Blessed Caroline Gerhardinger was born in Bavaria in 1797. Counseled by her parish priest to become a teacher, Blessed Caroline’s love for children and her desire for them to reach their full potential would define the rest of her life. To this end she founded the School Sisters of Notre Dame, with the mission of educating woman and children. With her religious vows she took the name of Theresa, but because of her great love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, she soon became known as Theresa of Jesus.
In short order Blessed Caroline brought her order to the United States, where it flourished, establishing itself in seven cities within a year. By the time of her death in 1879, Blessed Caroline’s order numbered more than 2500 nuns, teaching in elementary schools, orphanages, and pioneering the development of Kindergarten. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1985.