Cultural Context

Bishop Johann Michael Sailer
Bishop Johann Michael Sailer

The Holy Spirit selected a “cast of characters” to play a leading role in the founding of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Become more familiar with their backgrounds and interrelationships. Their appearance on the stage of post-Napoleonic Germany is significant. And their contribution has had a profound effect on School Sisters of Notre Dame throughout the world.

Consider the following: Ludwig I (1786–1868), King of Bavaria (1825–1848), George Michael Wittmann (1763–1833), Friederike (1791–1871), and Dr. Ringseis (1785–1880), Francis Sebastian Job (1767–1834), and Mathias Siegert (1804–1879) all responded to this task in their support of Mother Theresa. The need for educating girls and strengthening family life in Bavaria’s war-torn society is shown in the following statistic. “In the Oberpfalz area, every third child was born out of wedlock, a pastor wrote; in Altoetting, half of all children born within one year were said to have been born outside the family.”1 Become familiar with this “cast of characters.”

Dr. Johann and Friederike von Ringseis
Dr. Johann and Friederike von Ringseis

The “director” of this “cast of characters” was Bishop Johann Michael Sailer (1751–1832).

Facilitator Directions are available.

The king's personal physician and his wife, Dr. Johann and Friederike von Ringseis, were among the community's greatest benefactors. They provided the sisters with the necessities of life and obtained permission for the foundation of the first mission in Schwarzhofen.


  1. Beatrix Mayrhofer, SSND, Education in the Federal Republic of Germany, Barbara Brumleve, SSND. (SSND Heritage Publications, 1984, #7, p. 9)

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