+Sister Madeleva Schur, OSB

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+Sister Madeleva Schur, OSB

Sister Madeleva Schur, OSBSister Madeleva (Gertrude) Schur, 94, died on January 15, 2015, in the Benedictine Health Center, the same date on which her mother died in 1988.  One of eight siblings, Gertrude was born on May 30, 1920, in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, the daughter of Rowland and Emma (Gagnon) Schur.  A religious child schooled by her mother, at age four Gertrude won a picture of a Guardian Angel, which she cherished.  For the ensuing ninety years of her life, she had a special devotion to her Guardian Angel, and only on the seventieth anniversary of her vows in 2011 did she pass the picture on to a family member.

    Raised in a strong Catholic family and yearning to spend her life in the service of God, Gertrude attended daily Mass during her high school years, asking God’s guidance as she pondered the direction of her life.  After her graduation from Mountain Iron High School, she helped her mother care for a three-generation family before she entered St. Scholastica  Monastery as a Postulant in 1939.  She entered the Novitiate and received the name Sister Madeleva in 1940, professed her Triennial Vows the following summer and her Perpetual Vows in 1944.  On August 14, 2011, Sister Madeleva celebrated her seventieth anniversary as a Benedictine Sister.

    To follow Jesus, Sister Madeleva desired to be a teacher.  She received a B.S. degree in education from The College of S Scholastica and did post-graduate work at St. Paul Teachers’ College and the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Subsequently, she enjoyed many years as a successful, much-loved, and long-remembered teacher.  Teaching  religion had always been her priority, though she loved all teaching—be it reading to first graders and helping them struggle into their winter coats and boots, catechizing high school teens, designing activities for senor citizens, or conversing intimately with residents of the Benedictine Health Center.

    From 1942 to 1979 Sister Madeleva was an elementary teacher in the Catholic schools on Minnesota’s Iron Range, in Duluth, and in Minneapolis.  During this time she also served as Principal in Lake Linden, Michigan, as well as at St. Margaret Mary School in Morgan Park and St. Mary’s School in Pine City, Minnesota.  After a period of time with a group of our Sisters beginning a new mission in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sister Madeleva returned to Duluth, where she served as a Religious Educator in various parishes and as a Receptionist at the Monastery Information Desk until she retired in 2001.

    Thinking back on her life, Sister Madeleva said she felt most grateful for the following: being able to care for her mother, first in her own home and then at the Benedictine Health Center, while she continued teaching at Marquette School in Virginia, then at St. Ann’s in Duluth; her participation and leadership in many musical and drama events, especially playing Gerontius in John Henry Newman’s The Dream of Gerontius, a hugely successful production directed by Sister Scholastica Bush, with cast and chorus composed of the Sisters of the Monastery;  and her opportunity to join the “Peace Pilgrimage” to Fatima seven times.  On her last pilgrimage, she celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of her religious vows and led a decade of the Rosary in the “Capalinha” (Chapel of Apparitions) on July 22, the feast day of her patron, Saint Mary Magdalen.  “An awesome feast day,” she remembered.

    Sister Madeleva was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Chester, Harold, James, and John, and her sister Rachel Stenrud.  She is survived by her brother Herbert Schur and her sister Burrell Kubacki, many nieces, nephews, and friends, as well as her Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery. 

    Sister Madeleva’s wake and Mass of Christian Burial were celebrated on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery.  Father Peter Lambert, who had been Sister Madeleva’s first grade pupil, presided.  In his homily Father Peter remarked that he envisioned at her death Jesus had called “Madeleva” and, like her patron saint Mary Magdalen, Madeleva had responded, “Rabbouni!”  Sister Madeleva is buried at Gethsemane Cemetery at St. Scholastica.

  

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