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Jane Herb, IHM, recognized for contributions to Catholic Education Feature Image

Jane Herb, IHM, recognized for contributions to Catholic Education


John Straud, Executive Director of Alliance for Catholic Education presents Mary Jane Herb, IHM the 2021 Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education

Notre Dame, Ind. – Sr. Jane Herb, IHM, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and a longtime Catholic educator, received the 2021 Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education following a Mass Friday evening on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Herb has worked as a teacher, principal, and diocesan superintendent, as well as leading her order, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the LCWR. John Staud, the director of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), and Rev. Lou DelFra, C.S.C., the director of pastoral life for ACE, presented the award. “We give this award to Sr. Jane in recognition for her diverse and manifold contributions to Catholic education, and we at ACE have been blessed to work with her directly for almost 20 years,” Staud said. “In doing so, we also recognize and honor the generations of women religious who built, led and staffed Catholic schools. We stand on the shoulders of Sr. Jane and those like her who have dedicated their ministries to serving children in our Catholic schools.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education. While this award recognizes my commitment to Catholic education, it is a gift to receive this on behalf of the countless women religious who have contributed to Catholic education for centuries, with humble beginnings in 1783,” said Mary Jane Herb, IHM, Ph.D.

Herb was elected president of the LCWR in 2020. As president, she leads about 1,350 members who are leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States, representing about 80 percent of the 49,000 women religious in the country.

When she entered religious life at 33, Herb was a coach, math teacher, and chair of the math department at Regina High School in Harper Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. She later became principal of Our Lady Star of the Sea High School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, before working as regional director for the Archdiocese of Boston. Herb then became the superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Albany, New York, a position she held from 1997 to 2012.

Herb serves as the president of the IHM community. She was first elected in 2012 and again in 2018. She also taught and serves as an executive coach to students in ACE’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, which forms aspiring Catholic school leaders as they earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Sr. Jane was, without a doubt, one of the most caring and impactful professors I had during my time in the Remick Leadership Program. I was also blessed to have Sr. Jane serve as a mentor to me upon my hire as principal of SMCC. Her care and counsel were massively important to my early years as a principal and her support for SMCC and Catholic education is to be admired.

Jason Linster, St. Mary Catholic Central Principal and 2014 Remick Leadership Program graduate