Sister Anna Hertel, SSMO
Sister Anna Hertel, SSMO

St. Mary of Oregon Sister Anna Hertel, a former superior general of her religious order and educator, has died. She was 76.

Sister Anna was born May 30, 1937, the second of 12 children of Raymond and Agnes Hertel. She attended St. Matthew Parish School and St. Mary of the Valley (now known as Valley Catholic). She attended Marylhurst College, Gonzaga University, Portland State University, and Lewis and Clark College.

Sister Anna was received as a novice in 1955, and made her perpetual profession of vows in 1960.

She served as a teacher and/or principal in the following locations: St. Mary of the Valley, Beaverton; Sacred Heart, Tillamook; St. Peter, Spokane; Holy Cross, Portland; Christ the King, Milwaukie; St. Matthew, Hillsboro; St. Agatha, Portland; and St. Cecilia, Beaverton.

From 1985 to 1995, Sister Anna served as the Superior General of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. During her two terms in this role, many developments occurred including: Beginning of the Associate Program and the Bethany Center Program; Opening of the Little Flower Development Center (now known as the Early Learning School); Renovation of the Motherhouse, including centralizing the library; Opening of the Priests’ Retirement Facility; Renovation of Our Lady of Lourdes Convent for formation; Changing Valley Catholic to a co-educational High School; Consolidation of Development Offices for Community and entities on campus; and, Development of a strategic plan for the campus.

After earning a certificate in Theological Study from the Jesuit School of Theology in 1996, she served as a pastoral associate for 11 years – first at St. Monica in Coos Bay and then at St. Clare in Portland. From 2007 to 2010, she served as the formation director for incoming postulants and novices. When the community began the ESOL (English Students of Other Languages) Program in 2011, she quickly became part of the program and was successful in helping several students obtain citizenship. When she could no longer teach, she became the “greeter” of the students as they arrived for classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Her last day of service in this way was Dec. 5.

A Vigil Service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Motherhouse Chapel. Interment will be Thursday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Sisters’ Cemetery.