Volume 2: Midwest United States
South Dakota: SD-38

Benedictine Sisters. Mother of God Monastery. Archives
Mother of God Monastery
110 Twenty-Eighth Avenue, Southeast
Watertown, SD 57201

Phone: 605-882-6600
Email: See website (Contact Us)


Hours: By appointment only

Access: Some restrictions apply

Copying facilities: Yes


History: Founded by St. Benedict in 5th century Italy, the Benedictine Sisters have self-identified with the post-nominal initials, “O.S.B.” Benedictine Sisters from Yankton, South Dakota, established Mother of God Monastery, Watertown, South Dakota, 1958. The Mother of God Benedictine Sisters taught Native American students at the following Catholic schools in North and South Dakota:


Immaculate Conception School (Santee), Crow Creek Reservation, Stephan, South Dakota


St. Bernard School (Hunkpapa), Standing Rock Reservation, Fort Yates, North Dakota


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1887-1970s, undated

Volume: 1.1 cubic feet and 1 reel of microfilm

Description: 3 series plus some unclassified records include Native Catholic records. Also included are records of schools administered by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton, South Dakota. 


/1 "Publications and Publicity - Chronicles" 

Inclusive dates: 1935-1974

Volume: .2 cubic foot


A. "Fort Yates [North Dakota], St. Bernard School," 1935-1974, 1 volume (194 pages): includes daily entries and annual summaries; also photographs and clippings

B. Stephan [South Dakota], Immaculate Conception Mission School, 1939-1964, 4 notebooks: typed entries with school newsletters


/2 "Ministries - Secondary Education"

Inclusive dates: 1931, 1947-1958, 1960-1966

Volume: .75 cubic foot

Description: Includes copies of Memories, the yearbook of Immaculate Conception Mission School, Stephan, South Dakota.


/3 Photography

Inclusive dates: 1960s-1970s, undated

Volume: 40 prints

Description: Prominent topics include the dedication ceremony at St. Peter Church, Fort Yates, North Dakota, in 1975, and mission buildings and personnel at Immaculate Conception Mission and School, Stephan, South Dakota.


/4 Unclassified Records

Inclusive dates: 1887-1970s, undated

Volume: .2 cubic foot and 1 reel of microfilm 


A. Scrapbooks of Sister Helen Marx, O.S.B., 1960s-1970s, .1 cubic foot:

1. "Fort Yates, Government Indian School and St. Bernard's Mission School, and Kenel, St. Benedict's School," compiled in 1970s, 100 pages: contains summaries of Benedictine Sisters' chronicles, 1887-1974, copies of correspondence and photographs, clippings, and historical data

2. "Stephan, Immaculate Conception Mission School," compiled in 1960s, 65 pages: contains summaries of Benedictine Sisters' chronicles, 1939-1965, a brief history of the Mission by Sister Marmion Maiers, O.S.B., 1961, and copies of the newsletter Wopeedah, 1941-1942, 1945-1946, 1949-1950, 1953, 1958

B. Microfilm copy of records at Sacred Heart Convent, Yankton, South Dakota, 1887-1962, undated, 1 reel:

1. Chamberlain, South Dakota, St. Joseph School, 1951-1962, undated

a. Correspondence, 1951, 1953-1956, 1959, 1962, 9 letters: major correspondents include Mother M. Jerome, O.S.B., and Rev. Augustine Edele

b. Clippings, undated

2. Fort Yates, North Dakota, Government Indian School and St. Bernard Mission School, and Kenel, South Dakota, St. Benedict School, 1892-1961, undated:

a. Correspondence, 1924, 1959, 1961, 6 letters

b. Diary (copy) of Rev. Bernard Strassmaier, O.S.B., undated: copied in 1934

c. Quarterly school reports, 1892-1894

3. Stephan, South Dakota, Immaculate Conception Mission School, 1887-1960, undated:

a. Correspondence, 1887-1889, 1921, 1932-1933, 1935-1936, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1959-1960, 38 letters: most are copies from the Archives of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, Pennsylvania; major correspondents include Mother Gertrude, O.S.B., Mother Katharine Drexel, S.B.S., Mother M. Jerome, O.S.B., and Rev. Justin Snyder, O.S.B.

b. Notes summarizing the diary of Rev. Pius Boehm, O.S.B., 1893-1930," undated

c. Account of Catholic Indian education by Rev. Ambrose Mattingly, S.C.J., 1936, 8 pages

d. Photographs, 1938, undated, 2 prints

C. Unpublished theses, 1935, 1961, .1 cubic foot:

1. "The Educational Work of the Catholic Church Among the Indians of South Dakota," by Sister M. Serena Zens, O.S.B., 1935

2. "The History of Immaculate Conception Indian Mission, Stephan, South Dakota, 1886-1961," by Sister M. Marmion Maiers, O.S.B., 1961


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.