The congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame was founded in Bavaria, Germany by Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger in 1833. The purpose of the Congregation was the education of girls from poor families. Theresa believed that the transformation of society depended on the family unit and that women were instrumental in developing Christian values within the family. In 1847, five SSNDs came to the United States to educate German immigrant children. An invitation to administer the orphanage in St. Agatha, Ontario brought the SSNDs from Wisconsin to Canada in 1871.
The SSNDs came to Saskatchewan from Ontario in 1927 to establish a boarding school in Leipzig, Saskatchewan. The four pioneers were Sisters Cajetan Schneider, Petra Beyer, Agnes Busch and Miriam Walsh. In the following years, the congregation was invited to staff schools in Revenue, Handel, Salt Lake, Wilkie and Saskatoon. In the mid-1970s the Sisters’ ministry was broadened to include parish ministry, religious education, chaplaincy, counseling, and diocesan marriage tribunal work. Over the years, forty-one Saskatchewan women joined the congregation and served in Canada, England, Italy, South America and Africa. There are currently eight School Sisters of Notre Dame in Saskatchewan, serving in a variety of ministries.