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Throwback Thursday: A ‘Knighted’ Sister?

Sister Georgiana Terstegge in 1978

Sister Georgiana Terstegge in 1978

Sister Georgiana Terstegge entered the Congregation in 1924. She was a Sister of Providence for 73 years.

Born in 1905, Sister Georgiana eventually earned a doctorate degree from Catholic University in 1949 in French and ministered as a teacher, author and translator.

She taught French at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for 44 years!

But did you know that in 1978, the French Government honored Sister Georgiana?

During that year, Sister Georgiana was named Knight of L’Ordre des Palmes Academique, the civil equivalent of the Legion of Honor. The honor is bestowed for distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education. It was enacted in 1808 by Emperor Napoleon.

This is a photo of Sister Georgiana Terstegge (third from left) from 1955 during a summer of study in France. She posed with sisters from the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé-sur-Loir.

This is a photo of Sister Georgiana Terstegge (third from left) from 1955 during a summer of study in France. She posed with sisters from the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé-sur-Loir.

In addition, Sister Marie Grace Molloy said Sister Georgiana was responsible for the planting of many trees at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. In 1972, Sister Georgiana established the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Tree Club with annual dues of one dollar to help keep the motherhouse grounds forested.

Sister Georgiana died in 1997.

#‎throwbackthursday ‪#‎tbt

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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3 Comments

  1. Michelle Barrentine on June 16, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I was one of S. Georgianna’s later students. She was one of my favorite instructors and one of my favorite people of all time. She was a wonderful person, always had a positive attitude and smile on her face, and was outstanding in her profession (obviously!). Some days, we weren’t sure whether she was American or French, she was so familiar with the language and culture of France.
    Many also know that for years Sister taught the children French in a corner room in Foley Hall on Saturday mornings. That was in addition to her planting trees whenever she could.
    God rest her soul!

  2. John Brewer on June 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    I coordinated the knighting ceremony and dinner as Director of Information Services at SMWC yielding to Sister’s desire for simplicity.
    I worked closely with the Charge is d’Affaires of the French government to follow protocol.
    Our 3year old daughter Megan delighted Sister with a ti I’d “bon jour”.

    Georgiana’s Tree Club was a happy concept…some of her trees she called by name.

  3. Katy Terstegge Harden on June 17, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Dear sweet Sister Georgiana was my Aunt. She was 18 when she left for the convent and Dad was 3 weeks old. We grew up on weekends at SMWC. She was such a loving person and we were all blessed to be in her presence! Love and miss you Auntie ❤️

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