By Jay Nies
Love-love was the score on Dec. 8 as Father Stephen Jones blessed the Gerhardinger Tennis Pavilion at Helias Catholic High School’s recently completed Crusader Sports Complex.
It was the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother.
The elevated pavilion in the middle of eight new tennis courts is named in honor of Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND).
Originating in Bavaria in 1833, School Sisters began work in the United States in 1847, and have ministered in many capacities within the Diocese of Jefferson City.
Members of the SSND congregation have been serving in what is now the Jefferson City diocese since 1866 and have been part of the Helias Catholic faculty and administration since the school was founded in 1956.
Fr. Jones also unveiled a plaque depicting Sister Jean Dietrich, the school’s registrar and longtime principal, who began serving at the school in 1984.
“It’s very unusual for a religious sister to be assigned to one post for such a long time, and the fact that Sr. Jean has been at Helias for this many years is a testament to the her contribution,” said Fr. Jones. “She has put down a great amount of ministerial roots, which has borne great fruit in our community.”