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Sister Victorine Stoltz's Vocation Story

I am the youngest of eight children born to John and Anna (Wethor) Stoltz of Emery, SD.  Growing up on a farm, I attended St. Martin’s School taught by the Sisters from Milwukee, WI and then  the local public high school. At St. Martin’s one thing they always said was, “and are you going home with us?” This meant are you going to go with us and be a Sister. I wasn’t too fascinated with that thought. But it was certainly on my mind all those years. I have forty or fifty relatives who were religious. All of these factors in the end made a great difference in my life.

Seeing a notice about the shortage of teachers, I enrolled into Notre Dame Junior College, in Mitchell, SD, for a first grade teaching certificate. I taught first grade in a small rural school which began my long teaching career.

During that time I had come to Yankton for a retreat with my good friend Dorothy Olinger. Friends in faith, one of the key discussions between us happened one evening when I said to Dorothy, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to the convent.” Both of us entered together. I have always enjoyed travelling, so before we entered we decided to go on a trip, traveling around the United States, Canada, and Cuba.

I entered  Sacred Heart Convent in August, 1952 and  after profession as a Benedictine Sister, I then taught in the parish schools of Yankton, Sioux Falls, Salem, SD; Lincoln, St. James, and St. Paul, NE; and Pueblo, CO. I can’t single out a favorite place, where I taught because I loved all of them. For sixteen of those years I also served as Principal.

S. Victorine meet the Sisters

Left to Right Front row: S. Victorine S, S. Dorothy O. 2nd row: S. Rosemary W., S. Cynthia B., S. Patrica H., S. Anna D., Back row: S. Valarie C.

            I have a love of history and social studies that was nurtured by many of the ancient churches and monasteries that I had the opportunity to visit in my European travels. My hunger for knowledge of past events and cultures served me well in my position as monastery archivist when I retired from teaching in 1991.  I find it very fascinating to find out more and more about the history of this community. A favorite pastime I enjoy is to study my family’s genealogy and Luxembourgh heritage.

            I have come to be known for my love of walking and during my time in Lincoln, NE, several friends invited me to join them at a Volkswalks Convention in DC. I continued to participate in walks in DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.  Several walks were in areas that had been the battlefields of the Civil War.

            I currently reside in the Monastery Care Center.  I enjoy music and singing along to familiar tunes. Future dreams for Sacred Heart Monastery would be to have it highlighted more for being a haven of prayer and interior life.  I hope this community will grow and that many young girls will come. Life as a Benedictine has been both fulfilling and challenging.   God be praised!

 

Sister Victorine Stoltz

Benedictine Sisters
Sacred Heart Monastery
1005 W. 8th St.
Yankton, SD 57078
605-668-6000

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