Mary Ann Gschwind was born and raised in La Crosse. Her father was a city police officer and her mother was an LPN who worked first at St. Francis Hospital and then at Lutheran Hospital. She has been a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration for 52 years.
Mary Ann's degrees are from Viterbo College, Catholic University and Michigan State University. For 13 years, Mary Ann was a junior high and high school English teacher and high school principal. She was also the diocesan superintendent of schools in Omaha, Neb., and Stockton, Calif. From 1974-1979, Mary Ann was chair of the Education Department at Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wis. In the summers of
1984-1991, she taught a graduate course in the Institute for Catholic Education Leadership at the University of San Francisco. From 1990-1998, she served as Vice President for the Franciscan Sisters. Before moving back to La Crosse in 2002, Mary Ann taught English to speakers of other languages at the International Institute in St. Paul and during the summers of 2000 and 2001 in Olomouc, Czech Republic. In 2002, Mary Ann began her current ministry as Archivist for the Franciscan Sisters.
She currently serves:
-- as board president of Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR).
-- as chair of the Catholic Charities Board for the Diocese of La Crosse.
-- on the Viterbo University Board of Trustees which she chaired from 2004-2012.
-- on the Catholic Residential Services Board for the Diocese of La Crosse.
-- on the La Crosse Symphony Board.
-- on the La Crosse Performing Arts Center Board.
-- on the Downtown Rotary Board.
-- on the La Crosse County Historical Society's Board.
-- on the Ethics Advisory Committee at Viterbo University.
-- on the Diabetes Advisory Committee and Family & Patient Advisory Committee at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare.
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