Celebrating 125 Years-April 2020

BENEDICTINE SISTERS
OF THE SACRED HEART

1910 Maple Ave
Lisle, Il 60532

BYZANTINE BENEDICTINE
SISTERS

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

 

Celebrating 125 Years of Lisle Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery

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.

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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 to accomodate the residents of Villa St. Benedict. Father Richard Vosko provided the liturgical design for the renovation. 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.

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