Franciscan Sisters’ Sponsored College Returns Name to Holy Family College

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September 21, 2019

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s sponsored college returns to the name Holy Family College. We are very excited about this ‘remembering’ unveiled with Eucharistic Liturgy in the college chapel with Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken presiding followed by outside ceremonies September 19, 2019. Sister Jane Kinate, a member of the Congregation’s General Administration and a member of the board of directors, shares her congratulations on this new chapter of our institution’s proud and ever resilient 80 year history. 

Rev. Thomas E. Shields, PhD. of the Catholic University of America was the single most influential figure in professionalization of Catholic education during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In the summers of 1898 and 1899 he conducted institutes in elementary education at Holy Family Convent. His desire to educate Catholic teachers and specifically Women Religious led to the foundation of the Sisters College in 1911 which was affiliated with CUA as the degree granting institution. Many Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity earned degrees including Sister Generose Cahill who was one of the first in the Community to earn a Masters’ Degree.

The demand for teachers in Catholic Parish Schools challenged and stressed Religious Orders. How do you adequately train a woman to be a religious and a teacher in just a couple of years? Summer institutes and normal school training were no longer sufficient. Communities trained the religious and relied on a master-teacher – beginner model to prepare many young teachers. A method that worked but fell far short of competency.
Mother Generose was Community Director from 1919-1927 and again from 1933-1939. She knew this pressure.

Her solution – (during the depression) trust in God and build a college! A four story building that contained classrooms, three well-designed laboratories, a gym and sleeping quarters for teachers and students!

Where? – attach it to the east end of Holy Family Convent!
Name? – Holy Family College!
The Mission then (1935) was as it is today – empowering students in a liberal arts education integrated with professional preparation in a Franciscan tradition!

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