St. Benedict’s Mission (White Earth, MN)

White Earth Classroom

The first Benedictine missionary to come to White Earth Reservation was Father Ignatius Tomazin, who arrived in 1874 and clashed with the Indian agent and Episcopal missionaries on the Reservation.   In 1878, Father Aloysius Hermanutz, OSB, and Sisters Philomena Ketten and Lioba Braun located in White Earth and opened a school.   That first school was lost in a fire early in 1879, and a new school eventually opened in 1882.   The work of the Sisters at this school came to the attention of philanthropist Catherine Drexel, who funded construction of the large brick school in 1890.   At its peak, the school housed over 100 students. When the U.S. government ceased funding religiously-affiliated Indian schools in 1899, St. Benedict’s mission sought support from Catholic charities and reservation funds.   In 1945, the school changed to educating local day students only.  

Photo Gallery

1945 – 1946, St. Benedict’s Mission, White Earth, Minnesota.

1945 – 1946, St. Benedict’s Mission
White Earth Saint Benedict's Mission School with Students

White Earth Saint Benedict's Mission School with Students
White Earth School

White Earth School
New school (built by Katherine Drexel) at St. Benedict's Mission, White Earth, MN
New School (built by Katherine Drexel)

More information about St. Benedict’s Mission at White Earth, see: 

MacDonald, G. (1957). With lamps burning.

St. Joseph, Minn.: St. Benedict’s Priory Press 

Barry, C., & Klingeman, D. (1993). Worship and work : Saint John's Abbey and University 1856-1992 [3rd ed.] ed. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press.

Berg, C., OSB. (1981). Climbing learners' hill : Benedictines at White Earth, 1878-1945 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Minnesota.

St. Benedict’s Mission (White Earth, MN)