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Sister Leonette Hoesing's Vocation Story

S. Leonette Hoesing

Mother Jerome and Sister Leonette

(left) Mother Jerome and Sister Leonette (right)

Sister Leonette Hoesing

May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her ~ Sr. Leonette

Eulogy for S. Leonette Hoesing

I was born the second of ten children to Fred and Elizabeth Hoesing on a farm two miles north of Menominee, NE. We were one big happy family.  Looking back, I recall that at the end of my sophomore year at Mount Marty Academy, S. Cyrilla asked the students at the end of a test, “What do you plan to do when you leave here?” It was funny, I had never thought of it before, but at that moment I knew I had to say I wanted to be a sister. From that moment on the thought never left me. I entered Sacred Heart Convent on September 4, 1933 and made profession on June 24, 1935. I feel strongly that the big influences in my decision to become a Benedictine were the sisters who taught me and my parents’ love and sacrifices in supporting our large family during the Depression.

Sister Leonette as choir director

Choir director, Sister Leonette teaching students.

Through the years, I earned degrees from Mount Marty College, the Gregorian Institute of America, Seattle University and licensure as a Social Service Associate from the state of SD.   I taught elementary grades for eleven years in Tabor and Ipswich, SD and Lincoln, NE before I was called back to the motherhouse to serve in positions as formation director, assistant to the prioress, choir director, personnel director and oblate director.

My service in various ministries was grounded through a sense of prayerfulness. Prayer is an important part of my life, and the Gregorian Chants that were brought to life during my time as the choir director only added to my love of prayer.

From 1965 to 1977 I served as prioress of St. Mary’s Priory, Victoria, B.C., Canada, at the request of the Holy See.  On leaving there I received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal of honor.  I also had the opportunity to work in parish ministry in Grand Island, NE; Yankton, Tyndall, and Springfield, SD. From 1984-1990, I worked in the Social Service department at Sr. James Nursing Home. I then volunteered at Sr. James and Sacred Heart Hospital until 2005; I continue to take my love of volunteering into my retirement at the monastery.

Sister Leonette Hoesing

Sister Leonette Hoesing with her “money tree” that features a hundred 2015 issued Nebraska quarters. A gift given with love from family and friends.

Celebrating a milestone, my 100th birthday here at my home at Sacred Heart Monastery in the care center, was a wonderful experience. I was grateful for the many celebrations and my former novices coming together to share and re-live stories. Reflecting on 80 years and counting as a sister, I am grateful to be a Benedictine and have the support of my community and to be able to pray the Divine Office.

A few highlights of my life as a sister include: being a novice director for many years, taking a trip to the Holy Land, responding to a bishop’s call for help with a group of sisters in his diocese, and also the long time spent as a choir director. It’s a wonderful life, I can’t think of a life more rewarding.  I’m grateful to my parents and my family for everything I have received. To celebrate 80 years of monastic profession is a real joy and gift.


Sister Leonette Hoesing

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

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