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.