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School Sisters of Notre Dame honored with 'Friend of Catholic Education' award

The School Sisters of Notre Dame have had a continual presence in the Quincy community since Nov. 1, 1859, including this 1967 faculty photo from Notre Dame High School.
Posted: Jan. 4, 2015 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 18, 2015 1:15 am

By EDWARD HUSAR
Staff Writer | 217-221-3378
ehusar@whig.com | @EHusarWHIG

QUINCY -- The School Sisters of Notre Dame have been selected to receive the 2015 "Friend of Catholic Education" award.

The award, sponsored since 2009 by the Quincy Catholic Elementary Schools Foundation, recognizes an individual, couple or organization whose contributions have significantly fostered and strengthened Catholic schools in Quincy.

Paul Rittof, executive director of the QCES Foundation, says the School Sisters of Notre Dame fit that criteria.

"Their story is pretty amazing," Rittof said this week. "The School Sisters of Notre Dame have continually had a presence in the Quincy community since Nov. 1, 1859."

More than 1,040 sisters from the religious order have filled various teaching and administrative positions in Quincy's Catholic schools. The sisters also have done ministerial work in the city's Catholic parishes and served in a variety of outreach programs in the community.

Rittof said more than 100 young women from Quincy have joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame over the past 155 years.

Membership in the religious order has dwindled over the years. Today, just four SSND members continue to minister in the Quincy area. They are Sister Jeanette Feldott, a teacher at Quincy Notre Dame High School; Sister Jacqueline Sellmeyer, a pastoral care assistant at St. Vincent Nursing Home; Sister Joann Volk, a substitute teacher for Quincy's four Catholic elementary schools; and Sister Jane Wand, a massage therapist.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame will be honored at the seventh annual Friend of Catholic Education Award dinner Jan. 31 at the Holiday Inn, 4821 Oak. A 6:30 p.m. social hour will precede the dinner.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person. Corporate table sponsorships are available for $1,000 and include eight dinner tickets. The deadline for corporate sponsorships is Jan. 13. The deadline for individual reservations is Jan. 24.

Revenue from the dinner is used for the foundation's tuition assistance fund for students enrolled in one of Quincy's four Catholic elementary schools. The foundation has awarded more than $450,000 in tuition assistance since 2009 to families with students attending Blessed Sacrament, St. Dominic, St. Francis or St. Peter schools.

Anyone interested in buying tickets, sponsoring a table, or donating to the foundation should contact Rittof at 217-779-3157 or p.rittof@cospq.org.