Celebrating 125 Years


1910 Maple Ave
Lisle, Il 60532


169 Kenmore Ave N.E. # 301
Warren, OH 44483


Celebrating 125 Years of Lisle Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery

From February 2, 2020 to February 2, 2021, we will be celebrating and giving thanks on the occasion of our 125th anniversary.

Each day of this coming year we will tell our story. Daily, we will feature a short description of one of our sisters near or on the day of her death if deceased, or if living on her birthday. When not featuring a Sister, we will share glimpses of our history or features of our lives that are important to us.

You can also follow us daily on Facebook (Benedictine Sisters of the Sacred Heart) or on Instagram.

Day 1: February 2, 2020

Intro: Mother Nepomucene Jaeger
It was February 2, 1895 that Mother Nepomucene Jaeger, arrived in Chicago from St. Mary’s Convent in St. Joseph, Pennsylvania. Sisters Mary Zita Matous and Sister Mary Benedicta Hruby from St Scholastica’s convent in Chicago joined her and together with Abbot Nepomucene Jaeger celebrated their first Mass and thus began our foundation.

Day 2: February 3, 2020

It was in Norcia, Italy that history records the birth of twins, Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica in 480 AD. Unfortunately, in 2016 Italy experienced many earthquakes and the Basilica of Saint Benedict was badly damaged but is being restored.

Day 3: February 4, 2020

Krempasky, Sister M. Ursula     b. 2/24/1885     d. 2/4/1914
Sister Ursula was born in Hungary and entered the Monastery on October 18, 1911. She was a tall, stately person, a diligent worker, loved cooking for the monks and students at St. Procopius College, but was one of the Sisters who was afflicted during the T.B. epidemic and died at the age of 29.

Day 4: February 5, 2020

Hornicek, Sister Mary Apollonia     b. 11/29/1891     d. 2/4/1986
Sister Mary Apollonia came from Czechoslovakia. After spending a few years in the kitchen at St. Procopius College, she was assigned to St. Joseph Orphanage to prepare and serve meals for the Orphans. Her final place was Sacred Heart Monastery where she was a seamstress and helped in making altar breads. She liked to stimulate her heart and mind by praying in the quietness of the Chapel or reading in her room. In her later years she suffered from hypothermia and was seen bundled up for winter even in the summer.

Day 5: February 6, 2020

Nouza, Sister Mary Antonia     b. 10/9/1886     d. 2/6/1953
Sister Mary Antonia was a sister of Father Anthony Nouza, O.S.B. and was religiously devoted to living the Holy Rule of St. Benedict. Coming from St. Vitus Parish in Chicago where our Benedictine Sisters began to teach, she was also assigned to that parish school for most of her teaching mission. In her conscientious teaching, she tried to instill faith and gratitude in her pupils’ young lives as well as modeling these qualities for them.

Day 6: February 7, 2020

Jaskovec, Sister M. Hedvika     b. 5/10/1894     d. 2/7/1919
Sister M. Hedvika was a good soul who emigrated from Austria-Hungary during World War I. After making her first vows she was sent to work in the kitchen at St. Procopius College. Contracting influenza, which was raging at this time, she became ill and died at the age of 25.

Day 7: February 8, 2020

Kadlub, Sister M. Geraldine     b. 12/6/1911     d. 2/8/1937
Sister M. Geraldine entered the Monastery at age 20 but came down with diphtheria before making first vows. She recovered after a month in isolation and was sent to three mission places in the next five years. After making her final vows she appeared healthy but two years later she became ill with T.B. and died at age 25.

Day 8: February 9, 2020

Sladek, Sister Mary Agnes     b. 11/20/1895     d. 2/9/1942
Sister Mary Agnes was meek, humble and firm like a lamb just as her name “Agnes” indicates. She was happy to teach and most of her teaching was at St. Vitus School. However, her last assignment was Holy Trinity School in Haugen, Wisconsin where she was dearly loved but died unexpectedly there.

Day 9: February 10, 2020

Feast of St. Scholastica     b. circa 480    
Scholastica was the sister of St. Benedict of Norcia, and is revered as the patron saint of Benedictine women. She is said to have established a convent at Piumarola in Italy, in accordance with the principles of the monastic rule established by her brother at nearby Monte Cassino.

Day 10: February 11, 2020

Sluka, Sister Mary Jerome     b. 11/9/1893     d. 2/9/1977
Sister Mary Jerome was an inspiration and model for everyone and is remembered for her fresh bread and bakery here in the Monastery. She was like a benevolent Grandma to the children at St. Joseph Orphanage where the children delighted to be with her and enjoy her treats. While at Holy Mount School in Cicero, she would later tell about how the number of students was larger than expected, so, to her dismay, she was asked to leave her cooking duties and help supervise the children. She always enjoyed looking forward to visiting her sister, Sister Mary Joella who was a Notre Dame Sister in Wilton, Connecticut.

Day 11: February 12, 2020

Wellik, Sister Louis Mary (a.k.a. Sister Ludvika)     b. 6/21/1910     d. 2/9/2003
Sister Louis Mary was from Iowa and was introduced to the Lisle Benedictines through Father Raymond, a Monk from St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle. She fervently devoted herself to directing or working in the Monastery kitchen. She was dearly loved for her home-spun wisdom. When she retired, she would often greet visitors and in her innocent way questioning them saying: “Should I know you?”

Day 12: February 13, 2020

Cisler, Sister Mary Frances     b. 9/21/1882     d. 2/14/1973
Sister Mary Frances arrived to experience those laborious, pioneering days when the community was not yet put together and was located on 18th and Paulina Street in Chicago. First of all, coming from a Wisconsin farm she was not impressed with the clamorous city of Chicago. The house they lived in was cold. Keeping warm meant they had to find kindling wood to stoke the fires, money was scarce and the lack of basic needs was quite despairing. The move to Lisle continued to be a hardship but at least it was a promise of possibilities. Only because of her will to serve God was she able to overcome the hardships, adapt and flourish in her future.

Day 13: February 14, 2020

Heble, Mary Rita     b. 1/2/1906     d. 2/14/1988 (Aunt of Sister Judith Ann Heble)
Sister Mary Rita goes down in history with a perfect attendance record of teaching for fifty years without being absent even one day. Though she was a task master teacher, it is interesting to note that students would come back to tell her that her discipline helped them be organized and for that they were grateful. After Sister retired from teaching, she continued tutoring and catechizing, “keeping her hand to the plow” until the Lord called her home.

Day 14: February 15, 2020

Sopkowicz, Sister Mary Gemma     b. 9/3/1912     d. 2/15/2005
Sister Mary Gemma adapted easily to every new assignment she was given. First she did culinary work for 13 years and then was a teacher for 21 years. Parents still remember the clever motivation skills she used in teaching their children. After teaching, she became a sacristan with Sister Regis at the Monastery Chapel, a ministry they held with great reverence and delight. Sister was excited about everything she did and in her free time used her nimble fingers to crochet baby blankets and other beautiful items either as gifts or for the craft shop.

Day 15: February 16, 2020

Monte Cassino
The first Benedictine Monastery, Monte Cassino, was bombed several times and each time rebuilt. This is the restored Monastery after World War II. It is here where Benedict wrote his Rule and saw the soul of his sister, Scholastica, ascend to heaven.

Day 16: February 17, 2020

Jaeger, Mother Mary Nepomucene     b. 12/15/1860     d. 2/17/1933 (First Prioress- 1895-1919)
In view of a need of the Czech immigrants in America settling in Chicago to have Priests and Sisters who spoke their language, the German Monastery of St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania appointed Reverend Nepomucene Jaeger to be the Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey in Chicago to serve the Czech people of Chicago. He then obtained the community’s permission from St. Mary’s Convent in Pittsburg to let his sister, who was a member of that convent, to come to Chicago to start a new community for Sisters as well. His sister became Mother Nepomucene who officially became the foundress and Prioress of what is now Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle. Her term lasted from 1895 to 1919. However, the founding location was on 18th and Paulina Street in Chicago near St. Vitus Parish. Today, our Benedictine Community owes Mother Nepomucene Jaeger a tremendous amount of gratitude for the rigors she and the founding Sisters endured in the establishing process.

Day 17: February 18, 2020

Ruzika, Sister Mary Georgiana     b. 9/16/1918     d. 2/18/1989
Sister Mary Georgiana made every effort to live community life in spite of her health. Being creative and someone who loved to be with little children, she was assigned to be a kindergarten teacher at St. Joseph Orphanage. When it closed in 1956, she became a primary teacher in our other schools. After she retired from teaching, she returned to the Monastery where she enjoyed craft work producing items for the gift shop.

Day 18: February 19, 2020

Machala, Sister Roberta Anne (a.k.a. Sister Mary Mechtilde)     b. 2/19/1920     b. 2/19/1976
Prior to being in our community, Sister Roberta Anne served in the U.S. Navy (WAVES) where she worked as a typist and a clerk with classified information. After her honorable discharge, she began to correspond with her companion Texan, Sister Mary Martina who was instrumental in Sister Roberta Anne’s entry into our community. Sister Roberta Anne taught in several of our parochial schools through the years before she responded to take care of her Mother who was in poor health in San Antonio. While there, she associated herself with the Benedictine Sisters in Boerne, Texas who later supported her in her ill health where she died.

Day 19: February 20, 2020

Jindra, Sister Mary Philomena. 3/13/1878     d. 2/20/1953
Sister Mary Philomena was the first musician to enter our community. For several years, Sister taught Immigrant children three languages, English, Czech and Slovak, along with being the Church organist which was a hardship for her. Later when other musicians arrived, her load was lightened and she enjoyed teaching the three languages very much. She was culture conscious and followed the celebration of feast days according to their particular customs.

Day 20: February 21, 2020

Novatril, Sister Mary Carmela     b. 1/7/1889     d. 2/21/1965
Sister Mary Carmela is remembered for her many acts of charity especially for visiting the sick. She herself had poor eyesight and understood others’ infirmities. Her ministry was to make coifs; the pleated part of the headdress of the habit. Her talent for mastering this art made her the most capable person to teach other Sisters to learn this art.

Day 21: February 22, 2020

Lidinsky, Sister Mary Eleanore     b. 12/17/1906     d. 2/22/1978
Sister Mary Eleanore was a very competent person. Her thoughtful consideration for others and her determination in performing her duties with skill were admirable. Her leadership proficiency was notable and after teaching in parochial schools for several years, she became principal of St. Joan of Arc and then at St. Joseph Orphanage. For her last assignment, she was appointed Sub-Prioress and Secretary to the Prioress. When asked what her most rewarding place was, she answered that the Orphanage was the hardest but the most rewarding place.

Day 22: February 23, 2020

Camsky, Sister Mary Matilda     b. 5/23/1886     d. 2/22/1979
Sister Mary Matilda was born in Czechoslovakia. Her ministry assignment in community was to teach in our elementary schools. Later, she became novice mistress and then superior of St. Benedict’s Home for the Aged. Her devoted and untiring care won her love, respect and gratitude from the residents. When she became ill and was hospitalized, she became the favorite of the nurses due to her patient and cheerful endurance while suffering.

Day 23: February 24, 2020

Benedict was sent to Rome to study, but instead he spent 3 years in a cave in Subiaco, Italy discerning his vocation. Here he birthed the life of what we know today as Benedictine Religious Monastic life (Monastic means living in community, seeking God under a Prioress/Abbot and the Rule of St. Benedict).

Day 24: February 25, 2020

Cerny, Sister Mary Leona     b. 5/2/1899     d. 2/8/1985
Sister Mary Leona, as a Novice in Community, already showed a high level of maturity by being conscientious and hard-working. She amplified these qualities throughout her monastic life by “listening with the ear of her heart” to God and to others. She was faithful to community liturgies every day and spent private time in prayer as well. In her ministries of teaching, working as a sacristan and living a devoted community life, she was an inspiration to everyone. In her retirement she became popular for making many dolls by using soap bottles to be sold in the craftshop.

Day 25: February 26, 2020

Hruby, Sister M. Benedicta     b. 5/15/1877     d. 2/27/1902
Sister Benedicta was a postulant (person in training to be a religious sister) at St. Scholastica’s on the north side of Chicago. However, being of Czech origin, she was sent to live with the other Czech Sisters on 18th and Paulina Street in Chicago. She proved to be a fervent religious, not being dismayed by the poverty around her. The Sisters who lived with her would tell how carefully she measured patches for mending, how she saved soap when washing and how observant she was in turning off lights. We can hardly realize what her self-sacrificing spirit meant in saving money to provide to build our beautiful, present Monastery in Lisle though she never saw it. She died of T.B. at age 24.

Day 26: February 27, 2020

Hruby, Sister Mary Cyrilla     b. 9/9/1882     d. 2/27/1956
Sister Mary Cyrilla was a pioneer in the years of establishing the groundwork of our community while in Chicago. Just as the Sisters were about to move to Lisle, she was appointed novice mistress. This meant that she was to teach the young applicants who desired to be Sisters. She was indeed a role model of Benedictine life for them who needed to learn the basics of prayer and how to live the lifestyle according to the Rule of St. Benedict. In her retirement years, still capable of teaching, she was sent to the Orphanage where she taught the orphan girls the rudiments and fancy work of sewing.

Day 27: February 28, 2020

Komarovsky, Sister Mary Hilaria     b. 9/13/1888     d. 2/28/1963
Sister Mary Hilaria came from Czechoslovakia where she served as a nurse during World War I. After coming to the U.S., she learned about our community from a Redemptorist Priest who spoke Czech. Being gifted with the ability to do many things, she worked in the monastery as a seamstress, a nurse and was an expert at mending shoes. Finally, she was sent to the old St. Benedict’s Home for the Aged where she experienced many hardships for fifteen years. While there, she did the cooking as well as being the maintenance “man.” Throughout her days, she was dearly loved and respected as a hard worker and peacemaker.

Day 28: February 29, 2020

Benedict and His Gifts to Western Europe: Scriptorium
Benedict looked at a war-torn crumbling society seeking power and selfish pleasure and offered faithfulness to the Gospel. In a society convinced war is the answer, Benedict preached love of neighbor, doing good to those who do harm, and overcoming evil with good. To an uneducated society Benedict brought education in the arts and sciences by establishing a “School of the Lord’s Service” and providing a “Scriptorium.”

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Day 29: March 1, 2020

Fulgens Radiatur
In 1947, Pope Pius XII wrote an Encyclical Fulgens Radiatur which states: “Like a star in the darkness of night,” Benedict of Norcia brilliantly shines; a glory not only to Italy but of the whole Church. Whoever considers his celebrated life and studies in the light of the truth of history, the gloomy and stormy times in which he lived, will without doubt realize the truth of the divine promise which Christ made to the Apostles and to the society he founded: “I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.”

Day 30: March 2, 2020

Establishing Monasteries
In Benedict’s lifetime, history tells us he established 12 monasteries with 12 men in each. Murals on our chapel walls has Benedict commissioning St. Maurus and St. Placid to go to Gaul and Sicily.

Day 31: March 3, 2020

Viktora, Sister Mary Estella     b. 8/23/1896     d. 3/3/1974
Sister Mary Estella was proud of her two brothers who were Benedictine priests at St. Procopius Abbey, Father Constantine and Father Claude. From early on, Sister was assigned to teach in many of our elementary schools, however, her greatest love was working on art projects, especially still life poses and giving private music lessons. Being a gifted musician, her musical talents coincided with a temperament of a true musician.

Day 32: March 4, 2020

Dvorak, Sister Mary Henrietta     b. 7/15/1882     d. 3/4/1974
Sister Mary Henrietta’s life was dedicated to teaching. Youngsters in the primary grades were her great love and to them she devoted over fifty years in the Benedictine Sisters’ parochial schools. In the Monastery, she soon became a loving presence. She remained faithful to prayer and enjoyed the activities in the Occupational Therapy Department. She had an attitude of gratitude for every favor no matter how small. Her last words to Sister Casimir who was at her bedside before she died were: “God bless you, Sister, for helping me. I love you all.”

Day 33: March 5, 2020

The Taylor Street
Mother Nepomucene Jaeger, Sister Zita Matous and Sister Mary Benedicta lived in this house for the first few weeks with two lay women before moving to the recently purchased old St. Pius School on 18th Place in Chicago near St. Vitus Parish.

Day 34: March 6, 2020

Jensik, Sister Lois Jean     b. 3/6
Sister Lois Jean is a well-read person and with her clear and confident voice, she loves to tell true-to-life stories. Her story source can be anything from the book series of “Chicken Soup” or an item from the Daily News or even funny stories from her own experiences. In leading prayer at Divine Office or when reading the Word of God at Mass, her presentation is always pleasing to our ears. Her treasured TV program is “Jeopardy” where she tries to compete with the participants in answering questions and will then happily report the results of it to us at mealtime.

Day 35: March 7, 2020

Pekarcik, Sister Mary Isidore     b. 12/8/1889     d. 3/7/1981
Sister Mary Isidore was born in Hungary and when she came to the U.S. was attracted to our Benedictine Community. As a Sister, she served as a housekeeper in almost every mission house, cooking and cleaning for the Sisters who were teaching. In her loving, unassuming way, she won the hearts of everyone. Before her eyesight failed, she was an avid reader and took pride in informing the Sisters on current events.

Day 36: March 8, 2020

Novak, Sister Mary Benedicta     b. 1/25/1882     d. 3/8/1968
Sister Mary Benedicta came from Czechoslovakia and was gratefully directed to our Czech community. Being robust in health and good will, she holds the record, of being present for fifty-three years in the classroom without being absent even for one day. However, her most shining and admirable record was that if anyone spoke negatively about anyone in her presence, she would quickly change the subject as she was known for her kindness and charity.

Day 37: March 9, 2020

Neuzil, Sister Mary Justina     b. 7/8/1893     d. 3/19/1962
Sister Mary Justina was a stately presence who got along with everybody. She experienced teaching in our various Benedictine schools but ended up being the Superior of St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Being a diligent observer of the Orphans’ needs, she was instrumental in getting benefactors to help improve the conditions in the Orphanage. She helped those who were old enough to leave the Orphanage to pursue their life’s calling and kept corresponding with them when they left. Her acts of kindness and her desire to keep them on the right road, following the footsteps of Jesus, was her goal.

Day 38: March 10, 2020

Haman, Sister Mary Bernadine     b. 3/1/1884     d. 3/10/1955
Along with Sister Mary Bernardine, there were three other religious in her family. She had two Benedictine brothers, Father Bernard and Father Vitus plus a Franciscan Aunt, Sister Lioba. Her desire to be a good teacher made her try hard to advance herself to be updated in her teaching. During the depression years, being principal at St. Vitus, she not only provided for her own mission but also brought provisions for the residents at St. Benedict’s Home. This was an example of her thoughtfulness of others.

Day 39: March 11, 2020

Mondiak, Sister Mary Anselma     b. 11/22/1898     b. 3/11/1937
Sister Mary Anselma was a good-hearted person, radiating with a smile of contentment. She served in several missions as a teacher and was very helpful. However, her poor health constantly brought her back to the Monastery for recuperation and treatment. She bore her infirmity patiently and with love was ready to go to the Lord at age 38.

Day 40: March 12, 2020

Fallon, Sister Mary Patricia     b. 11/30/1926     d. 3/12/2016
Sister Mary Patricia was an Irish Lassie who was accepted to enter a predominantly Czech community. Since Czech was still the spoken language, she asked if she could study Czech and surprisingly loved it. With her engaging personality she was a proficient teacher and also a principal. When computers came out, she became a savvy computer user capable of teaching others as well. While suffering from cancer in her retirement years, she remained active. Though legally blind, she touched the lives of her family and many friends through her telephone ministry.

Day 41: March 13, 2020

Lestinsky, Sister Mary Gerarda     b. 10/15/1912     d. 3/13/1992
Sister Mary Gerarda’s ministry was centered on service to her Sisters. During her time in the kitchen on the missions, she was often asked to prepare lunch for a poor child for whom she hovered over with much attention. She loved to cook and was one of the favorites in our monastery kitchen as well. Her cheerfulness and her hearty laugh when sharing a joke could be heard in the corridor and was seen by passers-by as a sign of camaraderie in the kitchen.

Day 42: March 14, 2020

Jablonsky, Sister M. Michaelene     b. 11/17/1919     d. 3/13/1995
Sister Michalene would often refer to the years she served at St. Joseph’s Orphanage taking care of the infants as providing a Mother’s love. Though she taught primary grades when the Orphanage closed, she is best known for initiating the Occupational Therapy Department in the monastery for the retired Sisters. This gave the Sisters a place to go every morning to be aware of new and exciting ways of training their minds to stay alive and well. Sister also took advantage of traveling and then related stories of funny incidents to a captive audience in the O.T. Department.

Day 43: March 15, 2020

Minyo, Sister Mary Victoria     b. 3/1/1908     d. 3/16/1987
Sister Mary Victoria endeared herself to students, seminarians, and priests when she was stationed in food service at St. Procopius College (St. Procopius was all male at that time). The dining room was the place where she could be approached directly by the growing, hungry, college guys and she would readily respond to their requests. In the monastery kitchen, she too was loved working untiringly, preparing special diets for the infirm Sisters while being a peaceful presence and prayerful soul.

Day 44: March 16, 2020

Smutnak, Sister Remi (a.k.a. Sister Remigia)     b. 7/19/1914     d. 3/16/2006
Sister Remi’s life can be compared to a melody where high notes were times of happiness and low notes were marked by sadness and pain. Her crescendos in life were heart-warming especially when she served as a volunteer at Edward Hospital; visiting patients who needed spiritual care or assistance in writing a letter, watching a video, etc. Her low notes were marked by suffering, especially during her terminal pain. Her awareness of Angels made her sure that her song of praise to God was delivered even when the harmony was discordant.

Day 45: March 17, 2020

Cepal, Mary Teresa     b. 1/28/1885     d. 3/19/1968
Sister Mary Teresa was a beautiful soul and manifested this in her happy face. Coming from Czechoslovakia and speaking only Czech she found Community life with like-minded women to be what she wanted. Being a gifted seamstress, she was given the task of sewing the habits for the Sisters and various other sewing projects. She stayed working in the sewing room until her eyesight became dim. This gave her an opportunity to help wherever she was needed.

Day 46: March 18, 2020

Rehor, Sister M. Bernadette     b. 3/10/1889     d. 3/20/1922
Sister Bernadette was an exemplary model for the young Sisters with whom she worked side by side in the laundry, scrubbing the floors and washing the pots and pans. Menial tasks were her choice in caring for the sick. She never complained. She dearly loved the Sisters; charity being her outstanding virtue which gave charm to her whole being. She was forgetful of self and offered herself completely to God. In the end, she was overcome by her weakness, dying with tuberculosis in her 33rd year of life.

Day 47: March 19, 2020

18th Place in Chicago, Home of the Sisters from 1895 until 1912
Abbot Nepomucene bought this old St. Pius School and Convent for the Sisters. They moved in on the feast of St. Joseph, on March 19 in 1895. The building cost $18,000. However, the Sisters had approximately three dollars. Two dollars were spent on food and the remianing dollar was tied to a statue of St. Joseph with a petition to care for the Sisters and help them pay the debt. With faith and the help of many friends, the building was eventually paid for.

Day 48: March 20, 2020

Janda, Sister Mary Adalbert     b. 2/26/1889     d. 3/20/1976
Sister Mary Adalbert served in several of our parochial schools before she became principal in four of them through the years. She was a gentle, thoughtful person who loved the students and guided them in living their faith intentionally. For four years she was also chosen to be the novice mistress at the monastery which meant she was in charge of the incoming postulants to religious life teaching them The Rule of St. Benedict, the Gospels, other religious devotionals and being responsible for observing their work assignments.

Day 49: March 21, 2020

The Feast of St. Benedict     b. c. 480    
St. Benedict of Norcia died at Monte Cassino on March 21st. The motto of the Benedictine Order which he founded is “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work). He was named the patron protector of Europe by Pope Paul VI in 1964. His feast day is kept by Bendictines on March 21st, the traditional day of his death, and by the Roman Catholic Church on July 11th.

Day 50: March 22, 2020

Siroky, Sister M. Regina     b. 9/28/1886     d. 3/23/1940
Sister Regina had a patient, courteous manner as she served the community in housekeeping and teaching at various parish-school mission. Being an edification to all who knew her, she touched many lives. In her debilitating health, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. Being a faithful follower of Jesus, she daily united her suffering to the suffering of Christ on the cross knowing that she would soon be in God’s loving embrace. Befittingly, she died on Holy Saturday.

Day 51: March 23, 2020

Radosovsky, Sister Mary Clotilda     b. 8/14/1883     d. 3/23/1970
Sister Mary Clotilda was born in Hungary and entered our Benedictine Community bringing her joyful, unforgettable, sweet nature with her. Being in love with God and all creation, she developed a talking relationship with everyone even with birds. Her assignment was the kitchen at St. Procopius College where she won the hearts of everyone there. To this day, priests, who were then Seminarians, will still comment on Sister Mary Clotilda’s readiness to give them extra attention and feed them with those good dumplings, or fresh bread the Sisters prepared.

Day 52: March 24, 2020

Moravec, Sister Mary Ignatia     b. 4/8/1896     d. 3/31/1959
Sister Mary Ignatia was raised in St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Lisle, in close proximity with the Sisters. So, at the age of 15, Sister Ignatia already knew for sure what she wanted to do in life. After making first vows, her own experience as an orphan, made her the perfect person to deal with the antics of children, which she herself had agitated as a child. She was, as expected, sent to work there and was considered most successful. After many years there, she asked the Prioress if she could be missioned in Texas; feeling that the warm climate would be good for her rheumatism. After two years there, however, she had to return to the monastery due to ill health and was soon called by the Lord to come to her true and everlasting home to share the joys of eternal life.

Day 53: March 25, 2020

Gerlich, Sister Louise Marie (a.k.a. Sister Leander)     b. 8/11/1933     d. 3/25/1968
We remember Sister Louise Marie as having a short, but full life among us. Her sincerity and whole-hearted service was remarkable. She took charge of housekeeping duties and was open to be obliging; no one ever feared to ask her for a favor as she would conscientiously do it for you. Due to her failing health, she died at the age of 35.

Day 54: March 26, 2020

Laskojan, Sister Mary Monica     b. 7/5/1883     d. 3/29/1947
On entering the Monastery, Sister Mary Monica knew very little English but her desire to serve God helped her overcome all her hardships. After making her vows, she was sent to St. Procopius College to work in the kitchen where she spent all of her working days. Her duty was to keep the refectory in order, set the tables and wash the dishes three times a day. The monks and students appreciated her very much. When she died, a large number of Priests, Brothers and Seminarians from St. Procopius were present at her Funeral witnessing their gratitude for her conscientious and loving service to them.

Day 55: March 27, 2020

Camsky, Sister M. Laurencia     b. 1/10/1888     d. 3/27/1912
Sister Laurencia came from Czechoslovakia with her parents who started to take care of our convent farm. Their daughter, seeing the Sisters, wanted to join them and so she did. After studying English and Education classes, though her health was frail, she was sent to teach in Omaha at Assumption School, with the hope her health would improve. However, it was discovered she had cancer of the esophagus and could not take nourishment. Coming back to the monastery for respite, she made her final vows on her deathbed and died at the age of 24.

Day 56: March 28, 2020

Zajicek, Sister Mary Imelda     b. 11/5/1893     d. 3/28/1924
Prior to entering our Benedictine Community, Sister Mary Imelda belonged to an athletic club and participated in several tournaments held in the Blessed Agnes Parish in Chicago. In the Monastery she was assigned to domestic duties and later with her cheerful and winning personality was sent to St. Procopius College to work in food service. During the Post World War I Influenza Epidemic, she became weakened. This led to her contracting Tuberculosis. She died with confidence in God’s mercy at the age of 30.

Day 57: March 29, 2020

Vaclava, Sister Mary Helen b.       4/19/1891   d. 3/29/1953
Sister Mary Helen was a good-hearted soul who fervently kept the teachings of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict. She lived an active life of service and was able to make her perpetual vows in 1920 at the age of 29. In her later years, however, Sister was afflicted with mental health issues and required the qualified care of specialists. She was sent to Mercyville in Aurora where she was given compassionate and professional treatment. She died in Mercyville at age 61.

Day 58: March 30, 2020

Vosika, Sister Mary Luitgarde     b. 10/27/1888     d. 3/31/1974
Sister Mary Luitgarde’s active life was spent in the monastery kitchen, garden, cannery and poultry farm. Being not only dutiful and responsible she was above all, a kind, unassuming, lovable person and must have been precious in the eyes of God. Her face always beamed with the joy of the Gospel being lived. When she had a noticeable sparkle in her eye, you knew she wanted to share a bit of humor with you and enjoy a spirited laugh.

Day 59: March 31, 2020

Kallus, Sister Mary Angelica     b. 3/13/1930     d. 3/31/2004 (Sister of Sisters Andrea, Josephine, Mary Agnes and Virginia)
Sister Mary Angelica was a young, 14-year-old when she decided to come with her two older Sisters, Sisters Josephine and Virginia to enter religious life. Two more sisters were already in Lisle enjoying Benedictine life; Sister Andrea and Mary Agnes. Religious life became an adventure for her and she blossomed. She is best known for being the Principal at St. Scholastica’s in Woodridge where she was dearly loved for serving the school community with integrity and a life-giving spirit of generosity.

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Day 60: April 1, 2020

The Original Chapel—1917
The original Chapel is located in what now the second floor on the south side in Benedale. This space became the community room after the new Chapel was built.

Day 61: April 2, 2020

The Chapel with Altars and Statues from the Original Chapel—1930
The first Mass was celebrated by Father John Cherf, OSB, in April 1932.
The choir stalls were gifts of the Ladies Auxiliary. The ten stained glass windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth depicting angels presenting sacred vessel and vestments for the altar and were completed in 1933. The new altar was blessed on November 12, 1933.
During this month, we will feature each one of these windows.

Day 62: April 3, 2020

Omasta, Sister Mary Electa     b. 6/29/1898     d. 4/3/1984
Sister Mary Electa said her most rewarding grace was to have a vocation to the Benedictine order; though earlier on, she had dreams of becoming a missionary in Russia. The Sisters remember her as the organist for their Liturgies and a demanding choir directress. The singing of Gregorian chant had to be flawless as she was a highly qualified musician who had studied in Vienna before she came to the U.S. A. The girls at Sacred Heart Academy remember her as giving piano lessons, teaching art and directing choral practice with the glee club. She loved competing in kite-making contests as well. After retiring from her ministries, she would travel to the Art Institute of Chicago to broaden her passion for art with contemporary artists.

Day 63: April 4, 2020

Harvanek, M. Xaveria     b. 2/6/1899     d. 4/4/1921 (Sister of Sisters Agatha, Raymond, Cecilia and Innocencia)
Sister Xaveria died during the T.B. epidemic, three years after her sister, Sister Innocencia, who also died from tuberculosis. No one, however, had suspected she was sick because she was able to keep up. Her patient endurance and thankfulness to the Sisters was significant as her health deteriorated quickly. It happened at the time she was living in humble conditions with several other Sisters in a wooden shack at St. Mary of Celle in Berwyn that her unexpected death occurred at age 22.

Day 64: April 5, 2020

Shonka, Mother Mary Aemilia     b. 3/13/1898     d. 4/5/1988 (Third Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery- 1949-1961)
Mother Mary Aemilia was a very meticulous and grateful woman whose vision was futuristic. In 1949, Mother Mary Aemilia was elected the third prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery. During her term in office, she agreed to send Sisters to open new schools in Fort Worth, Wichita Falls and Dallas all in Texas. She arranged for the Slovak Sisters to relocate to form a new Community in Tinley Park. She made a promise, as well, to support the establishment of a Byzantine Rite Monastery by accepting young women of that Rite for their formation period until they could eventually launch a Byzantine Rite Priory, which was later founded in Warren, Ohio.

Day 65: April 6, 2020

Chapel Stained Glass Window: 1 of 12
This window on the west side of the chapel depicts an angel carrying the processional cross for a Solemn Mass.
These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

Day 66: April 7, 2020

Chapel Stained Glass Window: 2 of 12
This window on the west side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying candles for a Solemn Mass.
These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

Day 67: April 8, 2020

Chapel Stained Glass Window: 3 of 12
This window on the west side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying an incense brazier for a Solemn Mass.
These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

Day 68: April 9, 2020

Chapel Stained Glass Window: 4 of 12
This window on the west side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying the Book of the Gospels for a Solemn Mass.
These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

Day 69:
  • April 10
  • , 2020

    Kallus, Sister Mary Agnes     b. 11/19/1925     d. 4/10/2019 (Sister of Sisters Andrea, Josephine, Virginia and Angelica)
    Sister Mary Agnes spent the longest period of her teaching mission in Joliet where she taught at SS. Cyril and Methodius, St. Bernard and St. Joseph Schools and was very involved at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish where she was the assistant to the pastor, ministered to shut-ins, and taught religious education classes. However, her first mission was St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Lisle which was very dear to her heart as well. In her retirement from teaching, her main ministry was to Villa St. Benedict as well as being a vital presence at Sacred Heart Monastery enriching the community by her prayerful and willing spirit.

    Day 70: April 11, 2020

    Sindelar, Sister Mary Gertrude     b. 2/2/1888     d. 4/11/1939 (Sister’s Benedictine relatives were: Sisters Ludmila, Justina, DeSales, and a priest brother, Father Francis, OSB)
    As a youngster, Sister Mary Gertrude wanted to visit and stay with the Sisters at St. Vitus though her parents were reluctant to have her stay since she was so young. In a few years her parents relented and let her enter the Convent. When she was prepared to be a teacher, she was assigned to teach at Sacred Heart Academy becoming an outstanding algebra and geometry teacher, devising her own games as tools for all the students to understand the math problems. Simultaneously, she supervised the cleaning crew. She inspired each of the workers to whisper short prayers as they worked to give glory to God.

    Day 71: April 12, 2020

    Easter at the Monastery
    Resurrection: the event that saved us and has merited us heaven!

    Day 72: April 13, 2020

    Frana, Sister Mary DeSales     b. 5/20/1908     d. 4/12/1982
    Sister Mary DeSales was a highly diversified reader and was automatically a natural to be the librarian, well suited for the studious young ladies at Sacred Heart Academy. She is fondly remembered for her ability to locate the most credible book that covered the topic a student was looking for. There was always a quiet atmosphere under her supervision of the library, where the students could approach her for help and be able to do research without interruption. This made it a reliable place to study before the modern days of computers and technological devices.

    Day 73: April 14, 2020

    Jakubek, Sister Mary Consolata     b. 2/10/1904     d. 4/12/1991
    Sister Mary Consolata was sent to various parochial schools to teach where she mostly taught the primary grades. She especially liked preparing the second graders for their First Holy Communion. Being very considerate of others, she would often offer herself to be a substitute in washing dishes or peeling potatoes to ease the weariness of the Sister who needed help. One of the examples of her thoughtfulness was when she rose early during a snowstorm at St. Mary of Celle to shovel the sidewalk from the convent to the school to make walking safe and prevent falls. Her helpfulness was greatly appreciated.

    Day 74: April 15, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 5 of 12
    This window on the west side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying cruets for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 75: April 16, 2020

    Blaho, Sister Irene     b. 7/24/1931     d. 4/17/1996
    Sister Irene lived with her parents until they died and went to the Lord. Being an only child, she felt obligated to stay with them, though she really wanted to enter religious life. Living in Our Lady of the Mount Parish in Cicero where Sister Mildred Slabenak was the parish minister and often visited with Sister Irene’s ailing Mother, gave Sister Irene the opportunity to ask Sister Mildred the questions she had regarding religious life. Thereupon her Mother’s death, Sister Irene applied for entry and after her formation period was invited to make final vows. Soon after that, she was diagnosed with brain tumors. Being fully aware of her grave condition, she consented to have brain surgery but did not survive. We will never forget her courageous life that touched us all.

    Day 76: April 17, 2020

    Herout, Sister Mary Loretta     b. 3/2/1910     d. 4/17/2003
    Sister Mary Loretta had a lonely childhood losing her mother at age 4. This was perhaps a prelude to her compassionate love for the Orphans. She wrote: “Of all my years in teaching, the ones I enjoyed the most were the years I spent at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. It was a sad experience when we had to close the institution. ” As a Benedictine, Sister exhibited remarkable energy; had the qualities of a rough diamond, always with a get-up-and-go, happy giggle. She loved to chant the Divine Office and was a born artist. Who could not love her and her generous spirit?

    Day 77: April 18, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 6 of 12
    This window on the east side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying the Bishop’s mitre (headdress), and crosier (staff) for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 78: April 19, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 7 of 12
    This window on the east side of the chapel depicts angels carrying a chasuble, which is a gold and red vestment for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 79: April 20, 2020

    Jandourek, Sister Mary Alexia     b. 2/1/1883     d. 4/20/1965
    Sister Mary Alexia was born in Czechoslovakia and entered the Benedictine Community in the United States at age 30. Being a kind and fun-loving person, she was sent to cook at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. She is happily remembered by the Orphans for her playful ways with the children often favoring them with special treats. In her retired years she liked to recall the many joys she had in life especially being very grateful she had become a Benedictine Sister. She was living peacefully now safe from the wars she had experienced in Europe.

    Day 80: April 21, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 8 of 12
    This window on the east side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying a dalmatic, which is a gold and white vestment, worn by the deacon for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 81: April 22, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 9 of 12
    This window on the east side of the chapel depicts two angels carrying cincture and alb for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 82: April 23, 2020

    Chapel Stained Glass Window: 10 of 12
    This window on the east side of the chapel depicts an angel carrying a pitcher for a Solemn Mass.
    These windows were designed by Mr. H. Barth from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have graced the chapel since 1934. The inspiration for the design of the windows came from murals in the Benedictine Abbey of Emmaus in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Day 83: April 24, 2020

    Doubrava, Sister Mary Dominica     b. 4/11/1888     d. 4/24/1961
    Sister Mary Dominica was a beautiful, humble soul. Her pleasant smile expressed the joy of her intimacy with God. Her gentle personality blossomed as she conscientiously went about her domestic work at St. Procopius College kitchen, in the bakery at St. Joseph’s Orphanage, and at St. Benedict’s Home for the Aged where she served the residents who needed assistance during the night hours. She was known for her kindness in all the ministries she held.

    Day 84: April 25, 2020

    Schanilec, Sister Mary Clementine     b. 12/29/1894     d. 4/25/1981
    Sister Mary Clementine’s childhood dream was to become a doctor but her call to religious life superseded it. At St. Joseph’s Orphanage she lovingly cared for the sick children becoming a health care provider without the title of doctor. Since most of the Sisters taught in parochial schools and the need was great for teachers, she became a teacher and later a principal as well. Her sympathetic concern for the students and teachers fulfilled her earlier dream since being a Benedictine Sister gave her as many opportunities to heal as being a doctor.

    Day 85: April 26, 2020

    Tabak, Sister Rosemary     b. 5/12/1924     d. 4/25/1999
    Sister Rosemary attended St. Michael’s School in Chicago and then Sacred Heart Academy, both places giving her a Benedictine background. Hearing the call to become a Benedictine herself, she entered Sacred Heart Monastery. Though she taught in many of our schools; with the Advent of Vatican II, which opened up new avenues of service, she decided to teach in a public school. Being a “Maverick” with high-flying ideas, she was hired as a teacher at New Trier West High School in Winnetka to teach Social Studies. This gave her a chance to travel to different countries returning to animate her students about world cultures.

    Day 86: April 27, 2020

    The Chapel Before the Artwork of John Mallin—1944
    John Mallin & Company was contracted to decorate the chapel in January of 1944. We especially marvel at the women saints now in our monastic choir above the high altar.

    Day 87: April 28, 2020

    Slabenak, Sister Mildred     b. 1/16/1920     d. 4/28/2018
    Born in Cicero, Sister Mildred was baptized at Our Lady of the Mount and later attended school there with the Benedictine Sisters as teachers. Her own ministry mission was spent there for forty-two years. Twenty –three years were as a teacher or principal and nineteen more years in parish work. Her parish work really flourished as by then she knew the people and had a thriving relationship with them. She visited the sick, cooked for the priests, arranged lovely bouquets of flowers for the Altar in Church and with her flare for writing wrote reflections for weddings, funerals, baptisms, anniversaries and other events, always adding bits of her home-spun humor.

    Day 88: April 29, 2020

    Chapel after Vatican II
    The first movable altar facing the congregation was made by Norman Jones in 1967. Later, 1980, the altar and ambo were constructed and donated by the Forest family of St. Joan of Arc.

    Day 89: April 30, 2020

    Present Chapel
    The Chapel was designed, and later renovated, by Father Richard Vosko to accomodate the residents of Villa St. Benedict. It was dedicated on December 18th, 2005, by Bishop Joseph Imesch, assisted by Father Becket Franks, OSB, with the Sisters and staff included in the beautiful ceremony of dedication.

    Day 90: May 1, 2020

    Benedictine Women Saints Murals
    Benedictine Women Saints Murals are painted in our Monastic Choir space.

    Day 91: May 2, 2020

    Benedictine Women Saints Murals & Stained Windows
    Benedictine Women Saints Murals, with stained glass windows redesigned by Marie Tatina in 1995, in our Monastic Choir space. The original background colors of the stained windows used to be dark green.

    Day 92: May 3, 2020

    Laketek, Sister Mary Celine     b. 2/12/1920     d. 5/3/2009 (Sister Mary Celine’s relatives in Benedictine life: Aunt, Sister Josephine Princ; Cousin, Sister Dolorosa: and brothers, Fathers Victor and Gilbert)
    Sister Mary Celine was formed by Benedictines from childhood on and then pursued her own call to Benedictine life with full commitment to God and to living community life. Her ministries developed as there was a community need. She studied the sciences and then taught high-school Biology in the Academy. As a model of Benedictine values, she was appointed to form young religious as a Novice Mistress. She studied library Science and became a librarian. She took LPN courses to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and cared for the sick Sisters. Lastly, she was appointed to be the community archivist as well as community sub-prioress. She is best remembered for leading the community to focus on the Liturgical Year celebrations and for her vacation enjoyment in traveling.

    Day 93: May 4, 2020

    Rededication of the Chapel-2005
    On December 18, 2005 after a full year of renovation Sacred Heart Monastery was re-dedicated. Most Reverend Joseph Imesch, Chaplain Becket Franks, OSB, Deacon Richard Hudzik and congregation stand and pray at the entrance to the chapel.

    Day 94: May 5, 2020

    Bomba, Sister Mary Flavia     b. 2/2/1897     d. 5/5/1984 (Sister’s nieces in Benedictine life were: Sister Imelda Rafac and Sister Gaudentia Rafac who later joined the Oak Forest Community)
    Sister Mary Flavia was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary and in her early childhood immigrated to the U.S. with her family. She was only 15 when she entered the Monastery but already had a determination to belong forever. Although she was a tiny person she was huge in her prayerfulness and in her wholehearted drive when addressing her work. She became a primary school teacher, teaching in various Benedictine Schools and did cooking as well when there was no housekeeper assigned.

    Day 95: May 6, 2020

    Blessing of the Baptismal Font, Water and New Altar-2005
    Bishop Imesch pours Sacred Chrism on the new altar constructed using marble from the old altar table and red oak. The appointments: Altar, Podium, Dedication Candles and Baptismal Font were constructed by Holtzmacher Company

    Day 96: May 7, 2020

    Most Reverend Joseph Imesch Anoints the 12 Benedictine medal that bless the walls of the Chapel with Sacred Chrism. The brazier, which was placed on the consecrated altar, is removed from the Chapel.

    Day 97: May 8, 2020

    Kucera, Sister Helen Marie (a.k.a. Sister Benigna)     b. 7/3/1909     d. 5/8/1981 (Her Benedictine nephews were: Archbishop Daniel Kucera, Father Matthias Kucera and Father Edward Kucera)
    Sister Helen Marie was an enthusiastic Benedictine, an exceptional upper-grade teacher in several Benedictine, elementary schools. She was a lover of classical and folk music as well as Gregorian chant. Her sense of humor in unexpected situations made her a joy to live with. She was soft–spoken and very patient with her suffering at the end of her life. One of the greatest joys in her life was that her nephews had also chosen the Benedictine way of life for which she gave thanks to God every day.

    Day 98: May 9, 2020

    Hemza, Sister Mary Benigna     b. 1/12/1903     d. 5/10/1929
    Sister Mary Benigna was from Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Chicago. She showed signs of ill health soon after she came and sometime later was isolated in the power house with T.B. Since she requested to make her final vows and wasn’t able to go to the chapel for the ceremony, she professed her vows in the simplicity of the unadorned, power house. Being fully resigned to the will of God she died at the age of 26.

    Day 99: May 10, 2020

    Schima, Sister Margaret Mary     b. 5/10
    Sister Margaret Mary is the personification of hospitality as she is always ready to express care and concern for the Sisters, guests and, of course, her family and friends. As a scholar of history, she is able to discuss, in depth, both the interesting historical events through the past centuries and important, prominent church or political figures. Having lived many years with the Benedictine Sisters of the Eastern Rite in Warren, Ohio, she loves to educate us about the cultural developments in the East that formed the Eastern Rite Catholic Church as well as to explain how it differs from the Roman Rite.

    Day 100: May 11, 2020

    Heble, Sister Judith Ann (Niece of Sister Mary Rita)     b. 5/11 (Seventh Prioress- 1993-2011)
    As our past prioress as well as the Moderator of the COMMUNIO INTERNATIONALIS BENEDICTINARUM (International Community of Benedictine Women) and now as a member of the monastic council, Sister Judith Ann uses her administrative gifts by preparing highly organized documents in her role as the council secretary. She is also a member of the board of trustees at Benedictine University. During the celebration of the Eucharist and for the morning and evening Divine Office, for which we gather three times a day, she accompanies us on the piano as we chant psalms or sing hymns. Due to her skilled ability for planning for the future, she has been elected to represent our community on the Federation Council of St. Scholastica.

    Day 101: May 12, 2020

    Harvanek, Sister Mary Cecilia     b. 11/1/1900     d. 5/10/1982 (Sister of Sisters Innocencia, Xaveria, Agatha and Mary Raymond)
    Sister Mary Cecilia had a single-minded purpose and that was to renounce herself in order to follow Christ and be ready to serve. She was faithful to her duties without expecting recognition. She spent her years as a teacher, organist and principal putting her priorities first in praying the Divine Office, Holy Mass and Rosary. Peace and fidelity marked her gentle life.

    Day 102: May 13, 2020

    Kallus, Sister Mary Andrea     b. 3/15/1917     d. 5/10/2013 (Sister of Sisters Josephine, Mary Agnes, Virginia and Angelica)
    Sister Mary Andrea was the first of the five Kallus Sisters to enter religious life from La Grange, Texas. She had a reserved, quiet manner and spent her dedicated years in housework; cooking, baking, cleaning and among other things, did sacristy work in church. She was a giving person remembering those who were disabled or poor. Her Czech specialty, mouth-watering Houska, Kolachke, and Strudel were time consuming to make but on the table they disappeared quickly-- to her delight. She was like a shining star lighting the way for others to follow in her path for zest in life.

    Day 103: May 14, 2020

    Bee Hives
    Sister Coletta Novak, Sister Mary Bratrsovsky’s great aunt was the caretaker of the bees. She processed enough honey for the sisters and sold some as well. Her Sister, Marie Bartek in the background, was Sister Mary’s Grandmother and Sister Coletta’s Sister.

    Day 104: May 15, 2020

    Kozelsky, Sister Mary Ursuline     b. 11/19/1909     d. 5/15/1928 (Sister of Sister Martina)
    Sister Mary Ursuline was the younger Sister of Sister Martina from Texas. When she came, since she was used to growing up with her brothers, she asked if she could associate with girls of her age, and for a time, was welcomed to live with a family at St. Mary of Celle in Berwyn. Found to be a good–hearted and jolly, young lady she was then accepted to start her formation for religious life. Contracting the fatal flu, she was privileged to make her vows at age 17 before she died.

    Day 105: May 16, 2020

    Benedale Farm (Facing Maple Street, just east of the Monatery)
    From 1936 to 1963, mostly under the direction of Mr. Rambousek, the sisters raised, slaughtered, ate and sold cows, pigs, chicken, ducks, and turkeys. At one point, around 1950, our records showed that 250 baby pigs were born each year in three farrowing’s of which about two-thirds were eaten by the sisters and students, the rest were sold. About 18 head of cattle were also slaughtered a year. We had around 60 head of cows and two bulls each year. Symphony, one of the two bulls, won the Reserved Grand Championship at the International Dairy Exposition at Indianapolis, Indiana, 1949.

    Day 106: May 17, 2020

    Chicken House & Roosters
    The Spindler Sisters (5 from one family) were mostly in charge of the chicken house. They incubated and raised chickens, ducks and turkeys. Besides having plenty of meat and eggs to eat, we had an opportunity to sell both meat and eggs as well! (Srs. Milburg, and Rose Alice are in the picture on the right)

    Day 107: May 18, 2020

    Green House
    The greenhouse started and maintained by the sisters-constructed over the well that is still used to water the grotto and trees, shrubs and flowers by our signs and some grass.

    Day 108: May 19, 2020

    Catalapa Path
    Gardening, a Benedictine tradition, has always a part of our life. The garden in the 1980’s through the 90’s was “small but planted, cultivated, weeded, picked and eaten or canned by the sisters.”

    Day 109: May 20, 2020

    Weissmann, Sister Regina Ann     b. 5/20
    Sister Regina Ann Weissmann is presently a resident at St. Patrick’s Nursing Home in Naperville. Being a friendly person, she loves to watch the elevator from her position among other residents who are watching TV on the third floor lounge. Whenever some of us Sisters or her friends come to visit, she gets very excited, inviting us with her arms flailing to make us aware of her location. In her healthy, younger days, she was a creative person educated in psychology and worked as a professional counselor as well as being an artist and an effective leader.

    Day 110: May 21, 2020

    Vineyard Apple Orchard, Vegetable & Flower Gardens
    The west part of the campus contained our orchard, vineyards, vegetable garden and asparagus field. Flowers, of course, were in numerous places. The vegetables, flower gardens, weeding and harvesting were done by the Sisters. The orchard and vineyards were tended by our employees. At one point, around 1950 our records showed that our hired help harvested about 7,000 bushels of corn, 4,500 bushels of oats, 1,000 bushels of wheat.

    Day 111: May 22, 2020

    Princ, Sister Mary Josephine     b. 12/21/1875     d. 5/23/1944 (Sister was the Aunt to Sisters Dolorosa and Mary Celine)
    Sister Mary Josephine was an early pioneer and a great help to the foundress, Mother Nepomucene, who was hearing impaired. Sister Mary Josephine’s charming personality brightened the drab lives of the Sisters in those early days of extreme poverty. She was revered for her leadership qualities and, as sub-prioress, is credited in initiating plans with Sister Genevieve Biskup (who later became prioress) for building Sacred Heart Academy, for which the ground breaking event was in 1929. When the newly formed Congregation of St. Scholastica (now called Federation of St. Scholastica) met for the second time in 1908, she was in charge of the planning and in the hospitality of welcoming the Sisters representing the other Benedictine Communities to Lisle.

    Day 112: May 23, 2020

    Malek, Sister Mary Silvia     b. 11/17/1916     d. 5/23/1966 (Sister of Sister Blandina)
    Sister Mary Silvia heard God’s call early in life. She entered right out of elementary school. Though she was lonesome being so young, she made her way forward with determination desirous to serve God as a servant to the other Sisters or wherever she was sent. She served as a cook at St. Procopius College kitchen, St. Joseph’s Orphanage and other parish convent kitchens. She particularly wanted to offer her prayers, works and sufferings for the welfare of priests.

    Day 113: May 24, 2020

    Asparagus Field
    The west part of the campus contained our orchard, vineyards, vegetable garden and asparagus field. See Day 110, May 21st entry for more details.

    Day 114: May 25, 2020

    Jindrich, Sister Mary Editha     b. 2/17/1897     d. 5/26/1963 (Sister was the Aunt of Sister Mary Florence)
    Sister Mary Editha had a long span of teaching History and Chemistry at Sacred Heart Academy. She was a zealous fundraiser in her Academy days in support of the under-privileged and those with special needs. The Academy girls recall that due to her love of baseball, she would momentarily stop History class to listen to the radio to find out the scores of the teams playing and then shout out rejoicing, when the score was in favor of her favorite team.

    Day 115: May 26, 2020

    Lovcik, Sister M. Placid     b. 4/5/1910     d. 5/26/1995
    Sister Placid lived in South Dakota. A Benedictine priest, Father Placid, from St. Procopius Abbey was the Pastor in her parish. He was the one who encouraged her to become a Benedictine Sister seeing her ability to gather people for prayer. Sister Placid’s ministry became mostly cooking for the Sisters though she taught for a few years as well. She was an experienced cook having entered religious life at an older age. She was so well meaning and loveable but would on occasion forget to take the meat out from the freezer on time for supper and then the Sisters would have to wait for their evening meal. Everywhere Sister Placid went, she left a trail of unforgettable, laughable stories that broke the tensions of everyday life. How exciting it was to have her at one of our missions!

    Day 116: May 27, 2020

    David Burnett, our faithful employee of nearly 50 years, pruning the apple trees.

    Day 117: May 28, 2020

    Apple Juice
    (From left to right) Sisters Mary Bratrsovsky, Barbara Ann Svec, and Helen Jilek enjoying making apple juice.

    Day 118: May 29, 2020

    Bancak, Sister Laurene (a.k.a. Sister Laurencia)     b. 7/23/1905     d. 5/29/1993
    Sister Laurene was the sole survivor of the T.B. epidemic having one lung removed which saved her life. She was a tiny woman, steeped in prayer and was an enthusiastic, gifted high-school teacher of Latin and Spanish at Sacred Heart Academy and later at Benet Academy. Having contemplated the Psalms in Latin, Spanish and English she imparted her love of Psalms to the Novices and Postulants over the years. With a remarkable love of nature and fresh air, she would take long distance walks with the academy students, breathing deeply and taking in a sense of awe at God’s, marvelous beauty of creation.

    Day 119: May 30, 2020

    An aerial view of Sacred Heart Monastery, Catalpa Path and Power House.

    Day 120: May 31, 2020

    Snake Road-1933
    You can see our cupula (dome) of our monastery just behind the tree near the telephone wire at the corner of Maple and Route 53.

    Day 121: June 1, 2020

    Thome, Sister Suzanne     b. 6/1
    Sister Mary Suzanne is consistently alert to the monastery happenings and is ready to help with ordinary household jobs. She is one of the first to be in chapel for prayers; she prepares the microphones for Divine Office, lights the candles and takes care of whatever else that needs to be done. She enjoys friendship with the residents and in participating in their activities. She keeps track of what their activities are in order to notify the Sisters who might be interested in participating as well.

    Day 122: June 2, 2020

    Neuzil, Sister Mary Ludmila     b. 12/25/1866     d. 6/1/1952
    Sister Mary Ludmila emigrated from Czechoslovakia. Exactly twenty years after her birth, she came to join Mother Nepomucene. Since Mother Nepomucene did not know Czech well, Sister Mary Ludmila was needed to help her in business negotiations with the Czech immigrants whom they were destined to serve. Numbering just a few Sisters at the founding, Sister Mary Ludmila filled various roles from sub-prioress to being in charge of the orphanage and, of course, she performed many other duties in between. She was graced to be one of the longest survivors of the founding Sisters’ group.

    Day 123: June 3, 2020

    Chocholacek, Sister Mary Martha     b. 6/13/1906     d. 6/1/1971
    Sister Mary Martha is mainly remembered for her faithfulness in working with Sister Jerome in the bakery preparing bread and pastries. Sister Mary Martha, like her “Martha” namesake in the Gospel, was always busy about many things to please the Lord. Some of the hungry, young Sisters, remember how they would sneak into the bakery for some delectable treat and receive Sister Martha’s loving smile and a choice piece of fresh bakery.

    Day 124: June 4, 2020

    Vap, Sister Mary Floriana     b. 5/19/1918     d. 6/2/1963
    Sister Mary Floriana was a gentle and soft-spoken person. She was trained both as a teacher and as an organist, and was able to give organ lessons. Interestingly, Sister Mary Floriana never stopped her own organ studies at DePaul University. When Sister Roberta, one of her former students, entered the monastery, Sister Mary Floriana asked her to teach her the fundamentals of Ear Training of Sounds to prepare for a course she was taking. This is one of many examples that shows how Sister Mary Floriana was a humble soul; she respected Sister Roberta enough to become her teacher.

    Day 125: June 5, 2020

    Kovalcik, Sister Carolyn Marie (a.k.a. Sister Bonaventure)     b. 1/1/1900     d. 6/2/1986
    Sister Carolyn Marie entered on a historic date: February 2, 1920. It was the date that the official prayer of the church, namely, the Divine Office became an integral part of the prayer life of our community. Being an example of fidelity to prayer, Sister Carolyn Marie was dedicated especially to sacristy work where she loved to be around the Altar praising God as she worked with flowers and sacred vessels. She was valued as an excellent primary teacher as well.

    Day 126: June 6, 2020

    Polak, Sister Mary Barbara     b. 11/1/1882     d. 6/5/1957
    Sister Mary Barbara was a diligent worker putting her heart and soul into everything she did. She never seemed to spare herself or avoid any hardship. “My God and my duty” was her leading drive. Since her room adornment was sparse, Mother Aemilia tried to provide some appropriate pictures. However, to her, pictures were unnecessary. There was only one thing she wanted and that was a crucifix which was everything for her that would be her daily reminder of how much Jesus loves us.

    Day 127: June 7, 2020

    Stasek, Sister Mary Leonardis     b. 7/5/1901     d. 6/7/1977 (Sister to Sister Mary Callista and cousin to Sisters Julianna, Euphrasia and Columba)
    Sister Mary Leonardis is remembered for her faith in God, the living strong supporter always present in her life. Teaching was her chief occupation during her forty-nine years of service to the students she taught and she was resolute in trying her best to care about them. Discipline in her classroom was a priority and she insisted on being organized and prepared for her classes.

    Day 128: June 8, 2020

    Bratrsovsky, Sister Mary Alma     b. 12/10/1917     d. 6/8/2013 (Sister to Sisters Immaculate and Annunciata, cousin to Sister Marie Bartek, niece of Sister Coletta and aunt to Sister Mary Bratrsovsky)
    Sister Mary Alma had varied ministries. At different times in community, she was the secretary, the treasurer and the sub-prioress. In her outside ministries she was a commercial arts teacher, math teacher, financial-aid director and typist for the Waste Management Company. In her retirement she loved to tat (an increasingly rare art form) making doilies, crosses and bookmarks. Thanks be to God for her incredible gifts during her seventy-six years of Benedictine life.

    Day 129: June 9, 2020

    Dubina, Sister Mary Regina     b. 12/9/1922     d. 6/10/2005 (Sixth Prioress- 1985-1993)
    Sister Mary Regina was a blessing to our community in many ways. She was a good sport, a happy and generous person with leadership qualities, and among other roles, she served the community as treasurer and later was elected the prioress. Her favorite years were spent at Benet Academy where she taught sophomore English and was involved in student affairs. She enjoyed traveling especially after she learned to drive. Mindful of the importance of her prayer life, she was faithful to the Liturgy of the Hours and had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother.

    Day 130: June 10, 2020

    Williams, Sister Joanne     b. 10/20/1939     d. 6/10/2013
    Sister Joanne Williams was a talented and an innovative teacher. Later, she became the principal of Our Lady of Lourdes School on 15th & Keeler in Chicago; a school affected by poverty. To defray tuition expenses, she entered into an agreement with Carson Pirie Scott to collect their excess clothing and home furnishings. She then invited the parishioners to shop for these items at a reduced price wherewith the proceeds were donated back to the school. Having a Masters’ degree in Design Education, she created an after-school program called, “Young Rembrandts” to keep young people off the streets. As a singer in the parish choir and committed to all the needs of the parish, with Bishop Dempsey she helped organize the West-Side Cluster of Catholic Parishes. Due to her outstanding work there she was awarded the Humanitarian Award. When the school closed she returned to Sacred Heart Monastery to become the Hospitality Director of Villa St. Benedict welcoming new residents to the facility in her God-given, gracious way.

    Day 131: June 11, 2020

    Beranek, Sister Mary Catherine     b. 8/19/1887     d. 6/11/1982
    Sister Mary Catherine seemed to a have a perpetual, cheerful smile as she did domestic work serving at St. Procopius College, St. Joseph’s Orphanage, St. Benedict’s Home and at the monastery. She endeared herself to the Sisters and everyone else she would meet. Even when she retired she kept busy crocheting or working on crafts in the Occupational Therapy Room. She lived to be a happy, 94 year old when the Lord called her to eternal life.

    Day 132: June 12, 2020

    Day 133: June 13, 2020

    Day 134: June 14, 2020

    Krhovsky, Sister Mary Armella     b. 6/7/1908     d. 6/14/1990
    Sister Mary Armella was a kindly woman, minding her own responsibilities with love. When she was sent to teach at an inner-city school, she carefully examined the past records of the students in her class and noticed that many of them were not on grade level. She set to work to devise methods of successfully helping them. Then in her twenty-one years at that school, her hard work was rewarded, as the students in each class, left her classroom with a basic knowledge of reading, a good grasp of the time-tables and, without a doubt, a love of the Lord from whom all good things come.

    Day 135: June 15, 2020

    Day 136: June 16, 2020

    Han, Sister M. Gertrude     b. 5/14/1880     d. 6/17/1901
    Sister Gertrude had a short, life-span in the Benedictine life due to her serious illness. On the feast of Corpus Christi, she was at the Orphanage and Abbot Nepomucene along with Mother Nepomucene were present for the Holy Eucharist celebration. For her sake, the sacrament of Extreme Unction was administered and she pronounced her perpetual vows as well. Ten days later, she went to meet her merciful Lord at age 21.

    Day 137: June 17, 2020

    Sasek, Sister Placida     b. 6/20/1876     d. 6/17/1946
    Sister Placida emigrated from Czechoslovakia with her brother, Father Placid, and became a pioneer in the hard times of our founding. She was a good cook and worked wherever she was needed, mostly at St. Procopius College and St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Being a cheerful Sister, she edified everyone in her conversations even though she suffered from rheumatism. She was ready to accomplish whatever she was assigned to do with a grateful heart.

    Day 138: June 18, 2020

    Day 139: June 19, 2020

    Day 140: June 20, 2020

    Malichar, Sister Mary Aloysia     b. 11/11/1877     d. 6/20/1948
    Sister Mary Aloysia was a faithful worker as a cook spending most of her time at St. Procopius College. On Sundays, she was assigned to give instructions to the younger Sisters on the Rule of St. Benedict. This was a joyful time for the Sisters as she was quite entertaining. In her pastime, she studied German on her own as she wanted to learn how to pray the Our Father in German. She was known to use Czech or German phrases when she was annoyed though everyone knew she was not angry but rather making a joke of her annoyance.

    Day 141: June 21, 2020

    Day 142: June 22, 2020

    Kallus, Sister Virginia     b. 11/27/1927     d. 6/22/2019 (Sister of Sisters Andrea, Josephine, Mary Agnes and Angelica)
    Sister Virginia was a person who demonstrated hospitality. She was ready to offer a cup of coffee and a piece of bakery at the spur of a moment to any guest but especially to the sick Sisters. She was willing to watch for the needs of the sick Sisters when the nurse was gone. Sister Virginia was a steadfast cantor at Lauds and Vespers and was able to chant with perfect pitch. Her fondest years in teaching were the nineteen years she taught first grade at St. Scholastica’s School in Woodridge. At home in the Monastery, she loved to pray the rosary with the residents. We will always remember her rubber-banded-book she carried around to remember to pray for her dear ones.

    Day 143: June 23, 2020

    Day 144: June 24, 2020

    Vodraska, Sister Mary Winnefred     b. 10/13/1891     d. 6/24/1974
    Sister Mary Winnefred had experience teaching then became novice Mistress for seven years. After the seven years in the novitiate, she went back to school to serve as principal. She was very helpful to the first-year teaching Sisters; helping them not only with their classroom discipline but helping them as well with lesson planning. In her retirement from school involvement, her hobby was to make rosaries for the missions. We remember her as well, for being a great-aunt to David Burnett who became our faithful handyman for many years.

    Day 145: June 25, 2020

    Day 146: June 26, 2020

    Day 147: June 27, 2020

    Kozelsky-Sister Martina     b. 9/4/1894     d. 6/28/1985 (Sister of Sister Ursuline)
    Sister Martina was born in Czechoslovakia and came to our Czech community at sixteen years of age. Of her fifty-nine years in teaching, she spent twenty-two years at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Caring for children became her zeal in life as she served the children with a mother’s heart. She attracted children with her humor and participated in all their events especially when she coached sports events. In 1956, when the Orphanage closed, she was heart-broken wondering if the children would be loved when they left. In her retirement years she was so happy when she was asked to assist in baby-sitting for Mothers who had short-term emergencies. The children would be brought to her for care and she gave them a grandmother’s love. In her spare time she stuffed envelopes for the Ray Graham Association for the mentally retarded. Along with Jesus she would love to say: “Let the children come to me and forbid them not.”

    Day 148: June 28, 2020

    Tontlewicz, Sister Ann Louise (a.k.a. Sister Annella)     b. 1/8/1913     d. 6/28/1996
    Sister Ann Louise was short in stature with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Most of her ministry was in some form of food service at St. Procopius College or St. Joseph’s Orphanage. In her last assignment of twenty- eight years, she gave cheerful, loving service to the residents of St. Benedict’s Home for the Aged in Niles. Being very sensitive to the needs of the residents, whenever they were grieving or frightened, she would sit and listen to them, console them and offer prayers for them. With her own suffering she knew how to be patient and unite with God in prayerful petition.

    Day 149: June 29, 2020

    Moniak, Sister Mary Regis     b. 11/20/1905     d. 6/29/1996
    Sister Mary Regis was a lovely, gentle, kind, conscientious and prayerful person. Her loving, gracious nature overflowed into the children she taught. In her last teaching assignment at St. James the Apostle in Glen Ellyn, one could note that while in church, the children would fold their hands, kneel erect and sing out with enthusiasm in response to the Liturgy. The children enjoyed being in church. When she was needed at the monastery to be the sacristan, she again performed her duties meticulously. The beautiful floral arrangements were expressions of her immense joy in serving the Lord.

    Day 150: June 30, 2020

    Day 151: July 1, 2020

    Day 152: July 2, 2020

    Day 153: July 3, 2020

    Spinler, Sister Rose Alice (a.k.a. Sister Mary Anastasia)     b. 3/12/1906     d. 7/3/1980 (Sister to Sisters Adela, Mary Bertha, Mary Wendeline and a twin to Sister Mary Milberg)
    Sister Rose Alice came from a big family proudly raised on a Minnesota farm. With this background, Benedictine community life was easily adjusted to. Her closeness to the earth and family life, prepared her well for gardening, cooking, baking, sewing and particularly, tending to the flowers especially the roses. She was a person who saw only good in people and in the world, grateful to God who is all goodness and love.

    Day 154: July 4, 2020

    Sieg, Sister Carolyn     b. 7/4
    An embroidered verse on a lovely, lace piece hangs on the wall in Sister Caroline’s room. The verse from Psalm 46 reads: “Be still and know that I am God.” This verse inspires Sister Caroline and is her daily source of righteous wisdom and trust in God. In community or wherever she is, she lives in prayerful thought exemplifying her gentle and positive outlook by treating everyone with kindness and understanding; remembering God’s love for all humankind. As a successful principal in the past, she has been invited to be a diocesan mentor for new principals. Thus, she is able to apply again the spiritual guidance based on the many graces she gained through her fruitful years as principal.

    Day 155: July 5, 2020

    Cihak, Sister Mary Evangelist     b. 1/2/1883     d. 7/4/1956
    Sister Mary Evangelist was gifted with high aspirations for her monastic life as well as having a mother’s heart. She spent her life in leadership roles particularly at St. Joseph’s Orphanage where the children would come to her with their troubles, big and small. She always knew how to advise and console them. Her patience and love for the orphans made them feel at home.

    Day 156: July 6, 2020

    Day 157: July 7, 2020

    Day 158: July 8, 2020

    Piha, Sister Mary Hildegarde     b. 9/23/1881     d. 7/8/1970
    Sister Mary Hildegarde taught and then became principal staying in our Benedictine schools for 68 years. In her retirement she served with grace as the Monastery receptionist. It was amazing to see how devoted she was to her family as well as to the Sisters. Annually, during the Easter season, she would invite her entire family clan who would fill the parlor with joy and celebration. She would give attention to them all. What a dynamic scene of family unity and love this was!

    Day 159: July 9, 2020

    Day 160: July 10, 2020

    Knapik, Sister Agnes     b. 7/10
    Sister Agnes grew up in Toronto, Canada, and loved her Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church. When she learned that Sacred Heart Monastery was hoping to found an Eastern Rite community, she visited and was accepted as a candidate in 1960. In 1965, with the other Byzantine Sisters, she went to Warren, Ohio, where they build a beautiful Byzantine Benedictine Monastery. She taught mostly junior high classes and guided the youth ministry program in the parish school until it closed. She loves to read and visit art galleries and appreciates how educational and inspiring many of the TV programs are. She is grateful to God and her sisters for the many opportunities and graces that have been hers over the years.

    Day 161: July 11, 2020

    Feast of St. Benedict

    Day 162: July 12, 2020

    Denissoff, Sister Maria Renata     b. 12/3/1933     d. 7/12/1962
    Sister Maria Renata was born to a prominent family in Belgium. Her father was a university professor and an Eastern-Rite Priest. The family moved to the United States when her father was invited to teach Philosophy at Notre Dame University and Sister Maria Renata came to our Sacred Heart Academy. Being introduced to our Benedictine life, she applied and entered our Monastery soon after graduation. Then, receiving her college degree in Theology, she became the Religion and French teacher at Sacred Heart Academy. Always living an exemplary life of virtue, she had a spiritual closeness to our Lord. The Lord was surely pleased with her, calling her home while she was still young, as she was diagnosed with Leukemia and died at the age of 28.

    Day 163: July 13, 2020

    Day 164: July 14, 2020

    Day 165: July 15, 2020

    Day 166: July 16, 2020

    Day 167: July 17, 2020

    Day 168: July 18, 2020

    Day 169: July 19, 2020

    Day 170: July 20, 2020

    Kolar, Sister Mary Aquina     b. 6/30/1891     d. 7/20/1983
    Sister Mary Aquina had a younger brother, Basil, who also became a Benedictine. Father Basil died a year before she did. When he died she jokingly remarked, “That isn’t fair, I should have died first.” She was known as a witty person peacefully accepting her inconveniences especially in those early days of hardships. She held up well while teaching for 49 years, always displaying an easy-going disposition. Her clever story telling amused her students and gave them a moral lift to live life fully and joyfully in praise of God who made us.

    Day 171: July 21, 2020

    Nadzam, Sister Mary Johanna     b. 6/4/1894     d. 7/21/1965
    Sister Mary Johanna was born in Hungary and spoke the Slovak language. After the early beginnings of our community, she was sent to teach at St. Joseph’s School in Chicago settled by Slovak people. Sister Benita recalled how Sister Mary Johanna was her happy companion in that school and how together they shared their lives with parish members. They liked to visit with the Sisters from St. Vitus too, especially at Christmas time to form a support community.

    Day 172: July 22, 2020

    Soukap, Sister Joan Marie (a.k.a. Sister Ernestine)     b. 7/6/1939     d. 7/21/2004
    Sister Joan Marie was a member of our community, then, sometime later, she was needed to go home to take care of her mother. Upon her Mother’s death, she returned and continued her mission of teaching, this time teaching junior–high students at St. Joan of Arc School. She was a demanding teacher, a good-listener and a friend her students could count on. She made a lasting impact on her students as she challenged them to learn the Christian precepts for life and to spread the Gospel joy wherever they went. Her fruitful life was cut short when she was called to God’s eternal home after suffering from a brain tumor.

    Day 173: July 23, 2020

    Day 174: July 24, 2020

    Day 175: July 25, 2020

    Day 176: July 26, 2020

    Day 177: July 27, 2020

    Nykiel, Sister Karen     b. 7/27
    Sister Karen is the Director of our Benedictine Oblates and meets every month with interested lay people who desire to learn about and share Benedictine spirituality. She offers other spiritual lectures about Biblical characters, especially women. She is conscientiously involved in social justice issues keeping the rest of us abreast of the current issues facing the world. Her involvement in Rotary International Club and PAX Christi Illinois are important to her. Once a professor of chemistry at the College of DuPage she later taught theology and World Religions at Benedictine University. With this background, she has much to offer her audience.

    Day 178: July 28, 2020

    Mack, Sister Charlotte (a.k.a. Sister Paschal)     b. 1/1/1930     d. 7/28/2004
    Sister Charlotte’s parents both died by the time she was 11 years old which brought her to St. Joseph’s Orphanage. At age 15, a family, noticing her to be a mature, level-headed teen-ager, wanted her to take care of their family housekeeping needs which meant leaving the Orphanage for good. At age 18, she took a typing job to support her younger brother who was in a T.B. Sanitarium. Though she was working hard she felt something was missing. At her nephew’s kindergarten graduation at Our Lady of Lourdes School, she reunited with the Benedictine Sisters knowing then, that she too wanted to be a Sister and began the process of becoming a Benedictine. In her religious life, she was able to serve in several roles: teacher, cook, care-giver, sub-prioress and kitchen supervisor. When she became a resident at St. Patrick’s, other residents found her to be a good counselor.

    Day 179: July 29, 2020

    Pasternak, Sister Mary Boniface     b. 8/13/1898     d. 7/29/1969
    Sister Mary Boniface was a trained seamstress known to sew not only for the Sisters but also for the Monks at the abbey and the Orphans at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. She was very faithful to prayer, had a willing spirit to help wherever and a deep sense of gratitude for favors. In her final illness with throat cancer, she was most patient knowing that her suffering was redemptive if offered to God with love.

    Day 180: July 30, 2020

    Matous, Sister Mary Zita     b. 10/28/1866     d. 7/30/1955
    Sister Mary Zita and Sister Benedicta from St. Scholastica’s in Chicago along with Mother Nepomucene from St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania, formed the nucleus of our community on the feast of St. Joseph in 1895. Sister Mary Zita had a very dignified bearing and spoke English with a Czech accent. The younger Sisters loved to listen to her as she related amusing stories about their early years of things that happened in the founding process. She was a cook all her religious life but when she became blind she spent her days in Chapel praying for all the intentions of the community and the whole world. (See also March 19th entry.)

    Day 181: July 31, 2020

    Stasek, Sister Mary Callista     b. 9/29/1897     d. 7/30/1974 (Sister of Sister Mary Leonardis)
    Sister Mary Callista lived a simple, humble dedicated life. By nature she was quiet and tried to be kind toward the Sisters as well as to her students. Teaching was her ministry for 53 years. One of the greatest pride and joys of her life was to see two of her nephews become priests. Both Father George and Father Leonard were diocesan priests in Wisconsin.

    Day 182: August 1, 2020

    Kouba, Sister Christine     b. 8/1
    Sister Christine is a mild, peaceful presence in our community. She enjoys Lectio Divina, which is time set apart for prayerful, scripture reading with meditation; a grace filled daily practice. As a nurse, she is a living example of St. Benedict’s admonition that the greatest care should be given to the sick. Being able to understand Spanish related to the Eucharistic celebration, she worships regularly with a Hispanic Congregation and is awed by their gracious spirituality and hospitality in line with their favorite saying: “Mi casa es su casa.”

    Day 183: August 2, 2020

    Kovalcik, Sister Mary Borgia     b. 3/22/1906     d. 8/1/1925
    Sister Veronica, (later Sister Mary Borgia), was a younger sister to Sister Carolyn Marie (a.k.a. Sister Bonaventure). As a little child, Veronica was cared for at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. She was soon adopted by a family but Sister Carolyn Marie lost track of her whereabouts. Sister prayed fervently that she would be reunited with her little sister someday. Then, when Veronica’s foster mother became terminally ill, she brought Veronica, at 14 years of age, back to the orphanage. Veronica saw how happy Sister Carolyn Marie was to see her, and wanted to become a Sister as well. She was readily received to be a Benedictine receiving the name of Sister Mary Borgia. She proved to be a virtuous, young soul and dearly loved by the Sisters. Five years went by when she contracted T.B. and died at age 19.

    Day 184: August 3, 2020

    Mares, Sister Mary Hilda     b. 3/25/1882     d. 8/1/1974
    Sister Mary Hilda was a teacher at many of our parochial schools. People and students were attracted to her due to her gentle and kind disposition. She made many friends and treated everyone with equal respect. The older Sisters remember her peaceful face that would light up when she saw you. She was one of the Sisters in our founding group as she entered in 1900, living 74 years of our Benedictine life.

    Day 185: August 4, 2020

    Day 186: August 5, 2020

    Malec, Sister Mary Blandina     b. 2/16/1907     d. 8/5/1078 (Sister to Sister Mary Silvia)
    Sister Mary Blandina was a delightful teacher in several of our parish schools. She was sacristan as well for 44 years, the ministry she put her heart and soul into, conscientiously careful about preparing the vessels of the altar for the Eucharistic Celebration, reverently keeping everything neat and clean. In her autobiography she wrote: “I have loved every day of my 54 years in community and I haven’t had a day that I didn’t have something to do.”

    Day 187: August 6, 2020

    Day 188: August 7, 2020

    Day 189: August 8, 2020

    Day 190: August 9, 2020

    Hacek, Sister Mary Adrienne     b. 9/6/1929     d. 8/9/2003
    Sister Mary Adrienne was an activist in promoting the life of the unborn. All of her religious life was devoted to praying for those who had abortions and for those who worked to abolish them. She was an avid reader of current events and shared her strong, personal opinions about the political scene. As an advocate for the right to life, she spent a few years in the Right to Life Program in Washington,     d.C.

    Day 191: August 10, 2020

    Moravek, Marcella Marie     b. 2/15/1928     d. 8/10/2008
    Sister Marcella Marie felt her greatest accomplishment was passing her CPA exam and then was happy to serve the community as the treasurer for several years. In spring and summer, she loved planting and caring for her garden plots. During the holidays she spent time in the kitchen baking bread or pies. She participated in Rotary events and other public events as well. Her final ministry was spent in doing accounting at the Naperville ENT Office which brought her in touch with the Piazza’s; all the doctors, the staff and the whole Piazza family. In her last days, suffering from liver cancer, she arduously walked three times a day for our scheduled prayer times to the chapel, showing she preferred nothing else that was more important than the work of God, as St. Benedict teaches us to do.

    Day 192: August 11, 2020

    Day 193: August 12, 2020

    Faustka, Sister Mary Norberta     b. 10/27/1896     d. 8/12/1971
    Sister Mary Norberta came to Lisle from her native Moravia along with Sisters Mary Electa and Mary Hermenegilde. They followed Abbot Neuzil’s request who came to Czechoslovakia from St Procopius Abbey, to preach a mission recruiting young Christians for a possible, future apostolate in Russia. Though the hope for the mission to Russia never became a reality, Sister Norberta always kept this intention in her prayer, and often, with her clear, lovely voice would sing hymns to herself for that intention. Her ministries included teaching, caring for preschoolers at St. Joseph’s Orphanage, and giving care to senior citizens at St. Benedict’s Home.

    Day 194: August 13, 2020

    Day 195: August 14, 2020

    Day 196: August 15, 2020

    Day 197: August 16, 2020

    Churka, Sister Mary Baptist     b. 8/30/1916     d. 8/16/1969
    At 15 years old, Sister Mary Baptist came to the Monastery ready to give her whole life to God with an open-handed willingness to do God’s will in service to others. According to the Sisters who were taught by her in the primary grades attest that she was an excellent teacher who motivated them to work hard and achieve. Besides loving her work with young children she loved to do sacristy work in the parishes. When diagnosed with malignant cancer she kept pushing herself to the limit for fifteen years by continuing her ministries; obviously in pain but remained joyful. Her sacrificial love remains a model for us to imitate.

    Day 198: August 17, 2020

    Day 199: August 18, 2020

    Kotrba, Sister Mary Maura     b. 12/24/1880     d. 8/18/1956
    Sister Mary Maura’s aim was to make everybody happy; thus she practiced kindness and open-mindedness before she made any judgements. She developed a deep sense of trust in God who was ever on her mind especially when she needed patience. When at The orphanage, while sewing and mending clothes for the children, her mental prayer made silence meaningful. She called St. Joseph’s Orphanage her home as she loved the Orphans and they loved her. She was loved as well at St. Benedict’s Home.

    Day 200: August 19, 2020

    Day 201: August 20, 2020

    Prather, Sister Constance Ann     b. 9/7/1920     d. 8/21/2000
    Sister Constance Ann was a convert to the Catholic faith and when she learned that the Benedictines prayed the Divine Office she knew what she would do. Coming to Lisle to enter monastic life at age 29, was big news. She already had the background of a public school teacher and her mature, loving nature made her adjustment to monastic life quick and easy. Out of her monastic life of prayer and community flowed her ministry as an educator. She taught high school at Sacred Heart Academy which later merged with St. Procopius Academy to become Benet Academy. Her History and Political Science classes were alive- never boring. She loved high school sports and attended student games cheering the teams on to victory. Her passionate outlook for social justice made a strong impact on her students moving them to get involved in positive action in social justice issues. May God bless her for a life well lived!

    Day 202: August 21, 2020

    Biskup, Mother Mary Genevieve     b. 3/25/1882     d. 8/21/1963 (Second Prioress- 1919-1949)
    Mother Mary Genevieve was elected the second prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery and served for thirty years as prioress. Being a charter member of the Congregation of St. Scholastica (later called Federation) gave her a broader view when partnered with other Benedictine Communities especially those who fostered education. In 1920, she introduced the praying of the Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church, an important component of Benedictine, monastic life. Education became a high priority for her. She encouraged higher education for the Sisters. She opened Sacred Heart Academy in the depression years, a boarding, High School for girls in 1926. The construction of our magnificent chapel and the replica of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto ware built during her term as well. Our community farm and garden flourished under her jurisdiction providing most of our fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and meat to feed the Sisters as well as the students. We thank her for her keen, God-given, progressive vision and faith-filled leadership.

    Day 203: August 22, 2020

    Broz, Sister Mary Augustine     b. 8/6/1876     d. 8/23/1956
    Sister Mary Augustine was a well- respected procurator entrusted with the management of our community finances. Her dynamic bartering with company managers in downtown Chicago compelled them to lower prices because she was good at knowing how much an item was worth. She was a careful steward of all properties in the Monastery and it seemed she was present everywhere; in the chapel, in the kitchen, in the altar-bread room, in the laundry, in the yard… always trying to make sure nothing was out of order. She was never idle and provided everything the Sisters needed even the small things like candy.

    Day 204: August 23, 2020

    Tomek, Sister Mary Lucy     b. 5/5/1899     d. 8/23/1983
    Sister Mary Lucy was born in Vienna, Austria to Czech parents in 1899. Like all the Sisters who spoke Czech, she gravitated to our Czech community. She entered Sacred Heart Monastery in 1921. Since our community was invested to serve the Czech people of Chicago, Sister Mary Lucy also became a teacher in the schools staffed by our Benedictine Sisters in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The highlight of Sister Mary Lucy’s religious life, was the opportunity to return to see her aging mother before she died in Czechoslovakia. This was her greatest joy.

    Day 205: August 24, 2020

    Kopecky, Sister Agnes Marie     b. 12/24/1910     d. 8/24/1987
    Sister Agnes Marie came from Texas to study Nursing at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Chicago. When she graduated she was drawn to enter our Community. After professing her vows, she was assigned to be the nurse at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. The Orphans loved her with the love she served them. Later she earned her degree in education and became a primary teacher in our parish schools. Her lifetime hobby was to grow flowers and then surprise the Sisters and her friends with a flower blossom or two on their birthdays, when sick in the hospital or adding joy with a sprig of flowers to the dining room tables.

    Day 206: August 25, 2020

    Gorecky, Mary Ann (a.k.a. Sister Mary Gonzaga)     b. 7/21/1903     d. 8/27/1970 (Sister of Sister Meinrada)
    Sister Mary Ann was born in Czechoslovakia and followed her sister, Sister Meinrada to our Monastery. She always looked forward to another school year and was enthused to be involved with little children. After several years of teaching, she had a chance to visit her aging mother in Michigan who was a source of edification to her. However, soon after she returned she became ill with metastatic cancer. Her resignation to her grave condition was noteworthy as she received the usual treatments, dealt with pain, but was heroically cheerful and united with God.

    Day 207: August 26, 2020

    Jasien, Irene 8/27
    Sister Irene is a gentle, serene and graceful gem. Gifted with not only organizational skills but with a clear vision, is always ready to clean up and make things neat. She knows how to anticipate monastery areas that need order and rejuvenates these areas without being told. As the Villa St. Benedict’s Pastoral Sister, she uses her knowledge of the daily Gospel or local events to pray a spontaneous prayer fitting for the occasion. This she does whenever she brings Holy Communion to the sick in the hospitals or nursing homes, as well as when she makes visits to the residents to bring them cheer and encouragement.

    Day 208: August 27, 2020

    Jilek, Sister Helen     b. 8/27
    Sister Helen is our community treasurer and is in charge of our buildings and grounds. She is the official person to purchase whatever is needed in our monastery and provides a personal budget for the Sisters. Observing St. Benedict’s Rule, she is a faithful steward and wise manager. Her alert watchfulness of our facilities, keeps everything in well-kept order. Being responsible to provide the necessary equipment and supplies for our International Sisters who are students at Benedictine University or the College of DuPage. She is generous with her time and provisions and is always ready to help us with whatever is needed.

    Day 209: August 28, 2020

    Novotny, Sister Mary Teresa     b. 12/3/1870     d. 8/28/1900
    Sister Mary Teresa entered our community from Iowa. She loved music, knew how to play the organ and, to the delight of the Sisters, brought her organ with her. Along with teaching, she was willing to do even the most menial work. During the epidemic that was raging at this time, she succumbed like so many others, but she patiently endured her diagnosis out of love for Jesus, dying at age 29.

    Day 210: August 29, 2020

    Kurtin, Sister Mary Gregoria     b. 8/17/1890     d. 8/28/1979
    Sister Mary Gregoria was wonderfully kind, humble and enjoyed being with everyone and anyone. As a teacher she gained the respect and loyalty of her students through her understanding, discipline and compassion. When she retired, being a handy seamstress, she spent time in the Occupational Therapy Room making lovely, doll outfits to be sold in the gift shop.

    Day 211: August 30, 2020

    Hornicak, Sister Mary Prudentia     b. 9/8/1908     d. 8/30/1942
    Sister Mary Prudentia came to the Monastery in good health made her first vows and spent two years in teaching after which she was diagnosed with T.B. Since she had not yet professed her perpetual vows, she was going to be sent home. However, she proved worthy to stay in religious life and wanted to make perpetual vows. By God’s grace, when she professed her vows she was cured. She was again able to continue teaching in good health. Ten years later, she began to suffer from severe headaches, had brain surgery but did not survive, dying at age 34.

    Day 212: August 31, 2020

    Skolout, Sister Mary Procopia     b. 7/13/1904     d. 8/31/1931
    Rose Skolout (later Sister Mary Procopia) was a five year old child when she was brought to St. Joseph’s Orphanage by her father, who was a wealthy widower from Kansas. Since he decided to become a Benedictine Brother at St. Procopius Abbey, he left little Rose to the care of the Sisters at the orphanage. As a child she suffered with rheumatic fever but at 15 years old she wanted to become a Benedictine Sister and was accepted in the Monastery as she was humble and obedient. She became Sister Mary Procopia and taught as a music teacher for a few years. However, suffering with rheumatism and developing a heart problem she died at age 27.

    Day 213: September 1, 2020

    Day 214: September 2, 2020

    Day 215: September 3, 2020

    Day 216: September 4, 2020

    Hartwig, Mother Mary Louise     b. 2/5/1914     d. 9/4/2007 (Fourth Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery- 1961-1973)
    Mother Mary Louise was a talented, confident and an unafraid individual whose giftedness was destined to prepare her for leadership. Her growing-up years at our Lady of Lourdes School in Chicago provided her with a solid, Benedictine foundation which continued with her enrollment in the first, freshman class at Sacred Heart Academy in Lisle. Living with Benedictine Sisters, she was ready to enter Sacred Heart Monastery, learn the monastic life-style according to the Rule of St. Benedict and continue her college education. Excelling in Math, Latin, French and Commercial Subjects as well as learning to play the organ, she became a teacher at the Commercial High school at Our Lady of Lourdes and later was assigned to teach at Sacred Heart Academy. However, her greatest gift to our community was to initiate the changes of Vatican II as she was elected prioress during that time. Relying on the timeless guidance of God’s wisdom, she introduced the community to praying the Divine Office in English rather than Latin, and presented the norms of the renewal of religious life to be developed in harmony with the Gospel, as the Catholic Church was opening its windows to let in fresh air and a new understanding of its mission.

    Day 217: September 5, 2020

    Koukal, Sister Mary Veronica     b. 3/22/1877     d. 9/5/1961
    Sister Mary Veronica was small in stature but profound in her spiritual life. Considered to be an angel in her ministries, both at St. Procopius College Kitchen and St. Joseph’s Orphanage, she practiced silence reverently to obtain grace for those who needed spiritual help. Whenever there was a young Sister or someone that was inexperienced working with her, she would choose the harder part of the work to alleviate the strain of the other person; modeling charity and humility. Even until she was near death she continued to keep her eyes on the Lord in prayer and stayed busy working without stopping; fleshing out the Benedictine moto: Ora et Labora.

    Day 218: September 6, 2020

    Day 219: September 7, 2020

    Day 220: September 8, 2020

    Day 221: September 9, 2020

    Forst, Sister Mary Emiliana     b. 10/1/1894     d. 9/91976
    Sister Mary Emiliana, was very appreciative of her Benedictine life keeping her encounter with the person of Jesus strong. Her teaching mission in our elementary schools proved to inspire her to be content. Among the Sisters she was known for her ingenious way of giving an instantaneous retort to an ordinary statement turning a serious conversation into a clever, light-hearted, humorous ending.

    Day 222: September 10, 2020

    Day 223: September 11, 2020

    Day 224: September 12, 2020

    Sefcik, Sister Mary     b. 11/2/1010     d. 9/13/2001
    Sister Mary Sefcik, as a common sense 14-year-old, wanted to help out with her family’s dire finances and applied for a job at a cookie factory in Chicago. She lied about her age saying she was 16 and was hired. When she entered the monastery, her cookie factory experience was her diploma to be a cook and baker for the rest of her days. She was a dutiful soul with a child–like eagerness to be helpful wherever she was needed. When the Knights of Columbus set up BINGO in our gym, Sister Mary would be there every Sunday, hoping and praying to win to be able to present her money to a good cause. As she was dying she asked for a paper and pencil and wrote: “I love everyone here” completing her intent of saying “thank you” to us.

    Day 225: September 13, 2020

    Svec, Sister Agnes Ann     b. 12/31/1924     d. 9/13/2018 (Sister to Sister Barbara Ann and Father Denis of St. Procopius Abbey)
    Sister Agnes Ann studied nursing at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Chicago and after completing her training, became a surgical nurse at that hospital. On one occasion when Sister Immaculate was visiting a patient there, she happened to meet Sister Agnes Ann and invited her to visit the Sisters at our Monastery. This visit gave Sister Agnes Ann the incentive to become a Benedictine. With Sister Agnes Ann’s background in science, she became a physiology and biology teacher at Sacred Heart Academy and after getting a degree in psychology, she became a Guidance Counselor at Benet Academy. One summer, at the invitation of Father Alban, the Benedictine Prior of a Taiwan Priory, she and Sister Immaculate traveled to Taiwan to teach English as well as to nurture the Catholic faith with the friendly, Taiwanese people.

    Day 226: September 14, 2020

    Day 227: September 15, 2020

    Day 228: September 16, 2020

    Day 229: September 17, 2020

    Day 230: September 18, 2020

    Day 231: September 19, 2020

    Lattyak, Sister Mary Ladislava     b. 12/12/1889     d. 9/20/1957 (Sister of Sister Valentina who later joined Our Lady of Sorrows Community)
    Sister Mary Ladislava was born in Austria-Hungary and spoke only Czech or Slovak; she actually never learned to speak English. She entered our community at the time our Academy was being built. Having had experience in baking, she was taught how to bake using our new, large, commercial ovens to supply bread and baked goods to feed the Sisters as well as the academy students amounting to over 250 persons. Her ministry was vital as in those days, bread and bakery was always homemade in our monastery.

    Day 232: September 20, 2020

    Pavlas, Sister Mary Magdalene     b. 7/7/1900     d. 9/20/1981
    Sister Mary Magdalene was a gentle, soft spoken, peace loving person and was happy to be busy. She did domestic work in the parish convents where our Sisters taught. She not only did the cooking, baking and shopping (she was known for baking her special, rye bread) but offered her service to be an extraordinary minister to distribute Holy Communion to the people in Church. That to her was her greatest and most fulfilling joy.

    Day 233: September 21, 2020

    Day 234: September 22, 2020

    Day 235: September 23, 2020

    Day 236: September 24, 2020

    Day 237: September 25, 2020

    Zelinka, Sister Mary Paula     b. 4/12/1914     d. 9/26/1990
    Sister Mary Paula was orphaned as a child and was cared for in various homes until she was invited to live in a good, Catholic home when she started high school. She worked for her room and board and the family was pleased with her. Being a Mormon, and seeing the example of this good Catholic family, inspired her to become a Catholic. She came to the monastery with an open-heart and mind ready to submit to whatever she would be given to do. She gave the senior citizens loving care for 21 years at St. Benedict’s Home then came back to the Monastery helping with the sick in the infirmary, working in the altar bread department, preparing fruits and vegetables for canning and did baby-sitting for babies and toddlers while their mothers worked. On occasion, she would surprise the sick sisters with a picture-perfect, delicious, apple-pie. It was wonderful how Sister Mary Paula gave of herself in such a happy way to do everything for God’s glory.

    Day 238: September 26, 2020

    Major, Sister Rosalie Marie     b. 9/26
    Hospitality is synonymous with Sister Rosalie Marie. At 102 years old, she wakes up in the morning to greet her care giver with a happy smile. Then, she comes to breakfast, driving her scooter, smiling and looking fresh and blest while greeting the Sisters. She continues to participate in the Villa St. Benedict activities and especially likes the Thursday Night Bingos because she can assist the other elderly people (who are younger than she) in finding the spots to help them win. Being dearly loved by her few, living family members as well as her many friends and students, she is still gratefully remembered and honored.

    Day 239: September 27, 2020

    Day 240: September 28, 2020

    Day 241: September 29, 2020 Guardian Angel

    Day 242: September 30, 2020

    Vlach, Sister Mary Felicitas     b. 10/28/1913     d. 9/30/1980
    Sister Mary Felicitas was born in Czechoslovakia and came to the U.S. as a child. When she was a teenager she began to discern her vocation which led her to become a Benedictine in Lisle. Her English was good, she had a lovely, singing voice, was robust and full of energy. This allowed her to be given many varied roles throughout her religious life. She worked in food service, sewing room, the bakery, altar bread room, sacristy, and on completion of her nursing assistance certification she worked at Edward Hospital and later was in charge of our Sisters’ infirmary. She was chosen as one of the cantors at Mass as well as for Divine Office. She enjoyed life to the fullest, quick to laugh, play a challenging game of cards and had a knack of reaching out to the elderly, the sick and the lonely. Her life reflected God’s loving kindness.

    Day 243: October 1, 2020

    Day 244: October 2, 2020

    Jandura, Sister Mary Irmengarde     b. 7/20/1913     d. 10/2/1984
    Sister Mary Irmengarde had a long and fruitful ministry of 52 years. Her last mission was at St. Joan of Arc in Lisle where she was especially revered. Sister Carolyn, the principal, recalled that she was generous with her time, kept educationally abreast, and with her quiet, confident manner, helped her students achieve to their fullest potential. The parents of her students loved her and showered her with flowers and messages of gratitude on the last days of her life. It was noteworthy that she died on the feast of the Guardian Angels, a Godly acknowledgement for her angelic, innocent life of love.

    Day 245: October 3, 2020

    Kerka, Sister Mary Bernadette     b. 11/11/1900     d. 10/3/1986
    Sister Mary Bernadette is remembered for her Czech accent, and a seeming grumpy disposition, but in getting to know her, she had a heart of gold. If you were sick, you went to her for sound, medical assistance since she was the infirmarian, both for the Sisters and academy girls, and if you had visitors you would tell her as well, as she was the guest mistress. Her down-to-earth hospitality made her genuine and lovable. She was always devoted to young people and in her golden years she delighted in Benet Academy’s “Adopt a Sister” project during which she enjoyed visiting with new, high school friends.

    Day 246: October 4, 2020

    Day 247: October 5, 2020

    Day 248: October 6, 2020

    Day 249: October 7, 2020

    Day 250: October 8, 2020

    Bratrsovsky, Sister Mary Immaculate     b. 4/3/1907     d. 10/11/1997 (Sister of Sisters Annunciata and Alma)
    Whenever Sister Mary Immaculate’s name is mentioned it is usually associated with her 15 years role as the principal of Sacred Heart Academy. Her manner was stately and her speech and grammar impeccable which put the students in awe of her. She taught English literature and loved teaching poetry. At the table while eating, she taught the academy girls etiquette as well as to chew their food 32 times. In her later years she joined the staff at Benet Academy and spent most of her time in interviewing the seniors as a counselor; the results of which were sent to the colleges they applied to. Most of all, she had a fervent devotion to Mary Immaculate, her patron saint and intercessor.

    Day 251: October 9, 2020

    Kucirek, Sister Mary Alphonsa     b. 10/28/1892     d. 10/12/1968
    Sister Mary Alphonsa was a loving, charitable woman who was able to do most anything. As a result, she was sent to wherever help was needed. She was a teacher in our parochial schools, an accountant at St. Joseph’s Orphanage and last of all, she was sent to St. Benedict’s Home for the Aged where she became a friend and helper to those elderly folks. To them there was nothing more consoling to them than to see a Sister who loved life and who was in her golden years just like they were, who really understood what they needed. She loved to pray with them, join them in in a game of cards at recreation and be ready to be a good listener to their worries. How greatly they loved her presence with them and she loved them dearly as well.

    Day 252: October 10, 2020

    Svec, Sister Barbara Ann     b. 10/2/1938     d. 10/10/2018 (Sister of Sister Agnes Ann)
    Sister Barbara Ann was no stranger to hardships and suffering. Even before the age of 2, she already had surgeries due to a rare blood disease called hemangioma. At age 26, she had a right leg amputation above the knee. However, with determination, she learned to drive with her left leg as she was a “tough cookie.” At Benet Academy, before the full use of technology, she was the curriculum coordinator. At the Monastery she gathered information for the archives and had hobbies like scrapbooking, postcard collecting and crocheting. At prayer she served as cantor for Vespers or Mass and had a special devotion to her guardian angel who she called on especially whenever she traveled, something she looked forward to even when she no longer could drive.

    Day 253: October 11, 2020

    Form, Sister Joanne     b. 10/11
    Sister Jo Anne is our creative, art genius. The computer is now her instrument in developing beautiful cards, images to fit special occasions and any personal projects the Sisters need to be embellished with art. In the past she used her apt fingers to do calligraphy, macramé and quelling techniques before the computer was available. Her bulletin board displays for special occasions are a marvel, symbolizing in art form the life of a Sister being celebrated or other significant occasions. The Sisters appreciate her seemingly, overwhelming project in printing out daily leaflets for our Divine Office that cover the whole Liturgical Year cycle.

    Day 254: October 12, 2020

    Tuma, Sister Mary Gilbert     b. 3/1/1923     d. 11/12/2014
    Sister Mary Gilbert was a motherless child as her mother died four hours after her birth. As a result, her father had to place her into an orphan home. As a teenager he brought her to St. Joseph’s Orphanage from where she was able to attend high school at Sacred Heart Academy. Though she found it hard to fit in, Sister Mary Borgia became aware of her musical talent and encouraged her not only to study violin and piano with her; but was for her a mother figure someone who she always craved for. After her high school studies she joined the Benedictine Sisters and served our community for over 70 years. She was a kindergarten teacher, gave private, music lessons, baked altar breads, prepared them for shipment to parishes and was in charge of the monastic dining room. She was a responsible and very successful addition to our community.

    Day 255: October 13, 2020

    Spinler, Sister Mary Milburg     b. 3/12/1906     d. 10/13/1983 (Sister to Sisters Bertha, Wendeline, Rose Alice and Adella)
    Sister Mary Milburg was animated with zeal for God and for working in community. Ever aware of our Benedictine motto: “Ora et Labora,” she spent most of her years giving of herself wholeheartedly in taking care of chickens, ducks and turkeys on our Benedictine farm, having a keen insight of the different behaviors of each poultry group. She was as well, gifted in creating arts and crafts items and with her green thumb grew indoor and outdoor plants and flowers. Like her four Sisters in religious life, her life was genuine and unassuming. Being raised on a well- ordered, Minnesota, family farm where all the children participated in barn or outdoor chores, she knew what it meant to be responsible and cooperative with everyone around her.

    Day 256: October 14, 2020

    Dobos, Sister Marion     b. 10/14
    Sister Marion is on a faith journey among the growing population of the Byzantine, Eastern-Rite, Catholic Church. Though she belongs to the Benedictine Community in Warren, Ohio, she is missioned in Pittsburg as the Director of Pastoral Formation at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in the Archdiocesan Eparchy of the Byzantine Church in America. In addition, she is the Archdiocesan Director of Religious Education for all levels. Having a background in Education and Administration, as well as Pastoral Ministry, she oversees the performance of the Seminarians at the parish level, gives conferences for women to keep them abreast of Vatican II teachings, and conducts the Cana Program for those preparing for marriage. In her calm, efficient, organized and pleasant ways, she celebrates what God is doing in her hope-filled life, confident that God is multiplying her efforts a hundred fold every day.

    Day 257: October 15, 2020

    Jan, Sister Mary Scholastica     b. 4/26/1891     d. 19/13/1983
    Sister Mary Scholastica was a highly motivated religious, with teaching and administrative abilities. Through her years, she taught high school and college, was supervisor of our parish schools, principal of Sacred Heart Academy, and Community secretary, as well as treasurer. The more recent Academy students knew her as a science teacher with advanced knowledge of physiology able to teach the nurses in the Aurora hospitals. She treasured her Benedictine way of life and was always ready to use her wide range of knowledge for the good of every member of our community.

    Day 258: October 16, 2020

    Day 259: October 17, 2020

    Hurcik, Sister Margaret Mary     b. 3/16/1881     d. 10/18/197
    Sister Margaret Mary was born in Moravia, Czechoslovakia and when her family came to the U.S. they settled in St.
    Vitus Parish where she came in contact with the Benedictine Sisters. She was a jovial and patient teacher for 32 years but due to her gradual loss of eyesight and other disabilities, she was brought back to the monastery where she helped where she could but mostly helped by praying the rosary for requested intentions. Her love for music and her ability to play the piano, filled her days as she took to the piano with great pleasure entertaining not only herself but anyone else who heard her playing.

    Day 260: October 18, 2020

    Ruda, Sister Mary Clarissa     b. 10/20/1905     d. 10/18/2004
    Sister Mary Clarissa was a healthy, “Rock of Ages” all her life whose hope was to live to be 100 and she almost made it. While growing up on the family, Kansas farm, she was a precocious child ready to take over jobs and tells gratefully, how she raised her younger brother from baby hood, as well as helping with farm chores. In the Monastery while being a full time teacher, she was also the organist, playing for all the Masses, Novenas, Weddings and Funerals plus giving music lessons. Being proud of her Czech heritage and her ability to speak Czech, she often said that she knew her Czech as well as her English. At the robust age of 97, we remember how she would scout the campus picking up pop cans and coins, able to send the money it brought her, to a priest missionary who was her former student. Representing the community at the groundbreaking ceremony for our Villa St. Benedict-(age 97), with vigor, she spiked the shovel into the ground with the zest of a winning athlete. She died at age 99 still “feeling fine”.

    Day 261: October 19, 2020

    Stava, Sister Mary DePaul     b. 10/19
    Whenever anyone thinks of Sister DePaul they most likely think of her jokes and marvel at her ability to have memorized them. To a new group of people she will readily tell the story of “Rindercella” (the letters are concocted from the story of Cinderella) or the medical version of “Bones” as she does a comedian’s act. She is known as our secret Santa, not only at Christmas time but whenever anyone needs cheering-up for a birthday occasion. However, she is most gratefully appreciated for her ability to read at Mass and Divine Office because her enunciation and clear voice make hearing no effort for those listening.

    Day 262: October 20, 2020

    Bohounek, Sister Elizabeth     b. 5/16/1877     d. 10/20/1949
    Sister Elizabeth, born in Bohemia, Czechoslovakia joined the pioneer Benedictine Sisters in 1900 during the early days of their formation in Lisle. The Sisters were needed both at St. Joseph’s Orphanage where she served for some time and then at St. Procopius College kitchen where she became the superior of the Sisters with whom she worked. She was well known there as being an exemplary follower of St. Benedict’s Rule and an edification to all the Monks and students. In her retirement at the Monastery, she was very happy to help in the sewing room as well as to lead a monastic life of prayer with the Benedictine Community achieving a close relationship with her loving Savior.

    Day 263: October 21, 2020

    Polak, Sister Christina     b. 7/27/1885     d. 10/21/1918 (Sister of Sister Barbara)
    Sister Christina was welcomed with open arms by Sister Barbara, her blood sister, when she decided to join the Benedictine Community. Having already had work experience, Sister Christina did not need much training; being well suited for an important task. Thus, she was assigned to ST. Joseph’s Orphanage where the Orphans needed much attention. During those difficult times of World War I, influenza began to rage in the Chicago area as well as in the whole world. Sister put her whole heart and soul into caring for the children until all the sick children recovered. Then, feeling very exhausted, she too was diagnosed with the disease. With a fervent desire to remain faithful to God, she had the privilege of pronouncing her perpetual vows before she died at age 33.

    Day 264: October 22, 2020

    Day 265: October 23, 2020

    Day 266: October 24, 2020

    Day 267: October 25, 2020

    Day 268: October 26, 2020

    Day 269: October 27, 2020

    Day 270: October 28, 2020

    Day 271: October 29, 2020

    Day 272: October 30, 2020

    Spinler, Sister Mary Bertha     b. 1/27/1895     d. 10/30/1962 (Sister of Sisters Adella, Rose Alice, Milburg and Wendeline)
    Sister Mary Bertha, of the five Spinler Sisters from Minnesota, was the first to request to enter religious life. At age 11, she was entrusted to teaching her younger brothers and sisters their prayers. She also was an avid reader of the Czech, children’s monthly magazine (Pritel Ditek) sent with the Czech Catholic newspaper (Katolik) published by the Benedictine Fathers at St. Procopius Parish in Chicago. The author of the children’s paper was Abbot Procopius Neuzil and little Frances (Sister Mary Bertha) wrote to him asking if there was a convent in Chicago. He immediately wrote to Mother Nepomucene to correspond with Frances, so she did. The parents of Frances, however, held her back not letting her enter the convent until she was 18. On entering, she was soon followed by her four other Sisters. Remaining conscientious throughout her years, always kind and prayerful, it was said that Sister Mary Bertha shined like a precious jewel in our Community and that glow was contagious.

    Day 273: October 31, 2020

    Founderess & Graves: Nepomucent, Genevieve & Amelia

    Day 274: November 1, 2020

    Chapel Vigil Lights

    Day 275: November 2, 2020

    Prayer at the cemetery

    Day 276: November 3, 2020

    Day 277: November 4, 2020

    Janota, Sister Mary Delores (Dolorosa)     b. 9/22/1895     d. 11/4/1978 (Cousin of Sister Celine Laketak)
    Sister Mary Delores was an exceptional science teacher starting on the elementary level then high school and on to the college level. To many of the Academy students she is still remembered for her stimulating Biology and Botany classes. Wanting the SHA Academy girls to be able to identify every tree and some plants on campus, she took the students on campus field trips for these visual studies. She made learning not only interesting but fun.

    Day 278: November 5, 2020

    Harvanek, Sister Mary Raymond     b. 5/3/1904     d. 11/4/1992 (Sister of Sisters Mary Agatha, Cecilia, Xaveria, and Innocencia)
    Sister Mary Raymond is remembered as having a stern face and piercing brown eyes. In school, she expected her students to be observant of her classroom rules and meant business with her piano students as well. Her prayer and work life was well ordered as she had a set schedule for her private prayer as well as her assigned duties. Remembering her two Sisters, Sisters Xaveria and Innocencia who died very young, she was most grateful to God for her 70 years of religious life.

    Day 279: November 6, 2020

    Mother Riepp Benedicta

    Day 280: November 7, 2020

    Grave of Mother Riepp Benedicta

    Day 281: November 8, 2020

    Bratrsovsky, Sister Mary Annunciata     b. 1/25/1909     d. 11/8/1981 (Sister of Sisters Immaculate, and Alma. Niece of Sister Mary Coletta, Cousin of Sister Marie Bartek and Aunt of Sister Mary Bratrsovsky)
    Sister Mary Annunciata had a cordial, gentle, witty disposition even though she suffered from childhood polio. Learning how to sew from her mother, she became a professional seamstress here in the Monastery sewing our traditional habits and other items of importance. When her mother was in need of hospice care, Sister Mary Annunciata went back to Denver to take care of her until she died the following year. For a number of years, Sister Mary Annunciata played the organ to accompany the Sisters’ chanting the Divine Office. Never complaining about her poor health she proved to be a most, valuable Benedictine in her loving, willing way.

    Day 282: November 9, 2020

    Brazda, Sister Mary Bernard     b. 3/18/1903     d. 11/8/1981
    Sister Mary Bernard’s father died before she was born and with her mother’s second marriage, her step-father disciplined her to play the piano and organ. At age 5, she sat at the organ in her parish church to play and praise the Lord while her brothers pumped the pedals as she could not reach them. Coming from Omaha to Lisle at age 15, she was immediately able to gift the community and the future parishes where she would teach with her musical talent as well as with her beholden personality for the next 80 years in religious life. In her later years, she became blind but remained valiant as she sat in darkness exuding the light of her generosity. With her dresser drawer full of chocolates to serve her many visitors, she was able as well to favor her sweet tooth at ready service.

    Day 283: November 10, 2020

    Kral, Sister Mary Clara     b. 10/30/1883     d. 11/10/1966
    Sister Mary Clara was a regal woman positioned to teach and take the leadership role of principal. Most of her years were spent at Our Lady of the Mount in Cicero, Illinois. She loved the Sisters and the students in the school being ever ready to give advice with her thoughtful wisdom gleaned over the years. With her talented fingers, she crocheted beautiful items as gifts or for valued prizes at Church festivals. Her life was cheerful and grateful for her 65 years of Benedictine life.

    Day 284: November 11, 2020
    Pineapple Stairs

    Day 285: November 12, 2020

    Tichota, Sister Mary Marcella     b. 3/10/1887     d. 11/12/1939
    Sister Mary Marcella was among the pioneer Sisters who accepted, with faith in God, the challenges of the poverty of those early days. Talented not only in teaching, she was very artistic and was asked to help the Sisters who were teaching to decorate their classrooms. She took art and business lessons from the B.V.M. Sisters at St Pius School who lived a few blocks from St. Vitus. She always gave a hand at the St. Vitus Parish entertainments and was someone to go to if help was needed.

    Day 286: November 13, 2020

    Bartek, Sister Marie (Sister Colettine)     b. 6/21/1914     d. 11/14/1981 (Niece of Sister Coletta, Cousin of Sisters Immaculate, Alma and Annunciata)
    Sister Marie was always jovial and had a reputation to be a gracious receptionist extending her warm welcome to all guests, as St. Benedict advises us to do. Most of her ministry years were spent in elementary school with the junior high level. She showed a great interest in her students by keeping in touch with some of them over the years. In her later years she taught fine art at Benet Academy and in the Monastery was able to showcase her art work displaying her God given talent.

    Day 287: November 14, 2020

    Vesely, Sister Mary Charlotte     b. 5/22/1918     d. 11/14/2008 (Fifth Prioress-1973-1985)
    Sister Mary Charlotte preferred to be called Sister instead of Mother in accord with Vatican II norm, practice followed by subsequent prioresses. She was a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and upon entering the Monastery, she became a dynamic presence in our community. Her Kate Smith’s, contralto voice was not only beautiful, but was also the energy that supported our Benedictine Sisters’ chapel choir as long as she lived. Being a happy, friendly person, she won the hearts of everyone who got to know her. As a Sacred Heart Academy English and Music teacher and class advisor, as well as when she taught or was principal in our parish schools, she was dearly loved. When elected the fifth prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery, she initiated the renovation of the former Sacred Heart Academy building which had already been vacated in 1967 due to the merge that formed Benet Academy. It was then, in 1977, that the Academy building was duly refurbished to become the new, modernized version of Sacred Heart Monastery. Our grateful community owes Sister Mary Charlotte many thanks!

    Day 288: November 15, 2020

    Naudzius, Sister Mary Gertrude     b. 11/27/1916     d. 11/15/2004
    Sister Mary Gertrude lost her mother at age 6. Being obliged to work, her father was unable to take care of his three children and chose to place them under the care of the Benedictine Sisters at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Lisle. Sister’s life was happy there and she gradually developed into a responsible teenager with the Benedictine Sisters as her mentors. She admired the Sisters and decided to follow their footsteps, entering Sacred Heart Monastery at age 19. Given the name of Gertrude in the Monastery, she read the life of St. Gertrude of Helfta, a 14th century Benedictine who became her model for the rest of her life. Throughout her life in ministry, as she conscientiously taught children, or as the monastery building cleaner, which was a monumental job, she was in awe of God’s loving presence. Her prayer life went beyond the daily, community chanting of the Divine Office. She prayed the fifteen decades of the Rosary as an added conversation with Mary and her Son, Jesus. Her saintly, joyful life was an inspiration to us all and we are grateful for having had her presence among us.

    Day 289: November 16, 2020

    Statues of St. Benedict & St. Scholastica
    The statues of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica at the front entrance

    Day 290: November 17, 2020

    Statues of St. Gertrude and St. Scholastica
    The statues of St. Gertrude, who is...., and St. Scholastica can be seen ? in the Lobby.

    Day 291: November 18, 2020

    Spinler, Sister Mary Wendeline     b. 5/26/1892     d. 11/18/1978 (Oldest Sister of Sisters Adela, Rose Alice, Milburg and Bertha)
    Sister Mary Wendeline came from a large Minnesota, farm family. As a Benedictine, she lived a humble, productive life usually cooking for the Sisters who were teaching in parish schools. She appreciated having been a farm girl and relished the beauty of nature and the outdoors. When the Mallard Ducklings were hatched on our rock-pond island on our monastery grounds, already in her golden years, she would watch over them and feed them with scraps of food from the table. Once as she was taking a walk on the road in the back of the kitchen, the ducklings were seen following her as if she was their mother. What a precious sight it was even though she did not know they were behind her.

    Day 292: November 19, 2020

    Cerveny, Sister Mary Angela     b. 9/21/1893     d. 11/19/1928
    Rose Cerveny, (later given the religious name, Sister Mary Angela) came to the monastery as a little, 13 year-old, orphan girl. She looked sweet, seldom spoke but her smile made her face light up so the Sisters nick-named her Rosebud. She was eager to make vows but due to her young age she had to wait. When she told the spiritual director about her desire to make vows, he replied, “Yes, my dear, the Lord Jesus would want you to make vows, but the Lord Bishop would kick about it.” As she matured and made vows, she was given charge of the kitchen. She proved to be a good cook, was orderly, exact and virtuous. She liked to surprise the dishwashers by cleaning up after her food preparation leaving only a few pots or spoons for them to finish washing. However, in her 33rdyear, she was diagnosed with T.B. and died a tranquil death ready to meet her loving Savior.

    Day 293: November 20, 2020

    Lobby Painting (1/6): Sister Instructint Children
    The six paintings in the Lobby are the work of Mr. Malin (Malinovich) of Chicago, who was born in Yugoslavia. He had academic training in Church decorations.
    The theme of this painting was chosen to reflect our principal ministry at the time, which was teaching in parochial schools. This Benedictine tradition of teaching the young goes back to the time of St. Benedict when Maurus and Placid were taught in the monastery.
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 294: November 21, 2020

    Lobby Painting (2/6): Madonna and Child
    The six paintings in the Lobby are the work of Mr. Malin (Malinovich) of Chicago, who was born in Yugoslavia. He had academic training in Church decorations.
    The Infant has always been deeply venerated by the Czechs. (Czech Sisters are the founders of our convent.) The Infant's face is that of an adult. This was the ancient mystic way of depicting the wisdom of an adult.
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 295: November 22, 2020

    Lobby Painting (3/6): The Baptism of Bozivoy
    The six paintings in the Lobby are the work of Mr. Malin (Malinovich) of Chicago, who was born in Yugoslavia. He had academic training in Church decorations.
    Bozivoy, the duke of Bohemia, was the husband of St. Ludmila. He is pictured here being baptized by St. Methodius. Ludmila has previously embraced Christianity.
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 296: November 23, 2020

    Lobby Painting (4/6): St. Wenceslaus Distributing Bread to the Needy
    The six paintings in the Lobby are the work of Mr. Malin (Malinovich) of Chicago, who was born in Yugoslavia. He had academic training in Church decorations.
    St. Wenceslaus is the patron of Czechoslavakia. He was the grandson of St. Ludmila. In disguise and often in the dark of night, he visited the poor of his country and alleviated their poverty by distributing break and wood. In legend, he is known as “Good King Wenceslaus.”
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 297: November 24, 2020

    Lobby Painting (5/6): The Sacred Heart of Jesus
    The six paintings in the Lobby are the work of Mr. Malin (Malinovich) of Chicago, who was born in Yugoslavia. He had academic training in Church decorations.
    The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the patron of our Community.
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 298: November 25, 2020

    Lobby Painting (6/6): The Last Meeting of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict
    This meeting is recorded in the dialogues of St. Gregory.
    (The explanation of these paitings was obtained from Sister Electa shortly before her death. She had much to do in the choosing and the direction of these paintings.)

    Day 299: November 26, 2020

    Vavrunek, Sister Mary Rose     b. 1/21/1884     d. 11/27/1969
    Sister Mary Rose, known always as a grateful Sister, died on Thanksgiving Day in 1969. The day was appropriate as she was a model of saying “thank you” or spreading encouragement to those who found life difficult. To know her or to interact with her was to become a better person for her confidence in you was so admirable. Like so many of our pioneer Sisters, she was never discouraged with the poverty, or the seemingly hopeless future as she trusted that God was present and would always make things right. Her hope in the future was eternal life and that was something beyond any one’s imagination worth striving for.

    Day 300: November 27, 2020

    Stola, Sister Sharon Marie     b. 11/27
    Sister Sharon Marie has been commissioned for several years now to work in the Diocese of Joliet as the head of the Office of Divine Worship and the Catechumenate. Among her many duties in this position, she is responsible to plan diocesan ceremonies and incorporate every culture and nationality represented in the diocese for active participation. Besides this commitment, she is assisting in a diocesan parish being in charge of the liturgy there as well. In Community, she is the sub prioress and is active on the monastic council. In juggling her leadership responsibilities, she maintains a tireless effort to manage each location with proficiency.
    Day 301: November 28, 2020

    Day 302: November 29, 2020

    Brisko, Sister Mary Borgia     b. 9/13/1887     d. 11/29/1965
    Sister Mary Borgia was well known as giving Sister Mary Gilbert violin and piano lessons and becoming her protégé. Truly, Sister Mary Borgia was a talented music teacher like her Prague, Czechoslovakian, ancestral musicians. Besides giving music lessons, she had many duties in the Academy. Overseeing the dining rooms was one of them as well as being the Sister who would roll out the food wagon at 3 o’clock p.m. with fresh bakery for the girls’ after classes snack. With a twinkle in her eye she stood and watched the girls devour the bakery. She knew that the girls were hungry and she enjoyed seeing the camaraderie and the conversation of excitement over the best part of the students’ day.

    Day 303: November 30, 2020

    Day 304: December 1, 2020

    Sedlacek, Sister Mary Beatrice     b. 11/2/1887     d. 12/1/1964
    Sister Mary Beatrice was one of the early pioneers about whom an early history had not been written. Later, Sister Martina, who had worked with her in the orphanage was asked to compile memories of her. Sister Martina wrote that when Sister Mary Beatrice had the ritual service of her first vows, she dutifully returned immediately to St. Procopius College kitchen after her ceremony was over since there was no substitute to replace her. Later, most of Sister Mary Beatrice’s work was at St. Joseph’s Orphanage where she took care of pre-school children. She was described as a short, joyful Sister who had a lot of patience and was very devoted to the little children in her care.

    Day 305: December 2, 2020

    Jindrich, Sister Mary Florence     b. 4/25/1913     d. 12/1/1993
    Sister Mary Florence had a zest for life, loved music, had a lovely, trained, soprano voice and was able to praise God while leading the Sisters as a cantor for most of her life at Divine Office or Mass. She particularly loved to sing Gregorian chant, but out of chapel, was ready to sing any popular tune at the spur of the moment. Many of her favorite years of service were spent as a freshman advisor and English teacher (she loved Shakespeare) at Sacred Heart Academy but she also enjoyed teaching on the elementary level. She gave herself wholeheartedly to teaching and developed projects that kept her students highly motivated.

    Day 306: December 3, 2020

    Day 307: December 4, 2020

    Kacmarek, Sister Mary Martha     b. 12/4
    Sister Mary Martha is the newest member of the Byzantine Benedictine Sisters in Warren, Ohio. She was born in Chicago and was baptized and chrismated (confirmed) at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Chicago. Her pastor, Father Bereczky, invited the Sisters of St. Basil the Great from Uniontown, PA to open a parochial school at the parish. The Sisters also moderated the Sodality of Our Lady for young ladies at the parish, and it is there that Sr. Mary Martha had contact with these Sisters. After graduating from college, she entered the Sisters of St. Basil the Great. However, health issues prevented her from staying. By 1966, she regained her health, resumed her interest in pursuing religious life, and joined the new Byzantine Benedictine Community being formed in Warren. There, she continued teaching math on all levels, gave piano lessons, and visited the sick parishioners. Presently, she monitors the community finances and faithfully follows the Rule of St. Benedict with gratitude.

    Day 308: December 5, 2020

    Day 309: December 6, 2020

    Day 310: December 7, 2020

    Day 311: December 8, 2020

    Francl, Sister Mary Generosa     b. 9/10/1918     d. 12/8/2008 (Sister of Sister Marie Therese-- a.k.a. Sister Innocencia)
    Sister Mary Generosa was a journalist with a Masters’ Degree in English. With her background, she was able to teach English at Sacred Heart College in Alabama as well as at our local Benedictine University, having already taught in our elementary schools, and having been principal of Sacred Heart Academy. Thanks to her, she was instrumental in starting our Lisle Benedictine Women magazine which still continues to be published today. She spent her later years as a librarian at St. James and St. Scholastica Schools. Her special dedication to the Blessed Mother inspired her to share her devotion to Mary by corresponding with devotees in other parts of our country.

    Day 312: December 9, 2020

    Day 313: December 10, 2020

    Day 314: December 11, 2020

    Koliha, Sister Mary Lioba     b. 1/6/1884     d. 12/11/1959

    Sister Mary Lioba was a highly respected Sister expressly for the wisdom she shared which was unique and trustworthy. As a principal she gave the Sisters, who were teaching with her, encouragement and reminded them of their Christian responsibility to make character formation in their classes a priority. She inspired the students to a higher sphere of thinking; already being ahead of her times. Bishop Grutka gave her high praise for being instrumental in inspiring him in his vocation to the priesthood with her deep-seated wisdom. Besides teaching, Sister was an artist being known for her liturgical symbols and for sewing these designs on the priests’ vestments.

    Day 315: December 12, 2020

    Day 316: December 13, 2020

    Day 317: December 14, 2020

    Lesak, Sister Mary Rosalia     b. 9/2/1904     d. 12/14/1991
    Native of Czechoslovakia, Sister Mary Rosalia came to the U.S. as a teenager. In her early twenties she joined our Benedictine community after having worked for an American family who embraced her for her cheerful manner and outgoing personality. In Community she was exceedingly active with an attitude to accomplish her mission. She served as a sacristan, cooked in the kitchens of our parish convents (always honored for her extra-special, light and fluffy dumplings), baked altar breads and prepared them for shipping to parishes and last of all, baked over a 100 Lamb Cakes for Easter every year, which were shared not only with the Sisters, but with the Alumnae, the Abbey Monks and the Oblates who served the Benedictine Chinese Missions.

    Day 318: December 15, 2020

    Kallus, Sister Josephine (Sister of Sisters Andrea, Angelica, Mary Agnes and Virginia)     b. 12/15
    As a former hairdresser, Sister Josephine takes pride in keeping the beauty shop in order and when needed, still likes to be called to set a Sister’s hair. She enjoys using her culinary skill as well to cut up fruit and present an attractive platter to the delight of the Sisters. Always an early bird, she is known to be at Divine Office and Mass way before time and is seen engaged in serene prayer; basking in the presence of the Lord. On her monastery floor, she works on puzzles and participated in the Villa St. Benedict activities.

    Day 319: December 16, 2020

    Lenoch, Sister Magdalene     b. 2/17/1872     d. 12/15/1928
    Sister Magdalene was tall, slender, reserved and calm; reflective of her beautiful, prayerful soul. She enjoyed working in the St. Procopius College kitchen, at St. Joseph’s Orphanage kitchen as well as helping the Novice Mistress at the Monastery. During recreation she was known to inspire the Sisters by relating stories about the lives of the saints or talking about other edifying topics related to her beloved Bohemia. Being a model of practicing the virtues of the Holy Rule, it was said that if the Rule of St. Benedict were ever lost, it could be rewritten from observing Sister’s conduct.

    Day 320: December 17, 2020

    Trefny, Sister Mary Celestine     b. 5/1/1887     d. 12/18/1959
    Sister Mary Celestine was a prized seamstress sewing the children’s clothes at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. She was very neat about everything she did and taught the orphans to be the same. During her supervision hours of the orphans at play, she maintained a jolly disposition and angelic patience. Like St. John Bosco, she excused the children’s shenanigans except if they were hurtful to themselves or others; then only she would step in. In her golden years at the Monastery she worked with the fruits and vegetables grown on our farm preparing them for canning or serving for meals, The Sisters found out later that the day she died, her own brother died as well exactly on the same day. Their eternal joy must have been doubly blessed.

    Day 321: December 18, 2020

    Jasurda, Sister Benita     b. 7/11/1928     d. 12/18/2018
    Sister Benita was an amazing person who brought joy and laughter into her daily ministry. Why would she? Well, because she knew that JESUS was JOY and that was who she wanted to be like. Thus, she chose monastic living which was dear to her heart. Born on the feast of St. Benedict and named for St. Benedict she was linked to Benedictine prayer forms: the Divine Office, Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer. Actually, she was the contact person for the local Contemplative Prayer Outreach which included facilitating weekly Centering Prayer meetings at the monastery. She was the first woman president of the Rotary Club, the first woman campus minister at Benedictine University, Sub-Prioress at the monastery and was in charge of the formation of the Oblate Program for lay members who wanted to live the Benedictine values. Her goal in life was to live in the present moment and above all, trust in God.

    Day 322: December 19, 2020

    Day 323: December 20, 2020

    Pavlik, Sister Barbara     b. 12/20
    Sister Barbara treasures her family upbringing in the Byzantine Catholic Church which is steeped in the tradition of feasting and fasting. In her beginnings with the Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle, she developed a community spirit of Prayer and Work: “Ora et Labora”. Now, as a Benedictine Sister, she is able to continue to create a quiet space within her heart to hear God’s calling in the prayer and work form of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. Living in a small community she has served in every possible role: in education, administration, clerical and book keeping work, catechetical training and is now the administrator of Queen of Heaven Monastery as well as the Catechetical coordinator of SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Warren, Ohio. She has even authored a religion education book series called: God with Us which is used in Byzantine parishes. She is very happy to be where she knows God wants her to be.

    Day 324: December 21, 2020

    Polhorsky, Sister Leocadia     b. 8/13/1893     d. 12/23/1917
    Sister Leocadia had a fervent desire to become a vowed Benedictine, but was a sickly person. She had been an orphan at St. Joseph’s Orphanage and wanted to continue being with the Sisters. She tried hard to follow the schedule of the monastery. She did not like to talk about her health because she was afraid she would not be allowed to make vows. However, when her diagnosis of Asthma became serious, she affirmed with gratitude the love the sisters gave her and fortified with the sacraments, died at age 24.

    Day 325: December 22, 2020

    Suk, Sister Mary Vaclava     b. 4/22/1887     d. 12/23/1955
    Sister Mary Vaclava was childlike and petite and had a satisfied spirit with everything she was told to do. Most of her days were spent working at St. Procopius College kitchen but she was ready to go wherever. Having come from Bohemia, she had a special, fervent devotion to the Infant of Prague and was a meditative soul. Though she frequently suffered from Asthma attacks, she was very patient and long-suffering.

    Day 326: December 23, 2020

    Spinler, Sister Mary Adella     b. 7/5/1899     d. 12/23/1982 (Sister of Sisters Milburg, Bertha, Rose Alice, and Wendeline)
    Sister Mary Adella started out teaching in our elementary schools but soon became hearing impaired and had to discontinue. Being a practical, humble, hard-working person she was happy to return to gardening, managing our large laundry and raising poultry on the farm; duties she was used to when growing up on their Minnesota farm. She was such a dear soul who kept up with her daily horarium of prayer and was very helpful and willing to introduce the young Sisters to her outdoor work which she managed so conscientiously. Her expertise and kindness were so appreciated.

    Day 327: December 24, 2020

    Day 328: December 25, 2020

    Schafer, Sister Hermenegilde     b. 2/20/1900     d. 12/25/1995
    Sister Hermenegilde, along with Sisters Electa and Norbeta left their native homeland of Moravia, Czechoslovakia, inspired by Abbot Procopius Neuzil, OSB, from our local Abbey, to further the cause of Christ. The three immigrants were going to be formed in Lisle to be missionaries in Russia as Communism had taken over and religion could no longer be practiced there. However, the overthrow of Communism was not forthcoming and the three Sisters were soon enveloped into the mainstream of community living. After having professed their vows of Obedience, Stability and Conversion of Morals Sister Hermenegilde, being a seamstress of quality, became the community seamstress needed to sew the Sisters’ habits who numbered over a hundred. Though she served as Novice Mistress for several years as well, she was highly motivated and capable of self-educating herself in every role she played.

    Day 329: December 26, 2020

    Brejka, Sister Marie DeLourdes     b. 10/27/1902     d. 12/27/1995
    How could anyone forget Sister Marie De Lourdes who was a born actress? Well, she loved to dress up as some character she invented and entertain us with her quirky, imaginative and very funny performances that filled our special days with hilarity. Normally, however, she was thoughtful and serious known for her secretarial work, her teaching in commercial school, well versed in teaching speech and drama at Sacred Heart Academy and for her hobby which was to collect angel figurines symbolically giving them charge of families, students, the poor and neglected, the elderly and children. These collectables were used to remind her to sing Psalm 148/ “Praise God, all ye Angels, Praise God all creation” as she enjoyed life.

    Day 330: December 27, 2020

    Choi, Sister Johanna     b. 12/27
    Our little, Korean Sister, Sister Johanna, was happy to become a United States citizen a few years ago. In her growing-up years, she experienced the horrors of living during the Korean War. However, through the boundless mercy of God she was led to our Sacred Heart Monastery in 1999, and is happy to be here. Now, with her natural talent in music, she tirelessly and delightfully prepares the daily basics of our Liturgy, uses her beautiful voice to cantor and is always mindful of St. Benedict’s prayerful instruction: “Let nothing be preferred to the work of God;” a message that is central to the life of a Benedictine Sister.

    Day 331: December 28, 2020

    Pallus, Sister Mary Mechtilde     b. 7/3/1873     d. 12/29/1946
    Sister Mary Mechtilde was diligent as she worked in food and cleaning services in our parish convents or in the Orphanage. She was satisfied with the poverty of the early days when there was so much scarcity of money and food. With her devotion to her Benedictine patron, Saint Mechtilde, whose life reminded her to stay cheerful and to love everyone and be grateful, made her someone to admire. Her final days were offered to God with love and much patient suffering as she died due to cancer of the esophagus.

    Day 332: December 29, 2020

    Harvanek, Sister Mary Agatha     b. 7/15/1895     d. 12/29/1977 (Sister of Sisters Raymond, Cecilia, Xaveria and Innocencia)
    Sister Mary Agatha had a long and fruitful ministry. She taught for 33 years in our elementary, parish schools and was principal for 22 years. She believed in having well-ordered discipline in the classroom and was very helpful to the young Sisters who were coming in as first-year teachers. She spent time with them to help organize their lesson plans and provide them with practical procedures in classroom management. She was single-minded and cheerful in her purpose of serving God and in her ministry wanted to be friends with everyone even with those who thought she was too strict.

    Day 333: December 30, 2020

    Day 334: December 31, 2020

    Konopa, Sister Mary Eupharsia     b. 10/18/1896     d. 12/31     d. 1952 (Sister of Sisters Juliana and Colomba)
    Sister Mary Euphrasia had a pleasant disposition and was very approachable. She applied herself dutifully as she loved teaching children. Being an artist, she was able to assist the other classroom Sisters who were teachers with their art projects or classroom decorations. Her last year of teaching was interrupted during the Christmas vacation as she died suddenly leaving an empty space in our hearts as well as in the hearts of the children she taught.

    Day 335: January 1, 2020

    Charouz, Sister M. Petronila     b. 10/17/1986     d. 1/1/1931
    Sister Petronila was known as a very charitable person as she dedicated herself to kitchen work at St. Procopius College in Lisle. She spent her later years in Joliet at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish Convent cooking for the Sisters who were teaching in the school and was most appreciated and loved by the Sisters.

    Day 336: January 2, 2020

    Fucik, Sister Mary Florentine     b. 12/22/1881     d. 1/3/1973

    Sister Mary Florentine was a model Benedictine. She was a steadfast worker, strong in her convictions, honest in her expressions and loving to both her family and religious community.

    Day 337: January 3, 2020

    Knakal, Sister Mary Roberta     b. 10/10/1930     d. 1/3/2010
    Sister Mary Roberta is fondly remembered for her purity; there was no duplicity in her mind or heart. Her daily devotion to playing the organ, three times a day and year after year for community liturgical services was a self-giving virtue. Expanding on her music and math talents, she meticulously composed chants and antiphons that are still in use today. What a wonderful legacy of love and inspiration she left for all of us.

    Day 338: January 4, 2020

    Bebb, Sister Margaret Bebb     b. 10/30/ 1926     d. 1/4/2013
    Sister Margaret Bebb was drawn to the Catholic Church while studying music in Paris. On her return to Texas she became friends with our Benedictine Sisters in Wichita Falls which led to her becoming the Queen of Peace Parish Choir Director and organist there. After visiting our Benedictine Monastery in Lisle, she decided to give up her prestigious, music accomplishments with the church choir and her students to become a Benedictine in Lisle. What a blessing she was to Sacred Heart Monastery.

    Day 339: January 5, 2020

    Harvanek, Sister M. Innocencia     b. 8/31/1902     d. 1/4/1918
    Sister Innocencia was a sixteen-year-old candidate to monastic life who suffered from tuberculosis. Since she was sincere in her desire to remain in the Monastery and desiring to serve Christ as a Benedictine she was clothed with the religious garb on her deathbed. Thus, she died as an innocent child but a professed Benedictine as well. In her dying statement she said her first words in arriving in Heaven would be: “Praised be to Jesus Christ.”

    Day 340: January 6, 2020

    Bunda, Sister Mary Otilia     b. 4/6/1885     d. 1/4/1962
    Sister Mary Otilia was a Benedictine pioneer beginning her teaching mission at St. Vitus in Chicago. She loved children and later was sent to care for the Orphans at St. Joseph Orphanage in Lisle. She was a quiet person, practiced silence with reverence but liked to listen to the Sisters tell their stories at recreation. She was known to have worked diligently for the glory of God.

    Day 341: January 7, 2020

    Konopa, Sister Mary Juliana     b. 8/27/1918     d. 1/4/1965
    We remember Sister Mary Juliana as a Home Economics Teacher at Sacred Heart Academy. Sister had a caring approachable style and was always willing to assist the girls in their sewing projects or their food preparations. Above all, the Sisters appreciated her as well, as she had a solid, loving, generous personality and often shared her cooking and sewing tips with those who needed help.

    Day 342: January 8, 2020

    Duleba, Sister Mary Constantia     b. 9/13/1900     d. 1/6/1968
    Sister Mary Constantia had a spirit of perpetual youth and loved teaching children. She had a deep compassion for challenged learners and devoted more time in helping them. As the principal at St. Joseph School in Chicago for many years, she valued the lives of children; their spontaneity, and their desire to be respected. The students and especially the Sisters who lived with her delighted in her kind, servant leadership.

    Day 343: January 9, 2020

    Vrba, Sister Mary Casimir     b. 1/12/1894     d. 1/6/1993
    Sister Mary Casimir was a universal soul who lived in simplicity, full of joy, hope and loving service. Living at the Monastery all of her monastic life, she performed a vast variety of duties such as vegetable gardening, upholstering furniture, painting wherever needed and much more. Her saintly life of prayer continued to be fervent including her 99th year as she set aside everything else to be present in chapel for all the liturgical services.

    Day 344: January 10, 2020

    Sipek, Sister M. Ludwina     b. 8/19/1886     d. 1/10/1944
    Sister Ludwina was an immigrant from Moravia as were several other Sisters in our community. For most of her years in the monastery, she skillfully directed the kitchen staff to cook the meals for the sisters and also the meals for the girls in the early years of Sacred Heart Academy. Though appearing shy and retiring, she enjoyed a good joke and would chuckle until tears ran down her cheeks. In spite of her kitchen responsibility, she would always be punctual for prayer.

    Day 345: January 11, 2020

    Day 346: January 12, 2020

    Day 347: January 13, 2020

    Day 348: January 14, 2020

    Bratrsovsky, Sister Mary     b. 1/14 (Eigth Prioress- 2011-Present)
    On January 1944, MaryB was born and the world was never the same and will never be the same. Sister Mary, our prioress, manifests all the qualities of servant leadership. Her approach is to develop a loving community by reaching out to every Sister and understanding her personal gifts and needs. She not only visits the sick at home but visits the sick from Villa St. Benedict regularly. Every day she inspires us with a meditation related to Scripture or the Rule of St. Benedict and is ever aware of our Ora et Labora environment: Prayer and Work. Her love of God’s earth is evidenced in her tending to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes; grooming it by uprooting the weeds and beautifying it with flowers.

    Day 349: January 15, 2020

    Day 350: January 16, 2020

    Koliha, Sister M. De Sales     b. 3/22/1896     d. 1/17/1923 (Sister of Sister Mary Lioba)
    Sister DeSales displayed a beautiful disposition by loving both her vocation and her teaching mission. However, with the symptoms and progression of tuberculosis, her health rapidly declined and she died at the age of 26.

    Day 351: January 17, 2020

    Francl, Sister Maria Theresa (a.k.a. Sister Innocencia)     b. 10/4/1910     d. 1/17/1968 (Sister of Sister Mary Generosa)
    Sister Maria Theresa overflowed with self-giving qualities and was a constant source of edification being committed to the Benedictine motto: “That in all things, God may be glorified ”. As a principal in a school and as a local superior she was a servant leader. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she left her mission post at the parish school but was determined to participate wholeheartedly in the Liturgy of the Hours at the Monastery living up to the saintly innocence of her name.

    Day 352: January 18, 2020

    Dzurko, Sister Ann Lucille (a.k.a. Sister Modesta)     b. 11/21/1913     d. 1/17/2006
    Sister Ann Lucille carefully applied her organizational skills in her teaching which helped her students learn responsibility and make good choices. She imparted deep devotion to God as well reminding the children about God’s loving presence. The motto: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” was the pattern of her life.

    Day 353: January 19, 2020

    Tesar, Sister Mary Alberta     b. 3/2/1920     d. 1/18/1983
    Sister Mary Alberta listened well, as Benedict instructs us to do in his Rule, and was always ready to help at a minutes notice. She enjoyed the simple things of everyday living. Her high school students remembered her as a happy, endearing teacher. As she grew older, cancer dealt her a blow but she remained patient, never complained, giving a smile to all who visited her in her suffering.

    Day 354: January 20, 2020

    Felong, Sister Mary Crescencia     b. 4/23/1896     d. 1/20/1980
    Being a committed person to the Community and to her teaching role, Sister Mary Crescencia had a sweet smile and quick sense of humor but she could also show her outright strength. A story is told of her ability to control a challenging 8th grade class of boys. In her Benedictine habit, she simply rolled up her sleeves in front of the boys and said: “I’m from Chicago, I can handle all of you, ” and she did.

    Day 355: January 21, 2020

    Day 356: January 22, 2020

    Day 357: January 23, 2020

    Wagner, Sister Mary Raphael     b. 9/10/1896     d. 1/23/1990
    Sister Mary Raphael gave herself with her whole heart and mind to the service of God and to her Benedictine Community. She was a gentle woman and with love brought out the best in each Sister who taught in the schools where she was principal and she treated the children with the same love as well. Due to her open mindedness, she created a high, morale climate in the parish schools.

    Day 358: January 24, 2020

    Day 359: January 25, 2020

    Novak, Sister Mary Coletta     b. 1/7/1893     d. 1/25/1972 (Related to Sisters Immaculata, Annunciata, Alma, and Mary Bratrsovsky and Marie Bartek)
    Sister Mary Coletta had a large stature as well as an enormous, work-load stature that extended from the vegetable garden to the apple orchard to the bee hives to the book-bindery and onward. Having a close relationship with the make-up of her work properties. for example, she could name every apple tree’s location by heart without being present in the orchard. She was always busy but the happiest when she was the busiest.

    Day 360: January 26, 2020

    Day 361: January 27, 2020

    Burianek, Sister Mary Anna     b. 12/21/1882     d. 1/27/1950
    Sister Mary Anna developed a love for nature from living on the farm and marveled at the unfolding of each new season. She applied this same awe in developing personalities of the children she worked with at St. Joseph Orphanage. In making donuts one day, the children were told not to eat the donuts, however, when they were finished she told them they could eat the donut holes because of their good work. How awed Sister was to see the natural goodness of children as they grew and blossomed before her eyes.

    Day 362: January 28, 2020

    Konopa, Sister Mary Columba     b. 4/10/1900     d. 1/28/1991 (Sister of Sisters Mary Juliana and Euphrasia)
    Sister Mary Columba had a genuine sensitivity in relationship to the Sisters and Students. Her clever, humorous remarks and her positive graciousness made her an attractive person; a delight to be with, work with and learn from. These qualities emanated from her dedication to prayer and her consciousness in centering her life on the love of God and love of neighbor.

    Day 363: January 29, 2020

    Gorecky, Sister Meinrada     b. 10/27/1904     d. 1/29/2003 (Sister of Sister Mary Ann, a.k.a. Sister Gonzaga)
    Sister Meinrada was born in Czechoslovakia which had a natural connection for her in joining our Czech Community. In the monastery and on mission in parish schools, she was a bundle of joy, a good sport and served to provide good humor for the Sisters. She was a good cook and made sure she would always taste the food before she served it. Like Mary and Martha in the Gospel, her hope was to practice living the Beatitudes.

    Day 364: January 30, 2020

    Day 365: January 31, 2020

    Day 366: February 1, 2020

    Obrtlik, Sister M. Angela     b. 9/29/1908     d. 2/1/1945
    Sister Angela was one of the first students at Sacred Heart Academy. Having learned about the Benedictine Life during that time, she was ready to enter the Monastery right after High School. Though her health was not good, she came alive when she was teaching, especially when she taught the middle-school girls at Sacred Heart Academy. Her health declined, however, and she died quite suddenly at age 36.

    St. Vincent’s Archabbey in LaTrobe, PA 1846

    Abbot Boniface Wimmer

    Abbot Nepomucene

    Started at St. Procopius in Chicago

    St. Walburga

    St. Procopius Academy, College, and Abbey

    St. Procopius Academy, College and Abbey. 1902 Benedictine Sisters worked in the college.

    Sacred Heart Monastery in the 1920s

    Sisters purchased land in Lisle in 1905. Opened Sacred Heart Monastery 1912.

    Sacred Heart Monastery

    Fresco of St. Benedict & St. Scholastica

    Last Conversation Stature

    Last Conversation Print

    Bratrsovsky Clan

    Path to Maticka
    In the wooded area behind the cemetery and across the creek, this path led to “Maticka” (Mary’s shrine)


    Maticka Dedication 1922

    St Joseph Garage

    Solemn Blessing Cemetery
    Solemn Blessing Cemetery 1920
    Statue & Momnument 1922

    Corner Stone 1929

    Cemetery 1980s

    Cemetery 2007

    Cemetery Head Stones

    Foundress Prioress Cemetry

    Mother Genevieve Grave

    Mother Aemilia Grave

    Sunken Garden 1950

    Guadrian Angel

    Sunken Garden Flowers

    Sunken Garden 2009

    Sunken Garden

    Rock Garden East
    No Windows on porches


    Grotto old

    Grotto Weeding
    A labor of love

    Grotto Arch South

    Grotto Mary
    Put a link to watch video

    Maple Road 1972
    Article Date and photo copyright

    Ground Breaking 2003

    Road Cemetery Bob
    Good bye to Rob’s house – 2002

    Aerial View 1980

    Sacred Heart Monastery/Villa St Benedict
    southwest corner

    SHM Entrance -Present
    Where the old gym was.

    OSB Medal

    Listen with the ear of your heart

    The Archives Space
    The Archives room prior to the 2004 remodeling.

    A Rendering by Dupage-County of Villa St. Benedict-Benedale
    Benedate, a contining care retirement Community -Villa St. Benedic. The Hallmark is the Hospitaltity, Stewardship, Respect & Justice.

    Gift Shop

    Peace & Justice Ministry
    Dupage Pads & Years & where

    Peace & Justice Ministry
    Pax Christi

    New Car April 12, 1934
    $600 was allocated for the purchase of a new car. Sisters Augustine and Editha with Nick Lubovitch

    Brother & Sister Relationships
    18 familes

    The Spinler Sisters

    The Bratrsovsky Sisters

    The Gorecky Sisters

    The Kallus Sisters
    From Tx

    Community Picture 1999
    In front of the old SHM entrance facing the sunken gardens

    Monastic Institute 1980
    This Monastic Institute was held at St. Procopius Abbey on June 22-July 11, 1980. In this picture, the Sisters and the Monks are Listening to a conference given by Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

    The Great Peace March (600 Strong Marchers)
    in 1986, The Great Peace March camped on our grounds enroute from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. They presented us with a sapling to plant in the name of peace. This Peace Tree –a message of PEACE to their hosts wherever they stayed overnight.
    Early the next morning, they were on their way (on foot) leaving no trace of their stay behind. Their official name was: The March for Global Nuclear Disarmament.
    We planted The Peace Tree in our front lawn.

    Sewing Room

    Teaching Ministry
    Sister Patricia

    Teaching Ministry
    Sister Rosalie

    Teaching Ministry
    Sister Loretta

    Teaching Ministry
    Sisters Carolyn and Patricia

    Teaching Ministry
    Sister Joan Marie

    Taize Prayer
    Rename File

    Altar Bread Ministry
    In 1994, the sisters produced 40,000 hosts/day working Monday thru Friday serving 85 parishes.

    Music Ministry
    Conservatory & Performance

    Academy Gym Class 1930-1967?

    Rosary Time with Sister Rosalie
    On the west porch? faithful until recently...

    Recreation Time
    Playing Cards