August 14, 1930 – Sister Adelinda Laskowski, SDS, (second from right above) who entered the congregation on December 29, 1913, enrolled at St. Mary’s School of Nursing following her novitiate in Milwaukee. Just five years after graduating in the first class in 1925, she became nursing school director.
Sr. Adelinda was assisted by Sister Olympia Heuel, SDS, who had earned her master’s degree in nursing education at Catholic University in Washington D.C. Sr. Olympia was a natural leader who helped move both the nursing school and the Salvatorian community forward with her progressive ideas and innovative plans.
Together, Sisters Adelinda and Olympia advanced St. Mary’s School of Nursing into a strong academic and clinical program. At her 25-year Jubilee celebration, Sr. Adelinda was honored for her dedication to the nursing school. In a sermon by Father Ambrose, OFM, he compared her to Saint Veronica, who wiped the face of Jesus as He carried the cross, despite disapproval of others:
And that was the work of Sister Adelinda—to help these [young student nurses] roll up their sleeves and become true Veronicas, to prepare them for their beautiful but difficult vocation. No doubt it was frequently a difficult task. Over the long span of 25 years there must have been hundreds of obstacles to overcome, thousands of problems to be faced and solved. No doubt there were mistakes and faults too—Sister would be the first to admit that—for we are all human, and human beings always have faults and make mistakes. And as a result, she probably had to face much criticism—for one in a position like hers must always be met with criticism. But those faults and mistakes only serve to bring into bolder relief the tremendous amount of good she has done. For they were 25 years of beautiful, unselfish service, 25 years of giving and giving and giving.
Sr. Adelinda held her position for 26 years. She retired in 1956 as longest serving director of the nursing school.