|2/22/2012 3:00:00 PM|
Four Benedictine Sisters celebrate jubilees
Benedictine Sisters photo
Srs. Alberta Dieker, Joeine Darrington, Dorothy Rausch, Christine Rausch
MOUNT ANGEL — Four Benedictine Sisters celebrated jubilees at Queen of Angels Monastery in February. Sister Joeine Darrington marked the 75th anniversary of her monastic profession, while Sister Alberta Dieker celebrated her 70th, and Sister Dorothy Rausch and Sister Christine Rausch both celebrated 60 years as Benedictines.
Sister Joeine, 96, was born in Nihill, Mont. in 1915 and moved to Oregon in 1932 at age 17. She entered the Sisters and professed religious vows on Feb. 11, 1937. Sister Joeine received a bachelor's degree from Mount Angel Seminary and went on to earn her master's degree at the University of Oregon. Her doctoral degree is from the University of Portland. She spent 44 years in education, both as a teacher and principal, working at a number of schools, including Mount Angel Academy and College, John F. Kennedy High School, North Catholic High School, and Molalla Public Elementary. She served as principal of Mount Angel Academy for nine years before its closure in 1964.
Following her retirement from teaching, Sister Joeine continued in active ministry, including serving as alumni director for the former Mount Angel College and Academy, working as a house-sitter, and tutoring Spanish-speaking seminarians.
Sister Joeine also was a volunteer at the Oregon Correctional Institution for 10 years. As the community’s eldest member, she uses email and writes letters to stay in touch with alumni, friends and donors of the community. Sister Joeine was one of 30 Benedictine men and women featured in the book The Wisdom of the Benedictine Elders (BlueBridge, 2005).
Sister Alberta, 91, was raised in Fleming, Colorado and moved with her family to Mount Angel in 1938 at age 18. She enrolled in Mount Angel Normal School the following year. She made her profession of vows on February 10, 1942, and began her career as an elementary school teacher in Silverton and Mount Angel. She earned undergraduate and master's degrees from St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in European History from the University of Oregon.
Sister Alberta is the author of A Tree Rooted in Faith, a history of Queen of Angels Monastery published in 2007. Sister Alberta taught history and other subjects for 46 years at Mount Angel College, Mount Angel Seminary and Eastern Oregon College. She also served in leadership positions, including prioress of her community for four years (1983-87), president of the Oregon Catholic Historical Society for nine years, and executive secretary of the American Benedictine Academy for six years. Sister Alberta received the 2006 Bishop Francis Leipzig Award for significantly contributing to the study of Catholic history in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007 she received a papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, for her contributions to the Archdiocese of Portland.
Sisters Dorothy and Christine Rausch were born 13 months apart to Marie and Charles Rausch of Rupert, Idaho. Dorothy and Christine dreamed of becoming nuns early in life through the inspiration of the Holy Cross Sisters who taught them in summer vacation school. Following their high school graduations in 1949, the two sisters traveled from their home to Mount Angel, entering the Benedictine Sisters' community sight unseen in August 1949. They both professed vows on Feb. 10, 1952. In 1953 their sister, Regina, joined the community as well.
Sister Dorothy, 81, has been involved in a variety of ministries during her 60 years as a Benedictine Sister. During her early years in the community, she worked in the monastery kitchen and laundry, and spent time doing household work and cooking in the Sisters' mission houses. Returning to Mount Angel, she worked again in the Sisters' kitchen, as well as in the kitchen at Mount Angel Abbey. From 1960 to 1980 she was in charge of the Sisters' large laundry operation. Although hip and knee surgeries have limited her physical activity, Sister Dorothy continues to help out in many areas at the monastery. She fills in at the telephone switchboard as she has for 50 years, and also works in the monastery library and archives.
Sister Christine Rausch, 80, earned a bachelor's degree in education from Mount Angel College and a master's in religious education from Seattle University. She spent 18 years as a teacher in the primary grades in the Benedictine Sisters' schools in Oregon City, Albany, Lebanon, Silverton and Mount Angel. She also served as a principal for five years in Mount Angel.
Sister Christine also worked for 30 years in parish ministry in Mount Angel and Stayton, serving as director of adult religious education and the catechumenate. In 2000, she retired from outside ministry, but she remains active in various roles for the monastery. She assists in maintaining the community's archives, in liturgy planning and in other tasks around the monastery.
The Benedictines established their Oregon monastery in 1882. The Sisters' major ministries include Shalom Prayer Center, a retreat and spiritual renewal center, and St. Joseph Shelter and Mission Benedict, programs that provide housing, food, clothing and emergency assistance to homeless families and individuals and those in need. At present, the Benedictine Sisters have 39 professed members, two women in formation and 80 oblates.