Act II: Decrees

It is evident from letters written by Mother Theresa that 1852–1859 were among the most difficult in her life. In the letters we feel her frustration, self-doubts regarding her own leadership, and fears of being seen as unfaithful to the Church.

In her description of the immediate reasons for a confrontation with Archbishop von Reisach, Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND draws on her research of the letters and other documents of this period. Several letters regarding the appointment of Sister Mary Rosa Franz as superior give a perspective on the issues facing Mother Theresa.

The year 1852 was a challenging year for Mother Theresa and her sisters. The community was growing (about 600 sisters in 1858) and pastors were requesting sisters. At the same time Archbishop von Reisach was imposing restrictions on Mother Theresa's travel, acceptance of new missions, etc. Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND, explores the immediate reasons for these decrees.

Archbishop von Reisach then ordered that all the professed sisters in the motherhouse assemble for a meeting on April 22, 1852. Two sets of minutes were taken during this meeting – one by the archdiocesan vicar general and the other by an unidentified sister. The difference between these two sets of minutes is striking and the account written by the sister could be used as a one-act play.

Facilitator Directions are available.

Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND
Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND

Biography of Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND

Sister Mary Ann Kuttner, SSND received her BA in history from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, and did additional undergraduate studies in music and German. She has been a member of the generalate staff since 1998, serving primarily as a translator from German to English. She is currently working on a revision of the English translation of the letters of Mother Theresa. Sister Mary Ann brings her dedication and her knowledge of congregational archives to the exploration of this complex issue.



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.