- Legends Division
Her philosophy was simple: “Every day, I ask, ‘God, what do you want me to do today? How do you want me to be with you? How can I serve you?’ It’s not always easy. It takes a lot of prayer, talking it over and listening. Then it requires making a decision.”
She had known from high school that she wanted to be a sister. She was 20 when she entered the St. Louis-based order that had taught her at St. Joseph Academy. Sister Ella received the habit of Sister of St. Joseph in 1946.
Even though she joined religious life at a time when members were told what their ministry would be, she was able to do everything she dreamed of as a girl. Since she loved to study, Sister Ella earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from St. Xavier College in Chicago, a Master of Arts in American History from St. Louis University, and an M of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans.
She wanted to be a secretary, like her favorite aunt. So, she was a secretary for two years after high school. Later, she served as a secretary in the diocesan offices for six years before becoming archivist at the Diocese of Green Bay, a position that she held until October of 2000.
She wanted to be a teacher, like her mother. She taught elementary school in Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Peru for 15 years. She also taught for 22 years in her hometown of Green Bay, becoming a teacher at St. Joseph’s Academy in 1963, teaching history.
Sister Ella served as a member of the Corporate Board of Notre Dame Academy from its inception in 1990 until 2004. She was awarded the NDA Distinguished Alumna Award in 2003. Sister Ella died on October 31, 2007.
She always embodied the spirit of faith, the tradition of excellence, and the mission to serve that have been the hallmarks of Catholic secondary education in Green Bay.