Sister Michelle Dosch, OSB, died on December 27, 2017 at St. Scholastica Monastery. She was in her sixty-fifth year of Benedictine Monastic Profession.
Born on January 29, 1933 to Elmer and Fern (Johnson) Dosch, Sister Michelle (Helen Mae) was the oldest of four children raised on a farm in Finlayson, Minnesota. Her Catholic upbringing, her appreciation of all creatures on the farm, and her sense of community within her family led her to enter St. Scholastica Monastery after high school graduation. She made her First Vows on July 11, 1953, and her Perpetual Vows on July 11, 1956. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee on June 4, 1978, her Golden Jubilee on June 15, 2003, and her Diamond Jubilee on August 11, 2013.
Sister Michelle received her B.S. in Elementary Education and Social Sciences from The College of St. Scholastica and began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in 1954. She continued teaching until 1969 at Minnesota schools in Virginia, Pine City, Duluth, and International Falls, and in Cincinnati, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona. While in Phoenix, she earned a M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Arizona State University in Tempe. She then began a career in Guidance and Counseling services at Phoenix Guard High School for two years (1971 to 1973). Her astute listening skills as a teacher transferred well to her new field of ministry. In 1973, she returned to Duluth and continued counseling at The College of St. Scholastica, where she served as the Director of Somers Residence Hall, as well as Career Counselor until 1981. Before returning to her Duluth ministry, she earned an M.A. in Education and Administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Sister Michelle became Director of Workshops and Retreats at the Duluth Port Rehabilitation Center from 1981 to 1984. She then returned to Arizona and became Director of the Lifestyle Counseling Center in Phoenix. From 1985 to 1991, she was Executive Director of Chrysalis Shelter, where she and her staff assisted abused and battered women and children. In 1992, she returned to the Monastery and served as Director of Vocations and Lay Associates for seven years and Director of Sisters in Formation for eight years.
Sister Michelle felt called to deepen her spiritual communication skills by entering a training program for spiritual direction. After completing the program, she worked with several other Sisters to form a training program for about twenty-five people from the Missoula, Montana area. She began a similar program at the Monastery called the Shalom Program that was active from 2007 to 2015. This ministry pulled together all her skills of guiding, counseling, and communing with those who were committed to deepening their relationship with God. She believed and taught others to “always be in the stream of God’s presence and grace, for these are the sources of a happy life.”
Sister Michelle was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Ronald John Dosch. She is survived by her brother Stephen Michael Dosch, her sister Bonnie Johnson, nieces and nephews, friends, and the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.
Wake/Morning Prayer will be on Friday, January 12, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery. Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m., and the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am, with Father Brian Schultz, Presider. Interment will be at Gethsemane Cemetery. Arrangements are by Dougherty Funeral Home. Memorials are preferred to St. Scholastica Monastery.