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Casa Romero Renewal Center

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Casa Romero, built in 1888 by Schnetzky and Liebert, was used by the School Sisters of Notre Dame (teachers at Holy Trinity School and later at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School) for more than 100 years. Today, the space serves as an urban, multicultural, bilingual spirituality center.

In 1852 the School Sisters of Notre Dame began to teach the children of German immigrants at Holy Trinity School. At first they walked the three miles from the motherhouse on the East side of Milwaukee to Holy Trinity. But, after the sisters were attacked by the Freethinkers and the Know-Nothings, Mother Caroline bought a “bus” (a horse-drawn carriage) for their travels and had it painted black. It was fondly known as “Noah’s Ark” or “The Sisters’ Black Maria.” Twenty years later, in 1873 a part of the basement of the school was arranged as the sisters’ living quarters. In the late 1880s, Mother Caroline Friess of the School Sisters of Notre Dame bought a parcel of land just to the west of Holy Trinity Church on 4th and Bruce (then known as Park and Greenbush Streets) for $2000. She then had a suitable residence erected for the sisters. In 1888 the convent, a modified Richardsonian Romanesque building designed by architects, H. Paul Schnetzky and Eugene R. Liebert, was completed and the sisters moved in. In 1996, after 108 years of continuous SSND presence in the parish, the last sisters moved out of the convent. Gracias a Dios for all the life, teaching, and love that have come forth from those dwelling in the structure during the past 100+ years!

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