Teresa Ellen Dease

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Mother Teresa Ellen Dease
Religion Catholic
Order Loreto Sisters
Nationality Irish
Born Ellen Dease
(1820-05-04)May 4, 1820
Naas, County Kildare, Ireland
Died July 1, 1889(1889-07-01) (aged 69)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Teresa Ellen Dease (4 May 1820 – 1 July 1889) was a Roman Catholic nun and the foundress of the Loreto Sisters (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Canada and in North America. She arrived in Toronto in 1847 at the invitation of Bishop Michael Power.[1]

As superior, she oversaw the work of the sisters in both the publicly funded separate schools and private convent schools. Thirteen establishments opened under her watch, including Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto and the first in the United States in Joliet, Illinois.[2] Dease's ability to work with separate schools boards allowed the growth of publicly funded Catholic education in the province and the expansion of the order across North America.

In 1881, the Vatican made the North American branch of the Institute a separate generalate and Mother Dease became its first Superior General.

Dease is buried at the former Loretto convent in Niagara Falls, Ontario.


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