenHoly Work of EducationAmerican ChildrenConvent FireReturn to Then and Now


Resources | Site Map | Credits | Contact Us

© Copyright 2022 Sturdy Roots - School Sisters of Notre Dame

The work of more than 200 sisters, associates, and professional staff.