They Came to Teach: The Story of Sisters Who Taught in Parochial Schools and Their Contribution to Elementary Education in Minnesota

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They Came to Teach: The Story of Sisters Who Taught in Parchial Schools and their Contributions to Elementary Education in Minnesota. By Annabelle Raiche, C.S.J., and Ann Marie Biermaier, O.S.B. (St. Cloud, Minnesota: North Star Press. 1994. Pp. xvi, 271. $19.95 paperback.)

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this volume is the amount of material it encomposses. The finished work presents six years of search and writing by a core group of twenty sisters. The book they have produced is predominantly a reference work, and it fulfills that role well. (Any researcher who has approached the archival holdings of many religious communities will have great respect for the immense amount of work involved in gathering the accurate and comprehensive data included here.)

Nine Minnesota-based religious communities, as well as numerous orders whose members are or have been missioned in Minnesota schools, have cooperated in the task of tracing and documenting the role of sisters in the parochial school system of the state. They Came to Teach covers the years 1851 (the date of the inception of the Catholic elementary schools) to 1950 (their peak year, followed by decline) to 1990 (the approximate time of the transfer of leadership from the religious orders to the laity). …