Rochester Catholic Schools (RCS)
have provided quality faith based education in Rochester Minnesota for over 137
years. Our rich history began when our founder, Mother Alfred (Marie Catherine)
Moes came to America from Remich Luxembourg in 1851 to teach Native American
children. Marie Catherine felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to enter into a
religious order upon which she received her customary new name… Mother Alfred
Mother Alfred founded a Franciscan congregation of women who were dedicated to
education of immigrant children throughout the Midwest. As a leader, many
followed Mother Alfred’s vision and she was responsible for establishing 23
schools in five states before the year 1877. Mother Alfred then moved to
Rochester, Minnesota to establish an academy for girls while at the same time
she founded a second order of the Sisters of St. Francis
In August of 1883, a tornado struck Rochester devastating the community. This
tragedy brought together the compassionate hearts of Mother Alfred and the
Sisters of St. Francis with the medical giftedness of Dr. William Worrall
(W.W.) Mayo and his two sons. This collaboration helped establish Saint Mary’s
Hospital and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.
As the result of her determination, vision, leadership and willingness to be
guided by the Holy Spirit, Mother Alfred Moes gave the Franciscans, the city of
Rochester and the world these enduring gifts:
- Founded Lourdes Academy which is now Lourdes High School, part of the Rochester Catholic Schools.
- Established the Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Minnesota
- Built and staffed Saint Mary's Hospital
- Together with Dr. W.W. Mayo began the collaboration that evolved into Mayo Clinic.
Today Rochester Franciscan Sisters
are returning to the new and beautiful Lourdes High School campus to carry on
the vision of Mother Alfred Moes to be a Franciscan presence within the
community witnessing to the Gospel way of life. One of Mother Alfred’s favorite
scripture passages was found in Psalm 37, particularly the verse: “Trust in
God, and do good.” Building on the legacy of Mother Alfred, Rochester
Franciscans today our grateful and proud of the Rochester Catholic Schools!