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Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, 1800s



The first Benedictine nuns to arrive in America came from Eichstatt, Germany in 1852. They settled in St. Marys, PA and then, in 1855, extended their community to Erie, Pennsylvania.


In 1861, three of the nuns came to Chicago to teach German-speaking children. They established St. Joseph's Convent and School, as well as their own girls' academy, originally at Chicago and Wabash Avenues in the city.  In 1872, after the great Chicago fire of the previous year, their new school, Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Academy, was chartered by the State of Illinois.


Later, in metropolitan Chicago, the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago played integral roles in the parishes and schools of St. George, St. John Nepomucene, St. Joseph, St. Symphorosa, Queen of All Saints, and St. Hilary, all in Chicago proper, as well as St. Lambert in Skokie, IL and Mother of God in Waukegan, IL.


The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago also established mission schools in Colorado in Breckenridge, Canon City, Delta, Pueblo, and Salida. In September 1890, Mount St. Scholastica Academy, Canon City, was opened. In 1907, St. Scholastica Academy opened on Ridge Boulevard in Chicago.  Our two high schools have since closed.

Our present monastery was built in 1906. In 1924, a new section was added that includes St. Scholastica Chapel. In 1980, St. Joseph's Court, an infirmary for the care of the elderly Sisters, was built at the north end of the monastery.


Today, the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago serve in a number of ministries including education, counseling, spirituality programs, and direct service.


Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, 2014
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