The Sisters of the Divine Savior (SDS) North American Province in Milwaukee serves as religious sponsor to three local institutions: Divine Savior Holy Angels High School; Hadley Terrace Senior Apartments; and St. Anne’s Salvatorian Campus. The sisters, known as Salvatorians, also taught for years at Mother of Good Counsel and St. Pius X grade schools in Milwaukee.
Founded in Tivoli, Italy, in 1888, the SDS Congregation currently ministers in 27 countries. In the U.S., Salvatorians serve in Arizona, California, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Next year, they’ll celebrate 125 years in North America, responding to Milwaukee Archbishop Frederick Katzer’s request to provide home nursing care to Milwaukee’s immigrants.
Another SDS milestone coming up in 2020 is the 20th annual Woman of Faith Award. The award shines a light on women whose faith-inspired service improves the lives of vulnerable individuals. This year, on Sept. 26, SDS will present the award to Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, for her work to empower survivors of human trafficking and sexual violence.
In nominating Monaco-Wilcox, Mount Mary University English Professor Ann Angel wrote, “There is no question Rachel is driven with spirit and passion to help survivors of domestic violence, rape and trafficking.”
Angel collaborated with Monaco-Wilcox to launch the “Untold Stories” writing workshop to help survivors find healing. Soon after, Monaco-Wilcox founded LOTUS Legal Clinic (Legal Options for Trafficked and Underserved Survivors) to provide trauma-informed legal services to victims of trafficking and gender-based violence.
Austin Reece joined LOTUS in 2018 and now directs Untold Stories. “Rachel’s work is a calling,” he said, adding, “And the daily substance of her work is embodied in empathy and a genuine human connection with the vulnerable and disenfranchised.”
Dr. Carrie King chairs Mount Mary’s Counseling Department and works with Monaco-Wilcox on projects related to healing trauma. She said Monaco-Wilcox’s life and faith inspire her service. King supported her nomination in a tribute.
“What Rachel has done and what is in her heart inspires me to give more of myself to the greater good. She has opened my eyes to new ways to care for those who experience shame, fear and insecurity. If ever there was a Woman of Faith whom I can identify with and look up to, it is Rachel.”
Sisters of the Divine Savior
4311 N. 100th St., Milwaukee, WI 53222
Key Contact: Jan Pelensky