Magdalen Schnell was the daughter of Jacob and Magdalena (Ströebel) Schnell. Magdalen was born October 27, 1830 in Sasbach, Baden Germany. She immigrated with her parents, sister and brother on the "Tallahassee" arriving in NYC on Aug 21, 1846. Sister Maurice traveled by horseback from Madison, Indiana and entered the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (when it was just a log cabin) on June 20, 1847. She professed her vows on August 15, 1854. She taught art and science at SMW for 50 years. The beautiful symbolic pictures and mottoes (phrases) Sister Maurice painted for the walls of the convent and Academy still, after many years, keep her memory alive. Sister Maurice continued painting until 3 days before she died.
The world's foremost miniaturist, Amalia Küssner Coudert, studied art with Sister Maurice at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.