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Sister Jeanette Klimisch's Vocation Story


Sister Jeanette Klimisch

S. Jeanette Klimisch

Sister Jeanette Klimisch

May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her ~  The Obituary of Sister Jeanette Klimish  | A reflection of S. Jeanette Klimisch,  March 24, 2017.

Sister Jeanette Klimisch- I am a twin and the youngest of eight children born to Anton and Martha Klimisch, and was raised on the family farm north of Yankton in the Sigel parish. I loved the eight years spent at a country school that included a small town environment and farm community. Entering Mount Marty Academy introduced me to new educational challenges and to the Benedictine Sisters. It was during a senior high school retreat that my decision to enter the convent was nurtured. I was surprised and delighted when I discovered my twin sister and another classmate discerned independently the same vocation!

Entering into Sacred Heart Monastery in 1938, I made monastic profession on June 24, 1940. My teaching career began at Mount Marty High School where I taught a variety of courses and also served as Mother Jerome Schmitt’s personal secretary. My passions were in teaching speech, theatre, and music and directing the many plays, musicals and pageants at Mount Marty and Sacred Heart Monastery. Two memorable pageants I worked on were Song of Creation, performed when the newly built Bishop Marty Chapel was consecrated in 1950, and Along Sure Paths, a pageant I wrote and directed to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Sacred Heart Monastery. Continuing my education, I earned my BA degree from St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana and a Master’s degree in Speech and Drama at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C.  To further develop my skills I devoted four summers abroad to study theatre with the Foreign Study League and took advantage of other educational opportunities in this field.

Sister Jeanette Klimisch and Jane Klimisch

S. Jeanette Klimisch (left) pictured with sister Jane Klimisch

Among professional accomplishments, I was the Academic Dean of Mount Marty College from 1965-69. I served on the South Dakota Health and Education Facilities Board from 1977-1990, and on the Monastery Council and other hospital Boards of Trustees as well. I was Sub-prioress from 1981-1989, and went back to teaching at Mount Marty until 1992 when I received the title Professor Emerita.

In retirement I developed an oral history resource center at the monastery and turned to drawing and painting as a hobby. After the fire the Sisters experienced in 1997, I felt strongly that hope for the future is anchored in living together as a “bonded community” devoted to prayer. Reflecting on 75 years of monastic living, I’m grateful for the years of my faithfulness to God and God’s faithfulness to me these many years!

Sister Jeanette Klimisch




Benedictine Sisters
Sacred Heart Monastery
1005 W. 8th St.
Yankton, SD 57078

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