Skip to content

A Chronicle of St. Teresa Academy

 Adorers of the Blood of Christ8 Comments

Sister Clementine Zerr had come to East St. Louis looking for a place to establish a central house. Since 1889, she had had sisters at St. Henry’s and St. Mary’s, two of East St. Louis’ three parishes, but she needed a place to carry out her congregation’s distinctive task of educating young girls in boarding schools and she needed a central house for the sisters, easily accessible by train.

Sister Clementine was one of a group of 49 sisters who, in 1873, had followed their congregation to Illinois, the last of the exiles from Gurtweil in Baden, fleeing from persecution of the Catholic sisterhoods under Bismarck. Twenty years later, her struggling young foundation at Ruma, Illinois, 5 miles from the nearest railway, numbered more than 100 sisters and novices, more than half of them American-born. The central house they now sought to establish in East St. Louis would be St. Teresa Academy, destined to have an 80-year history of civic and religious influence.

Written by Sister Mary Pauline Grady, ASC

©1974 by Sister Mary Pauline Grady, ASC. All rights reserved.


Little by little the attendance roster grew, and hired hand Julius Brugger set out faithfully each morning to collect his eight day-student passengers, driving the good horse Heine on the unpaved roads of Winstanley Park to pick up students in the morning and return them home in the evening. Some of the boarders were actually East St. Louisans who preferred to stay at school during the week. Mrs. Anna Carroll Keough, Class of 1905, recalls details of the simple and industrious life at STA in the early years.

8 thoughts on “A Chronicle of St. Teresa Academy”

  1. Avatar

    STA gave me the self-confidence to follow my passion, which was anything that interested me!! (: It gave me the self-esteem of being a valuable human being- a woman-which was immediately challenged the moment I began studying at a university. I was flabbergasted by the attention and status that males got compared to me. I kept my experience quiet for 30 Years in till I read an article by Reece Witherspoon who shared the exact same experience that I had. It was only then that I believed my own feeling about my experience. I see the growth that has taken place culturally in some parts of the USA on this subject, but still feel that we lag behind many countries in how we view women. STA❤️

  2. Avatar

    My mom’s in Heaven now and I think she’s a graduate of STA 1945.I got to visit the campus with once and felt so Blessed.MaMa adored sister’s she went school with and I now gave her aluminized books about the history of STA.Her name then was Rosemarie O’Brien.Her daddy my Grampa Was a Detective on the Police force.He was Tobie O’Brien.I too love STA because it meant so much to her.Sincerely Marty Jennings.67yrs old.

  3. Avatar
    Jane Brennan Jennings

    STA 1960
    STAR Editor in 1960 along with Mary Ann Hancock, Linda Lancaster, (production). ..
    Sister Pauline was STAR moderator.
    Remembering these holy and talented women who told us that we are eternal people. This life, lived for our God, is the journey to eternity with our infinity loving and merciful Lord, Father, Redeemer, Love. ❤️ 👵🏻

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *