Sion’s commitment to education began before Sion Schools and the Congregation itself existed.

In 1843, a small group of women from Strasbourg joined Théodore Ratisbonne in Paris to teach children in the Catholic faith. Four years, later, these women would be among the first sisters of Our Lady of Sion.

Many of today’s sisters have served long careers as teachers and principals in Sion schools. Some have also been pupils. From different perspectives, they have experienced the traditions and educational philosophy introduced by Théodore and Louise Humann, Théodore’s own spiritual guide, whose gentle and creative teaching manner inspired the pedagogy specific to Notre Dame de Sion schools to the present day.

In Théodore’s words: “Education at Sion is based on mutual confidence, simplicity and respect for the other’s differences”. It’s a pedagogy centred around dialogue – a dialogue that embraces knowledge, conscience, and the inner voice of the heart, and extends to others in their uniqueness, especially marginalized people and minorities. It transcends cultural, religious and geographic boundaries and reaches out to the global community and all of Creation.

In the second half of the 20th century, a number of sisters left the Sion schools to immerse themselves in their own formation in Scripture, Theology, Judaic studies and Hebrew language, in preparation for calls to new ministries. Although our apostolic commitments became more diversified, education has remained a priority for us. Today we are involved in primary, secondary and tertiary education through a presence in the governance of Sion schools and among the academic staff of schools and universities.

International Sion schools network


Although our apostolic commitments have changed, education has remained a priority for us.

Find out how some of us have been, and are today, involved in education.