Silver Jubilarians

Sister Clarice Korger 

Clarice Korger, OSB, celebrated her 25th jubilee of monastic profession on August 7th at Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton. She was born in Norfolk, Nebraska and grew up in Battle Creek and Columbus, Nebraska. She is the third of six children born to the late Eugenia (Krzycki) and Richard Korger. She entered Sacred Heart Monastery (a.k.a. the Yankton Benedictines) in 1994. She made her first profession of vows in 1996 and her perpetual monastic profession in 1999.

She is currently helping out around the monastery while she deals with health issues. In the recent past, she has served her community as vocation director; member of the PR committee; residential volunteer steering committee; and chair of the vocation committee; vocation advisory committee; and interview committee.  In the more distant past she has served on the monastic counsel, the board of the college monastery sponsors (Mount Marty University) and various social work positions. When not working in her ministry position, S. Clarice might be watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory or crocheting gifts for her 5 siblings, 9 nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.

Her favorite quote is from Fiddler on the Roof:  Because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is, and what God expects him to do.

Sister Kathryn Burt 

Kathryn Burt, OSB celebrated her 25th jubilee of monastic profession on August 7th and Sacred heart Monastery, Yankton. S. Kathy is the youngest of four children born to Clinton and Joan Burt of Yankton, SD. She grew up in Sioux Falls and attended the Sioux Falls Catholic schools from 1st grade until Graduating from O’Gorman High School in 1988. She states “I may be biased, but I believe, I have had the best education and am grateful to the many teachers who have influenced my life”. 

She served in the Air National Guard in Sioux Falls, SD while attending Mount Marty University.  She graduated from MMU in 1993 with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree.  Upon graduation she worked at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN.  In 1994, she returned to Yankton, SD to join the Benedictine Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery. After making first profession in 1996, Sister Kathy worked at Avera Sacred Hospital on the surgical unit.  She made her final profession in 1999.  In 2001, she was given the opportunity to attend graduate school at The Catholic University of America where she obtained both her MSN and Doctoral degree in nursing Upon completion of her graduate studies Sister Kathy taught nursing for 11 years at Mount Marty University. In 2018 she received a position at Avera Majestic Bluffs as a nurse educator. 

Sister Kathy states that “the most exciting thing about religious life is the call to do God’s service and work whatever that might be. That seems to be changing right now in our world, but what I think our world needs more than anything now is God. Despite some of the changes around us, religious sisters have been around forever and are a strong foundation.  I believe that there are women and men called to continue the tradition of prayer and work.  My religious vocation continues to call me to strive to build up Christ’s church.   Entering a religious community has opened me up to a vast amount of possibilities that I never knew where possible.  This is what community does, it calls me to be the best version of myself and to serve God in a multitude of ways.”

Diamond Jubilarians

blankSister Eileen Neville – 70 Years

 S. Eileen Neville OSB celebrated her 70th  jubilee of monastic profession at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, SD.

S. Eileen, daughter of the late William and Irene Neville, was born on the Feast of Benedict, July 11, on the family farm near York, NE.  She attended a one-room rural school and graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in York.  She attended Mount Marty College for one year prior to her entrance into the monastery in 1949.  She made first profession in 1951 and received a B.A. degree from Mount Marty College in 1953. Later she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from St. Louis University. 

She taught in the English department at Mount Marty College for over 45 years, as well as serving as Visiting Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1969-70, where she helped prepare students to teach in the culturally diverse settings.  She was also active in the SD Humanities Council, the American Benedictine Academy and many other state and national organizations. She served on the Avera Sacred Heart Board of Trustees and worked with Native American communities and immigrant families from Vietnam. Most recently, she served as Interim Director of On-Going Formation for the monastery and assisted with research in the monastery archives and other community needs.

She says that her “vibrant religious family were a strong influence on my vocation.  The generous, faith-filled example of my Benedictine Sisters who taught me in high school and college drew me to the Benedictines.”  Reflecting on her 70 years of monastic life, S. Eileen says that she becomes more grateful each day for God’s having called her to this Benedictine life.  “As I look back, I glimpse how enriching it has been to have shared family life with hundreds of Sisters.  Their example and mentoring have led me to a greater intimacy with God, and which has been a wonderful reassurance in days of trial and stress and a source of deep peace.”

blankSister Madonna Schmitt – 75 Years

Sister Madonna Schmitt OSB celebrated her 75th jubilee of monastic profession at Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton. S. Madonna is the daughter of late Frank and Nettie Schmitt of rural Epiphany, SD. She entered the monastery in 1942 following the 8th grade. She attended Mount Marty High School graduating in 1945. Her first profession was in 1946 and her final monastic profession in 1950.

Madonna earned her Bachelor’s Degree in music from Mount Marty College and in liturgy from the University of Montreal. She also earned a Masters of Arts in Music Education from the University of South Dakota. She taught music at the elementary and secondary level in South Dakota and Nebraska. S. Madonna later served as a Parish Pastoral Minister in Grand Island, NE and Sioux Falls, SD. She also served in the monastery as Postulant Directress in the early 1960s.

In 1987, S. Madonna pursued chaplaincy studies at St. Louis University and completed her residency in Pastoral Care at Mayo Medical Clinic in Rochester, MN. She then served as a chaplain at Mercy Medical in Cedar Rapids, IA ministering to the sick and dying, a ministry dear to her heart. Upon returning to the Monastery in 1997, she was engaged in several ministries at the monastery and Mount Marty University. Until the fall of 2018, she continued to volunteer in the Benedictine Center at ASHH and Mount Marty University as welcome greeter and receptionist.

Of her 75 years as a Benedictine, S. Madonna says, “I have tried to live my life based on the acronym ‘U.I.O.G.D’ which translates to ‘That in all things God may be glorified’”, a quote from the Rule of Benedict. She says, “Having been called to this way of life at an early age, I have been blessed with abundance, supported by my birth family, my Benedictine sisters, and a host of wonderful people. It is God’s faithfulness which calls me forth daily and I am grateful.”