Pioneer Sisters

Answering a call from God and a request from a priest in Ohio, six Sisters from Germany set out for the United States in 1876 to teach German immigrants. Sisters Lucy Weber (d. May 16, 1944), Michael Kindhauser (d. March 3, 1942), Hedwig Beckhaus (d. May 26, 1899), Matilda Gebhard (d. January 19,1926), Francis Borgia Schröck (January 12, 1843-December 25, 1907), and Mother Xavier Schneider (d. November 20, 1901) endured hardships and uncertainty as they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, landed in New York, travelled to Ohio, and eventually made their way to the Pittsburgh area.

Their first ministry in the United States was education, both secular and religious. The difficulties the pioneer sisters faced were many--insufficient housing, insufficient food, the challenges of learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, and more. Through it all, they maintained a firm trust in God's providence.

(Standing left to right: Sisters Lucy Weber, Michael Kindhauser, Hedwig Beckhaus, Matilda Gebhard; Seated left to right: Mother Xavier Schneider, Sister Francis Borgia Schröck)