Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life! Five of our Diamond Jubilarian sisters are celebrating 60 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community. Today, we share three of their stories
Sister Aidan’s desire to become a sister was cemented by the strong faith of her parents, the influence of the Benedictines who taught her at St. Joseph in York, NE, and her exposure to the liturgical life of the Yankton Benedictines. Sr. Aidan reflected that, “My decision to join Sacred Heart Monastery wasn’t difficult for me. Even though I felt called to religious life, leaving my family, however, was the most difficult.”
Over the years, her Benedictine community has provided her with many enriching experiences: her B.A. from Mount Marty College, M.A. from Duquesne University, and many conferences on Scripture, The Rule of Benedict and the spiritual life. She was registrar at Mount Marty College before serving as prioress of the community from 1981-89, which “was a privilege.” Next she served as Volunteer Coordinator at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, for 10 years before returning to Mount Marty College as Alumni Director. Presently, she serves the Sisters at the monastery in a variety of ways: hospitality service for the Peace Center, archivist for the Federation of St. Gertrude, salesperson for the gift shop, mission effectiveness education for new employees, driver, and committee work.
S. Aidan shares, “When I was in high school, I recited the prayer of St. Francis often. The phrase, ‘make me an
instrument of your peace,’ was and is important to me.”
“I was attracted to the Benedictine life by my teachers who mentored joy, prayerfulness, and quality of life,” says Sister Kathleen youngest daughter in her family of rural Yankton County. “I felt God calling me to serve the church through this particular community and its ministries.” S. Kathleen attended Mt. Marty High School and joined Sacred Heart Monastery on November 27, 1955. She received a Masters in Art Education from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in Creation Spirituality from Holy Names University. She has ministered in elementary and art education as well as art activities with elderly and pediatric patients. At present, she leads both adult retreats and Confirmation, Advent, and Triduum retreats for children. She also tends the rose garden at the monastery and enjoys making stained glass creations for the gift shop.
Of her jubilee, S. Kathleen reflects, “God has been so faithful in my life as mediated to me through my faith, family, community, and retreatants. Jubilee time offers me a chance to continue celebrating life – to savor the balance of prayer, work, exercise, creativity, love, and stewardship of the earth that the Rule of St. Benedict invites me to. I am grateful for all the privileges that have been mine in following this Benedictine way of life.”
Sister Margretta was baptized with the name Kathleen and has one brother, Msgr. James M. Doyle . In the early forties, she attended Mount Marty College after graduating from Lennox High School. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, she says she “didn’t consider a religious vocation even though many of my relatives were priests and sisters.” After visiting with her parents about her vocation, she joined the monastery in Yankton in 1957 and made final vows in 1960. Rather than her parents losing both children to religious life, they saw it as gaining many sons who are priests of the Sioux Falls Diocese and many daughters who are Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery.
S. Margretta taught in Albion, NE; Vermillion and Yankton, SD; and Little Flower and Christ the King Schools in Sioux Falls, SD. In 1979 she joined Fr. Doyle as a pastoral minister at St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls, SD. She remained there until moving to St. Mary Parish to continue her service of pastoral ministry. She finally retired to the monastery in 2010.
Of her 60th jubilee she shares, “I saw the spirit here at the monastery. I came to grow in the faith and to give the same Benedictine spirit to others. I saw it was a great fit, and most importantly, I stayed. It has been a wonderful life. I am so blessed.”
Join us in praying for Catholic Sisters and Nuns who continue to seek God’s Will and serve God’s people throughout our nation. Pray also for women who continue to discern God’s will in their lives.
Loving God, by your grace,
Catholic Sisters throughout the world continue to respond to Your Baptismal invitation
to live lives dedicated to prayer and loving service.
Enkindle in their hearts a renewed desire to be zealous servants of the Gospel
and continuing signs of Your presence in our world.
Preserve and strengthen in them the passion and the vision
to welcome and to serve all Your people without hesitation or pause.
As they strive to live the mission of their respective congregations,
empower them to do so with courageous simplicity,
consecrated celibacy, and committed obedience to Your will.
We ask this in union with Jesus the Christ,
who showed these dedicated women the way to living in union with You. Amen.
~Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ
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