In Loving Memory
Sister Renee Cormier, OSB
Sister Renee Cormier, OSB, died June 9, 2011, in Benet Hall in St. Scholastica Monastery. She was born February 25, 1920, in Charleston, South Carolina. The next year her family moved to Duluth where she later attended first grade at St. James Catholic School and made her First Communion at Good Shepherd Parish. When she was in second grade, her family moved to Cloquet, and in 1934 she graduated from eighth grade at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School. Duluth where she later attended first grade at St. James Catholic School and made her First Communion at Good Shepherd Parish. When she was in second grade, her family moved to Cloquet, and in 1934 she graduated from eighth grade at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School.
Sister Renee received her high school education in Duluth, Minnesota, and was one of the graduates from the first graduating class of Stanbrook Hall. She earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from The College of St. Scholastica and received a Minnesota Teaching Certificate from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, during the summers from 1939 to 1945, as well as a Life Certification for teaching elementary grades May 6, 1974.
Sister Renee entered the Duluth Benedictine Community August 30, 1938, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1940. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 15, 1965, her Golden Jubilee August 12, 1990, and her Diamond Jubilee August 13, 2000. She taught for 37 years at various places, including St. Thomas’ in International Falls, Our Lady of Victory, Minneapolis, Holy Name, Wayzata, St. Clement’s, Duluth, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet, Marquette School, Virginia, St. John’s, Duluth, and St. Joseph’s, Crosby, all in Minnesota, and at St. Timothy’s, in Chicago, Illinois. During that time, she taught a total of 1,126 children. She had a booklet with every student’s name recorded.
In 1978 she returned to Duluth and worked at the third-floor Information Desk at St. Mary’s Hospital as a paid employee for fourteen years, and from 1992 to 2004 as a volunteer. In 1987 she received a Certificate of Recognition for “making a positive contribution to ‘Guest Relations’ at St. Mary’s Medical Center” and in 1991 she was given the “Employee of the Year” award.
Sister Renee was preceded in death by her parents Nelida (Mailhot) Cormier and Felix Cormier and a brother, Philip Cormier. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery she is survived by three sisters: Anne Oxley, Cecilia Venne, and Marian (Ray) McCarty and a brother, Felix (Philip’s twin) as well as other devoted relatives and friends.
A Wake Service will be held on Wednesday, June 29, at 9:30 a.m. with visitation until 10:45 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. with Father Brian Schultz presiding. Dinner in Rockhurst Dining Room will be followed by the interment at Gethsemane Cemetery. Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery will be appreciated. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home.
Sister Rita Ann Beaulieu, OSB
Sister Rita Ann (Mary Louis) Beaulieu, OSB, 85, died Saturday, April 23, 2011, in Benet Hall at St. Scholastica Monastery. Rita Ann was born in Duluth, Minnesota, on August 12, 1925, one of three children born to Anthony Beaulieu and Bertille (Melanson) Beaulieu. She attended St. Jean-Baptiste Elementary and High School, graduating in 1944. She was a member of St. Jean’s Sodality.
On January 7, 1947, Sister Rita Ann entered St. Scholastica Monastery and on July 9, 1947, was admitted to the novitiate, receiving the name, Sister Mary Louis. She professed her monastic vows July 11, 1948, and celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 15, 1973, her Golden Jubilee on July 11, 1998, and her Diamond Jubilee on August 3, 2008.
Sister Rita Ann’s first and longest ministry was housemother to the pre-school children at St. James Orphanage from 1948-1957. Many commented on the excellent work she did with this particular group of children. After that she served in a variety of ministries at the Monastery, St. Mary’s Hospital, and St. Mary’s Convent, all in Duluth. Among these activities were being a Central Supply Aide at the hospital and a Teacher Aide at the United Day Activity Center for
children with special needs and at the Monastery as Assistant Unit Manager on Benet Hall where she helped with activities. In 1991 she took care of the guest rooms at the Monastery and helped in the Priory store. In 1995 her ministry was visiting with the Sisters living on Benet Hall, and on January 8, 1998, she became a resident there where she remained until her death.
Perhaps one of the greatest assets for which Sister Rita Ann will be remembered was her gentle, radiant smile. The presider at her funeral Mass suggested the time she spent with the children at the orphanage had somehow imbedded itself in her heart and later extended itself into a hobby of collecting stuffed animals of all sizes and shapes to remind her of that happy time in her life. At the end of January, 1987, Sister Rita Ann wrote her own obituary, part of which read: Here lies Rita—a caring, loving, happy, compassionate, artistic, grateful person—who has achived her goal of seeing God, her close friend. She found God in everyone and everything.
She was truly one of God’s “little ones.” She was faithful not only to God but to the Sisters on Benet Hall and to her prayer life. She was very grateful for all that was done for her. She was grateful for friends, especially those few good friends who pointed out to her both her good qualities which helped her fulfill them, and her negative qualities which helped her know which ones to get rid of. While on Benet Hall, she loved to play Bingo and was a very lucky player. As one Sister explained it, she was “a delightful person, full of fun.” Another activity she liked was recycling pop cans and flip tops.
Sister Rita Ann was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Bill and Ed. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery she is survived by several nieces and nephews and many friends.
A Wake service was held on Wednesday, May 4, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at 9:30 a.m. with visitation until 10:45. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11:00 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with Fr. Brian Schulz presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
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Sister Lea Pocta, OSB
Sister Lea was born in Mason City, Iowa, December 31, 1909, one of ten children of Frank and Mary (Lukes) Pocta. While she was still a young child, the family moved to a farm east of Beroun, Minnesota. In 1924 she became an aspirant at St. Scholastica Monastery where she attended Villa Sancta Scholastica High School. On August 24, 1926, she entered the Duluth Benedictine community as a postulant, was admitted to the novitiate July 9, 1927, and professed her monastic vows on July 11, 1928. Sister Lea celebrated her Silver Jubilee on August 15, 1953, her Golden Jubilee August 15, 1978, her Diamond Jubilee August 14, 1988, her Jubilee of seventy years on August 15 1998, of seventy-five years on August 15, 2003, and of eighty years on August 3, 2008.
Sister Lea earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from The College of St. Scholastica and a Master of Arts in counseling and administration from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. For many years her ministry focused on education and administration. She taught at the following schools in Minnesota: Assumption, Hibbing; St. Thomas, International Falls; St. Bridget’s, Minneapolis; St. Joseph’s, Grand Rapids; Marquette, Virginia; and St. James, St. Anthony’s, St. Clement’s, and Sacred Heart, all in Duluth. Sister’s last teaching assignment was at Our Mother of Sorrows in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to her teaching duties, Sister Lea was principal at St. Bridget’s and St. Joseph’s. Her summers were spent in teaching religion in various parishes, substituting for the administrator of the former St. James Children’s Home in Duluth for two summers, and ministering in various ways at St. Mary’s Medical Center. In 1975 age and failing eyesight caused Sister to ask to be relieved of her teaching duties to attend a course in clinical pastoral education at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. This course, coupled with her training in psychology and counseling, prepared her to accept a chaplaincy position at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, where she visited patients, assisted families of dying patients, and made weekly rounds on the oncology floor. Sister served on the Monastic Council and, in 1987, was asked to be on the pastoral team at the Benedictine Health Center, Duluth, and continued there until 1990. In 1984 she was appointed Subprioress. She also assisted the Monastery Director of Temporalities and helped staff the Monastery Information desk..
Sister Lea was an excellent teacher and administrator. Her work in pastoral care brought out the caring and compassionate side of her character. Sister brought genuine enthusiasm, a ready smile, total dedication, and professional expertise to all she did. She was ever grateful for her vocation to religious life. She wrote “God has been very good to me, showered me with graces and blessed my activities. Now, in my remaining years, I strive to deepen my relationship with Jesus so that someday we can continue this friendship in Heaven.” In retirement Sister Lea enjoyed time for quiet prayer, rest, and relaxation. Vision problems curtailed her knitting, crocheting, and macramé, but talking books, good music, sports broadcasts, large print crossword puzzles, and solitaire replaced her earlier hobbies. Daily walks with her sister, Sister Paschal, and visits with friends rounded out her days.
Sister Lea was preceded in death by her parents and all her sisters (including one who died in infancy and Sister Paschal of St. Scholastica Monastery) and all her brothers. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by devoted relatives and countless friends.
A wake service was held Saturday, March 26, 2011, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with visitation following until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel with Father William Graham presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- Assumption Hall, Hibbing, MN
- St. James, Duluth, MN
- St. Anthony’s, Duluth, MN
- St. Thomas, International Falls, MN
- St. Clement’s, Duluth, MN
- St. Bridget’s, Minneapolis, MN
- Sacred Heart, Duluth, MN
- St. Joseph’s, Grand Rapids, MN
- Marquette, Virginia, MN
- Our Mother of Sorrows, Cincinnati, OH
- Monastic Council, Duluth, MN
- Subprioress of St. Scholastica Monastery
- Principal, St. Joseph’s School, Grand Rapids, MN
- Principal, St. Bridget’s, Minneapolis, MN
- Substitute Administrator, St. James Home, Duluth, MN
- Monastery Information Desk
Chaplaincy / Pastoral Care
- St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth MN
- Benedictine Health Care Center, Duluth, MN
National Catholic Education Association
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Sister Bertrand Reiser, OSB
Sister Bertrand Reiser, OSB, 88, died Tuesday, February 15, 2011, in Benet Hall at St. Scholastica Monastery. She was born April 30, 1922, in Wayzata, Minnesota, where she attended Holy Name Elementary School and Wayzata High School. She taught in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Cloquet and at Maryhill Academy in Aitkin. She attended The College of St. Scholastica where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing. During her nursing career, Sister Bertrand participated in numerous workshops and seminars.
Sister Bertrand entered St. Scholastica Monastery September 20, 1943, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1945. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 15, 1970, her Golden Jubilee July 9, 1995, and her Diamond Jubilee August 14, 2005.
Following her nursing studies, Sister Bertrand served at Hibbing General Hospital for a short time, and in 1952 began her long and faithful 36-year service at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. First she was head nurse in pediatrics for a while, but the bulk of her time was spent as head nurse in the medical/surgical department where she specialized in urology. In 1984 her outstanding work earned Sister Bertrand the title “Employee of the Year.” And on January 22, 1988, she received a “Certificate of Recognition.” She returned to St. Scholastica Monastery in 1988, where she served as a nurse for the Benedictine Health Center and, later, on the nursing staff of Benet Hall. During her nursing career she was a member of the American Nurses’ Association and the former Catholic Nurses’ Association in Duluth. She retired from nursing in 1991.
At the wake her brother said she worked hard as a farm girl and that she was an excellent strawberry picker; no one could keep up with her. He said she was an avid reader of St. Augustine and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. As a youngster she began a lifetime of suffering caused by a skin disease which involved scaling and itching. Others noted that she ran a “tight ship” as head nurse and was not intimidated by the doctors when she had to approach them. Nevertheless, she was loved and highly respected both by the staff and patients. Her one concern was to have immediate care for the patients.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Aloysius Reiser and Ottilia (Ditter) Reiser, her brother Alex, and her sister Magdalene (Reiser) Maciej. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her brother, Reverend Bernard Reiser and sister, Rosemary Leger.
A wake service was held Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery with visitation following. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrted at 11:00 a.m. with Father Bernard Reiser presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet, MN
- Maryhill Academy, Aitkin, MN
- Hibbing General Hospital, Hibbing, MN
- St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN
- Benedictine Health Center, Duluth, MN
- Benet Hall, Duluth, MN
- American Nurses’ Association
- Catholic Nurses’ Association, Duluth, MN
- Employee of the Year in 1984, Duluth, MN
- Certificate of Recognition in 1988, Duluth, MN
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Sister Joan Braun, OSB
Sister Joan (Antonine) Braun, OSB, 90, died Saturday, February 5, 2011, in St. Scholastica Monastery. She was born June 11, 1920, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and attended and graduated from the Kohler Public School. She entered St. Scholastica Monastery as a postulant on January 6, 1941, the middle of her junior year at The College of St. Scholastica, and professed her vows on July 11, 1942. Sister Joan celebrated her Silver Jubilee as a Benedictine on August 11, 1967; her Golden Jubilee on July 26, 1992; and her Diamond Jubilee on July 28, 2002.
In the fall of 1943, having completed her bachelor of arts degree at CSS, she was assigned to St. James Junior High in West Duluth where she taught general science and history for three years. In the fall of 1947 she began her long association with the University of Michigan by completing a bachelor of arts degree, then a master’s in library science and returning summers as a visiting professor until 1981. From 1948 until the fall of 1966 Sister Joan was librarian and faculty member at The College of St. Scholastica. She then returned to the University of Michigan where she earned a master of arts degree in art history and a doctoral degree in library science. In 1971 she returned to CSS as director of libraries until 1973 when she was appointed academic dean. During 1974-75 she also served as acting president of CSS while its Board of Trustees conducted a presidential search. For a short time she was able to return to teaching (Art History, Children’s Literature, History of Civilization) until her appointment as dean of faculty in 1981.
Sister Joan chose to retire from the College in 1987 at which time a grateful College awarded her a surprise honorary doctor of humane letters degree which described her as “librarian, art historian, dean extraordinaire.” Her academic excellence was earlier rewarded by membership in honor societies and professional organizations. A high point of these was an address she gave at an International Symposium on Monasticism and the Arts in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. “The Life of St. Benedict in Art and the Reformation of Monks,” on March 22, 1980.
The interiors of St. Scholastica Monastery’s buildings are living examples of Sister Joan’s knowledge of, and love for, genuine religious art (especially icons). She was particularly influential in the planning of the new, smaller chapel in 1986 when most of the former chapel became part of the College library. When the Monastery opened a gift shop in 1989, Sister Joan carefully selected items to be stocked. In 2008 Sister Joan served another generation of College faculty and students by revising and editing All Her Ways (a short account of the Foundation, Development, and Artistic Possessions of The College of St. Scholastica and St. Scholastica Monastery) by Sister Agnes Somers, published in 1956.
At the wake, the Sisters and friends spoke of her kind and gentle spirit. One said it was great to have a friend for over sixty years who was such a wise and loving person. Another friend said that as a librarian Sister Joan was always there and always helpful.
Sister Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Anton and Emma (Gehl) Braun, and her brother, Robert Braun. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her sisters, Sister Mary Carol Braun, OSB, Sister Grace Marie Braun, OSB, and Mary Ann Braun Merline as well as sister-in-law Myrtle (Skip) Braun, brother-in-law Keith Merline, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
A wake service was held in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel during Evening Prayer at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 11 with visitation from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Chapel Saturday, February 12, at 10:00 a.m. with Father Tom Foster presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- St. James Junior High, Duluth, MN
- Visiting Professor, University of Michigan
- The College of St. Scholastica
- Director of Libraries
- Academic Dean
- Interim President of The College of St. Scholastica
- American Library Association
- American Benedictine Academy
- Catholic Library Association
- Children’s Literature Association
- Minnesota Public Radio Governing Board
- Northeastern Minnesota Research Center Board
- St. Louis County Historical Society Board of Governors
- St. Joseph’s Medical Center Board of Trustees, Brainerd, MN
- Duluth Public Library: survey for Mayor’s LEAP committee
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Phi Beta Mu
- Pi Lambda Theta
- American Benedictine Academy
- Higher Education Title II Fellowship
- University of Michigan Women in Research
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Sister Timothy Kirby, OSB
Sister Timothy Kirby, OSB, 92, died Wed., Dec. 22, 2010, at St. Scholastica Monastery. She was born Sept. 21, 1918, in Montreal, Wisconsin where she attended Montreal Grade School, and graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley, Wisconsin. She went on to earn an A.A. in Music from Virginia Community College, Virginia, Minnesota, where she lived with her cousin’s (Sister Terrance Kirby’s) family. She later received a B.A. from The College of St. Scholastica with a major in Music and a minor in Speech. In 1950 she earned an M.A. from Northwestern University with a major in Interpretation of Literature and a minor in Drama. She also did post-graduate studies in Administration, Counseling, and Literature.
Sister Timothy entered the Duluth Benedictine community Sept. 7, 1940, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1942. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee Aug. 16, 1967, her Golden Jubilee July 26, 1992, and her Diamond Jubilee July 2, 2002. She taught Chorus, Speech, Music Appreciation, Religion and English at Stanbrook Hall High School and was prefect of the resident students. Her next assignment was at Cathedral High School where she taught Chorus, Speech and English. In 1962, she joined the faculty of The College of St. Scholastica where she served in various capacities over the years: Prefect, Dean of Women, Associate Professor of Speech and Drama, Chair of the Drama Department, Campus Ministry and Assistant Director of Alumni Relations.
She did not limit herself to her full-time ministries. For ten year, from 1970-1980, during the summer months she worked in the Accounting Office, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan. During the school year Sister Timothy assisted on weekends at Young Adult and Adult Seminars at the Welch Center in Duluth, and in 1989 began ministering at the Federal Prison as a volunteer leading Catholic Scripture study groups and, later, also presiding at Communion Services on Sundays when a priest was not available. She participated in other “extra-curricular” activities as well, many of which were music-related: the Skyline Singers, the College Orchestra, directing the Monastery Schola, serving as organist for the Monastery, and playing the string bass in the Monastery Contemporary Music group.
At her wake it was noted that her work with prisoners was most impressive and inspirational. Her passion for the many issues related to peace and justice periodically came to the fore on a shirt she wore which read, “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?” Other qualities mentioned were her sense of humor, her love for her family, and her musical talents. Some of her compositions were used in the funeral liturgy. Father William Graham, in his homily, mentioned other characteristics which those in the congregation might have witnessed and said the best way they could emulate her was by their own actions.
Sister Timothy was preceded in death by her parents Timothy and Franceline (Genisot) Kirby and her three brothers: Neil, John and William. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by several nieces and nephews. A wake service was held in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery, during Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 11, with visitation from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Chapel Wednesday, January 12, at 11:00 a.m. with Father William Graham presiding. Interment will be at Gethsemane Cemetery.
- Prayer Ministry
- Stanbrook Hall High School, Duluth, MN
- Cathedral Senior High School, Duluth, MN
- The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
- Prison Ministries
- The American Association of University Women (representative for The college of St. Scholastica, and the AAUW Duluth Branch Board, and the AAUW Minnesota State Board of Directors)
- PAX CHRISTI (State Representative from Duluth)
- SOAR (on the Board of Directors serving as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president)
- Arrowhead Interfaith Council Board of Directors
- Welch Center Board
- Spirit Valley Youth Center Board
- Benedictine Health Center Board
- St. Joseph’s Medical Center Board, Brainerd, MN
- St. Gertrude’s Health and Rehabilitation Center & St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee, MN
- Women’s Commission, City of Duluth (served as Chair)
- Spectra Board
- The College of St. Scholastica Alumni Board
- Arrowhead Interfaith Council
- 1994: the St. Scholastica Alumni Association established the Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award to honor alumnae who have shown professional achievement and who exemplify Benedictine values.
- 2002: named Volunteer of the year at the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth.
- 2003: Excellence in Service to the Community award from The College of St. Scholastica in recognition of her work with various groups in the Duluth/Superior area.
- 2004: Women as Agents of Change award from the Minnesota branch of the AAUW.
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Sister Ethel Radtke, OSB
Sister Ethel (Emilene) Radtke, OSB, 90, died November 27, 2010, at St. Scholastica Monastery. She entered the Duluth Benedictine community January 6, 1941, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1942. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 16, 1967, her Golden Jubilee July 26, 1992, and her Diamond Jubilee July 28, 2002.
Sister Ethel was born January 17, 1920, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where she attended Washington High School, graduating as Valedictorian in 1938. On June 6, 1945, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from The College of St. Scholastica where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry. She earned a masters degree from the Institute Divi Thomae in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1948 and did doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. She made use of her scientific knowledge when teaching at Cathedral High School in Duluth and at The College of St. Scholastica where she also served as prefect.
In 1968 Sister Ethel’s ministry took her to Holy Redeemer Center in Two Rivers where she was the Adult Religious Coordinator. Later she was asked to fill a position by the Duluth Diocesan Department of Religious Education to the Indian apostolate at St. Catherine Mission in Squaw Lake, Minnesota. This ministry lasted for thirty-six years beginning with the teaching of religion and expanding over the years to Indian crafts and culture, serving as the Community Resource Person, and providing a variety of services to the elderly. In her own words, advocacy for the elderly, “means being present to the needs which arise…knowing how and where to turn to help fill these needs.” When she found that many adults lacked high school diplomas, she began not only to teach GED classes but to chauffeur her students to the exam sites. This pioneer work resulted in GED programs established by both the school district and the Indian Tribal Council. She returned to St. Scholastica Monastery when she retired August 21, 2005.
Many of her Native American friends from Squaw Lake who came to her wake expressed their gratitude for her work among them. One woman said Sister Ethel left a special mark on everyone she met. Another said she respected their culture and way of life and did not try to impose her beliefs on them. Others commented on her love of nature. Catechetical teaching in various places during the summer offered her many opportunities to be in touch with nature. As one person commented, even when she was skating she would often look up at the stars. The presider at the funeral Mass, Father Steven Daigle, former pastor at St. Catherine’s, said Sister Ethel was a companion and true friend of the people, a presence of Christ for the diocese, and it was clear to all that she was an extension of the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Mabel (Peltier) Radtke and her brother, Harold Radtke. Sister Ethel is survived by the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, an aunt, other relatives, and many friends. A wake service and Mass of Christian Burial were celebrated in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery December 4, 2010. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- Cathedral Senior High School, Duluth, MN
- The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
- Holy Redeemer Center, Two Rivers, WI
- St. Catherine’s Parish, Squaw Lake, MN
- Prefect, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
- Adult Religious Coordinator, Holy Redeemer Center, Two Rivers, WI
- Establishment of GED programs, St. Catherine’s, Squaw Lake, MN
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Sister Celine Plante, OSB
Sister Celine Plante, OSB, 83, died Friday, November 26, 2010, at St. Mary’s Medical Center. She was born July 20, 1927, in Fort Ripley, Minnesota. After graduating from grade school, she attended Stanbrook Hall High School in Duluth.
She was born July 20, 1927, to Isadore and Myrtle (Martineau) Plante in Fort Ripley, Minnesota. After graduating from elementary school, she attended Stanbrook Hall High School in Duluth. She was assigned to the ministry of various domestic services after taking her first monastic vows. Sister Celine served in this capacity for many years at the McCabe Guest Home (a residence for senior citizens at the time) as well as in several convents: St Thomas Convent in Phoenix, St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Francis Convent, both in Brainerd, and St. Thomas Convent in International Falls. One year she was the housemother of preschool children at St. James Children’s Home.
In 1968 Sister Celine became the Food Service Supervisor in Somers Hall at The College of St. Scholastica. This faithful ministry earned her a ten-year service pin. Later she served in Food Service at the Monastery until 1996. In this work, on her own admission, she became a “fairly skilled bread-maker.” Her talents were not limited to food service, however. After her retirement her artistry came out in the dish towels and pillowcases she embroidered for sale in the Monastery Books and Gifts Shop and the annual Christmas sale. She also took time to mend clothing for the Sisters in Benet Hall at the Monastery.
Sister Celine was a very quiet person who had an incredible way of communicating simply by her presence, her eyes, and her beautiful smile. She liked to tease and to be teased, and she loved the challenge of serving a variety of menus, especially when they were tailored to suit the needs and wants of the Sisters. At her wake several comments were made about her fidelity to prayer and to her work. She was a good cook and enjoyed using her culinary skills when making goodies for any occasion. The words of one of the hymns sung at her funeral seemed especially appropriate for her: “Give us the bread of life to eat!”
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Elmer Joseph, and a sister who died shortly after birth. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her sister Gertrude Anderson, and other loving relatives and friends.
A wake service and Mass of Christian Burial were celebrated in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery November 30, 2010, with Father Brian Schultz presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
Housemother of preschool children, St. James Children’s Home
Domestic/Food Service Ministry
- McCabe Guest Home
- St. Thomas Convent, Phoenix, AZ
- St. Joseph’s Hospital, Brainerd, MN
- St. Francis Convent, Brainerd, MN
- Sacred Heart Convent, Duluth, MN
- St. Thomas Convent, International Falls, MN
- Somers Hall, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
- St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN
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Sister Mary Jean Tuttle, OSB
Sister Mary Jean, OSB, 86, died Sunday, June 6, 2010, in Benet Hall at St. Scholastica Monastery. She was born November 29, 1923, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she attended St. Michael’s Elementary School and Grand Central High School. She earned a B.A. from The College of St. Scholastica with a music major and minors in English and French, an M.A. in Theology from St. John’s School of Theology, Collegeville, Minnesota, an M.M.Ed. degree in Music Education from the University of North Dakota, and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Other studies included music at Northwestern University, psychology and education at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minnesota, French at Kansas State University, and music education at the Peabody Conservatory at John Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland.
Sister Mary Jean entered the Duluth Benedictine community January 4, 1943, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1944. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 12, 1969, her Golden Jubilee July 10, 1994, and her Diamond Jubilee August 8, 2004. She taught elementary grades at St. Timothy’s in Chicago, Illinois, St. Francis in Brainerd, Minnesota, and St. Anthony’s and Sacred Heart Schools in Duluth. Later she taught at Cathedral High School in Duluth and, for a year, at Gerard High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Finally, she joined the faculty at The College of St. Scholastica as assistant professor of Music and Communication. In 1999 she received the Max H. Lavine Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2000 the Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award. In addition to her professional work, she was a member of the Monastery’s schola and was a member of Pax Christi, an international society for the promotion of peace and justice.
SisterMary Jean was preceded in death by her parents Jess and Grace (Carroll) Tuttle a brother, Robert, and a sister, Grace Tuttle Steinbar. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by a brother, Donald, a sister, Marguerite Tuttle Carlson, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
A wake service was held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2010, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery with visitation until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with Father William Graham presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery. Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery or The Sister Mary Jean Tuttle College of St. Scholastica Scholarship Fund are preferred.
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Sister Eleanor Ann Beckfelt, OSB
Sister Eleanor Ann Beckfelt, OSB, 61, died May 7, 2010, at Solvay Hospice House. She entered the Duluth Benedictine community as an affiliate on March 23, 1978, became a postulant September 8, 1978, entered the novitiate June 24, 1979, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1980. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee June 19, 2005.
Sister Eleanor Ann was born December 10, 1948 in Duluth, the fourth child of Raymond John Beckfelt and Eleanor Ann (Hoolihan) Beckfelt. She attended St. Helen’s Elementary School in Vero Beach, Florida, and John Carroll High School in Ft. Pierce, Florida. After attending Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, from 1976 to 1977, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Later, she took a summer course in art, and was a student in the gerontology program at The College of St. Scholastica.
Sister Eleanor Ann did nursing work on the orthopedic floor at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN. She also worked in the Adult Day Services in the Benedictine Health Center, Duluth, and later in the Special Care Unit of the same facility. In 1990 she became the Program Facilitator and Licensed Practical Nurse at St. Anthony’s Center in Duluth. In 1991 she was assigned as nurse for the Sisters at the Monastery of St. Scholastica. On her return to the Monastery, after a period of providing supportive care for her brother, Reverend John Beckfelt, who lived near River Falls, Wisconsin, she worked in the Spiritual Resource Center and was designated as one of the Sisters on-call. Sister had a strong Marian devotion and enjoyed visiting many Marian Shrines, including some in Europe. She also belonged to several prayer groups.
At her wake, comments were made about the good care she provided for the Sisters when she was the Monastery nurse. Other comments described how devoted she was to her extended family, including thirty-one first cousins. In his homily at the Mass of Christian burial, her cousin, Father Fider, said they were proud they had a Benedictine in the family and that she had lots of fun at family gatherings. When her brother, Father John needed care while serving in Wisconsin, she provided that care. He, in return, provided care for her by visiting and celebrating Eucharist for her daily at Solvay Hospice House. Father Fider mentioned that her Silver Jubilee had coincided with the anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Reading a quotation from Romero, he said he felt Sister Eleanor Ann had tried to live out those words.
Sister Eleanor Ann was preceded in death by her parents Raymond John and Eleanor Ann (Hoolihan) Beckfelt; a brother, Jerome Raymond Beckfelt; and by her sister, Mary Catherine Pommerville. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her brother Fr. John William Beckfelt; special spiritual daughter, AnnMarie Goulet; and many other relatives and friends.
A wake service was held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel in St. Scholastica Monastery with visitation until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian burial took place at 11 a.m. with Sister Eleanor Ann’s brother Father John Beckfelt and her cousin Father William Fider presiding as concelebrants. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN
- St. Anthony Center, Duluth, MN
- St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN
- Care for her brother, River Falls, WI
- Benedictine Health Center, Duluth, MN
* Adult Day Services
* Special Care Unit
Spiritual Resource Center, St. Scholastica Monastery
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Sister Mary Paul Ludwig, OSB
Sister Mary Paul (Collette) Ludwig, OSB, 90, died at St. Scholastica Monastery on May 7, 2010. August 30, 1938, she entered the Duluth Benedictine community as a postulant, was admitted to the novitiate July 9, 1939, professed monastic vows July 11, 1940, and made her final monastic commitment July 11, 1943. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1965, her Golden Jubilee August 12, 1990, and her Diamond Jubilee August 12, 2000.
Sister Mary Paul was born February 20, 1920, in Duluth, Minnesota, one of ten children born to Charles and Verena (Rodenkirch) Ludwig. She attended Duluth Cathedral Grade School and Stanbrook Hall High School. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education from The College of St. Scholastica in 1953 and an M.E. in Elementary Supervision and Administration from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Other professional training included courses for educational planning for Latin America offered by the United Nations in Santiago, Chile, and completion of a course for certification as an Executive Housekeeper through Normandale College, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
During her active career, Sister Mary Paul ministered in many and diverse capacities, but she admitted her favorite ministry was in Chile. In 1963, to prepare for her work in South America, she attended the Center of International Formation in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The next year she was in the first group of Sisters from the Monastery to go to Antofagasta, Chile. While there she was Principal and Director of grades K-12 at the Colegio San Jose and, later, served as Curriculum Director and Master Teacher at the high school level.
The last four years Sister was in Chile, until her return to Duluth in 1973, Sister Mary Paul worked with FIDE, the Federation of Chilean private schools in Santiago. She served in a number of positions there, including: Director of the National Linguistic Reading Program for the Federation of Private Education in Santiago, technical advisor to the Ministry of Education, Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Education, Coordinator of the private schools in Santiago, Supervisor and Coordinator of the reading program in Chile, and Consultant to the American Book Co. for its publications regarding teaching English as a second language. She also founded and contributed to several educational magazines in Chile.
When Sister Mary Paul returned to Duluth, and until 1993, she worked in diverse ministries: Co-chaired the Benedictine Community Renewal Process, was Executive Coordinator of the Duluth Diocesan Pastoral Council, and Director of Environmental Services at the Benedictine Health Center. She attracted national attention when she was appointed by Bishop Paul Anderson as Administrator of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Duluth. In 1985 she worked in the College Library, co-directed the Monastery Gift Shop, directed the Enrichment Center at the Monastery, and tutored high school students in Spanish.
In 1995 Sister Mary Paul retired but continued putting in as much time as her health permitted, working in Hospice at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Solvay Hospice House and organizing and providing breads and jam for the Sisters annual Christmas sale as well as doing craft work, and sewing for the Sisters. She helped with the Rhubarb Festival sponsored by CHUM and made quilts, hats, mittens, and scarves for the homeless and made complete newborn baby kits, including Christmas stockings and quilts for the Pediatrics department of St. Mary’s Medical Center Duluth, Minnesota.
Sister Mary Paul was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Verena (Rodenkirch) Ludwig, four brothers: Charles, Urban, Paul and Joseph, and four sisters: Marguerite (Merritt-Shearer), Henerietta (Payson), Eda (Christianson), and Mary (DeChantal-Nelson). In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica she is survived by her sister, Mrs. Richard (Therese) Piekarski, Glenwood, Minnesota, and many other relatives and friends.
A wake service was held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, 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 a.m. with Father William Graham as presider. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- St, Timothy’s, Chicago, IL
- St. Thomas School, International Falls, MN
- Assumption School, Hibbing, MN
- Cathedral Grade School, Duluth, MN
- Cathedral Junior High, Duluth, MN
- St. Thomas Parish, Phoenix, AZ
- Holy Name School, Wayzata, MN
- Principal and Director of grades K-12, Santiago, Chile
- Curriculum Director and Master Teacher for high school, Santiago, Chile
- Director of the National Linguistic Reading Program for the Federation of Private Education, Santiago, Chile
- Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Education, Santiago, Chile
- Supervisor and Coordinator of the reading program in Chile
- Consultant to the American Book Company for its publications regarding teaching English as a second language, Santiago, Chile
- Founded and Contributed to several educational magazines in Chile
- Administrator of Our Lady of Mercy parish, Duluth, Minnesota
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