Sister Susanne Thome is a native of Rice Lake, Wisconsin and was a parishioner of Holy Trinity in Haugen where she came in contact with the Benedictines and joined the community in Lisle. The daughter of the deceased Fred and Lydia Thome, Sister Susanne is one of several siblings: Raymond, Larry, the deceased Bernard Thome, Mildred, Betty Sirek, Agnes Hrouda, and Audrey Bilodeau.
Serving as a cook at St. Procopius College, now Benedictine University, and at Sacred Heart Monastery in her early years, most of Sister Susanne’s life in ministry was spent serving at St. Benedict’s Home for the Elderly in Niles, Illinois. Sister Susanne served the residents in Niles from 1961 until 1990, at which time she returned to the monastery in Lisle. Sister continues to assist wherever help is needed, especially in the kitchen.
Since the sisters no longer do their own cooking, Sister Susanne assists Sister Lois Jean in the Sacristy, does some housekeeping duties but is especially involved with Hospitality Ministry with the Villa St. Benedict residents where she is known as a "Holy Roller". In this ministry she walks with. or pushes wheel chaired confined residents to the Beauty Salon or Performance Enhancement Center for specialized exercise. She spends time with the Villa Residents by visiting them one on one and she enjoys being with them for activities such as bingo, arts and crafts and holiday parties.
by Sister Helen Jilek
“She and I come from the same home town, Haugen, Wisconsin, and went to the same grade school taught by the Benedictine Sisters.”
“Most of her years in ministry were spent at St. Benedict’s Home in Niles, Illinois, doing the cooking for the residents there.”
“Sister Susanne is a generous, general sub; she subs in the sacristy, she subs when needed in collecting the garbage and she subs in cleaning up the servery.”
“Her important ministry is “holy rolling” the residents of Benedale Center to the Pec Center or beauty shop.”
“She loves to celebrate with good food and lots of good cheer.”
“She plays Santa Claus for Abbey Lane every year.”
“She helps to prepare the popcorn and Friday night treats with Sister Josephine and goes shopping with her.”
“She is always in Chapel way before time for Mass and prayers.”
“When Sister Patricia misplaces things, she comes to look and always finds everything.”