Sister Mary Aloyse Gerhardstein, a Sister of Mercy for 74 years, was born in Cheviot, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Athenaeum of Ohio, a master’s in education from Xavier University and a bachelor’s degree in music from the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.
Sister Aloyse taught music for 16 years at her alma mater, Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati. When the new Mercy Montessori Center needed a teacher for older elementary students, she studied the Montessori method of education in Bergamo, Italy, in 1971. She then helped establish the upper-level and junior-high grades at the school. In addition, Sister Aloyse helped found a Montessori school in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1983. Throughout her years of teaching children, Xavier University called on her to instruct adults to use the Montessori method.
In addition to education, Sister Aloyse had a passion for music. She composed many works for singers, as well as several historical pageants and a life of Maria Montessori. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered at Mercy Montessori Center and served on the board of the Over the Rhine soup kitchens, and was always chief musician for local Mercy celebrations.