Sister Doris Kresslein: Educating through Music

Sister Doris Kresslein and her family

As the oldest of six children, Sister Doris Kresslein was the first to attend the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore. However, the school and the Schools Sisters of Notre Dame were well known to her extended family.

“All of my cousins went to IND,” she said.

While at IND S. Doris knew she needed to pursue the path of religious life.

“You just feel it and know it,” she said. I graduated from IND in June of 1938 and entered that August.”

Several young women from her IND graduating class also entered to become School Sisters. She took her vows on July 26, 1942 at the Motherhouse on Asquith Street.

S Doris Kresslein through the years

While studying to become a sister, S. Doris was also on the path to become a music teacher. After balancing a busy schedule, she graduated from Catholic University in Washington D.C.

“I taught 16 music classes at the monastery, and then two days a week I would commute to DC for school,” she said, reflecting on her busy early years as a sister.

“I had music education from the time I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, and I played the organ at various parishes.”

She taught music in Pittsburgh, Rochester and Baltimore. She then spent time at Notre Dame Preparatory School before spending the last 16 years of her teaching career at Institute of Notre Dame, her alma mater. She retired from teaching in 1988 but remained active in the community. For 12 years S. Doris assisted the School Sisters of Notre Dame by working in the finance department for the province.

She now lives at Villa Assumpta, is a smiling face in the dining hall, and is always ready for a bright conversation.

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