In Loving Memory
Sister Charlene (Dorothy) Schoen, OSB, 96, of St. Scholastica Monastery died Monday, February 13, 2012, at the Monastery. She was born to William Joseph and Bernadine E. (Heurung) Schoen on December 9, 1915, in Swan River, Minnesota.
On August 28, 1934, she entered St. Scholastica Monastery and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1936. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee on August 15, 1961, her Golden Jubilee on August 17, 1986, her Seventieth Jubilee on July 9, 2006, and her Seventy-fifth Jubilee on August 14, 2011.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from The College of St. Scholastica and a Master of Arts degree in elementary education and counseling from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sister Charlene’s entire life in ministry was dedicated to teaching. She began this ministry at Marquette School, Virginia, Minnesota, in 1937. Her teaching career spanned over fifty full-time years including assignments at St. James and Sacred Heart Schools in Duluth, St. Timothy School in Chicago, Assumption Hall School in Hibbing, St. Thomas School in International Falls, and St. Bridget’s School in Minneapolis. Of those assignments, she taught at St. Bridget’s for over twenty years. She was principal of Holy Name School in Wayzata from 1958 to 1964 and, finally, she returned to St. Bridget’s to teach part-time for seven years and one year at St. Elizabeth Seton School before retiring.
She felt especially at home at St. Bridget’s because she herself had attended school there from third through eighth grade. She was proud of never missing a day of teaching because of illness and grateful for each day she taught “God’s children.” She wrote a personal letter to each of her students on the occasion of their graduations.
At her wake many commented on her genius as a teacher, her prayerfulness and her love of family. One person noted that she mesmerized children. Another person spelled out this ability by telling of a time she was having difficulties with her son. When Sister Charlene asked to see him, he calmed down immediately. She was devoted to the children she taught, whether pitching a baseball for them at recess or teaching them about the importance of love. Sister Charlene told her students that she would find it hard to teach without love in the room. She recalled that “If there was a disturbance I’d say, ‘Someone is chasing love out of the room!’ One evening I received a telephone call from one of the mothers who said, ‘Sister, my family was at the dinner table and I raised my voice to my husband. My second grader said, ‘Mother, you’re chasing love right out of the house.’ I certainly learned my lesson and I am grateful to you for teaching the family about love.’”
In addition to such individual tributes, Sister Charlene was publicly awarded several certificates of appreciation for the many years she taught in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William Joseph and Bernadine E. Schoen, her brothers Charles and Otto, and sister Lucille Manson. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by many nieces and nephews, other relatives, and countless friends.
A wake service was held on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery with visitation until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11:00 a.m. with Father Brian Schultz presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- Marquette School, Virginia, MN
- St. James School, Duluth, MN
- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Cloquet, MN
- St. Timothy School, Chicago, IL
- Assumption Hall, Hibbing, MN
- Cathedral (Sacred Heart) Elementary School, Duluth, MN
- St. Thomas School, International Falls, MN
- St. Francis School, Brainerd, MN
- Holy Name School, Wayzata, MN
- St. Bridget School, Minneapolis, MN
- St. Elizabeth Seton School, Minneapolis, MN
- Principal at Holy Name School, Wayzata, MN
- Interim Principal at St. Bridget School, Minneapolis, MN