Jubilarians Part 1 – The Diamonds

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Jubilarians Part 1 – The Diamonds

August 15, 2012, eight Sisters celebrated their Diamond Jubilees at Eucharist in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel.

Congratulations to these Sisters!


Sister Estelle Panger– 80 years

Estelle Panger, OSB 

Sister Estelle Panger from Cloquet, Minnesota, attended Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Cloquet and Villa Sancta Scholastica in Duluth.   As a senior she followed in the footsteps of two siblings, Sister Eunice and Sister Alicia, and entered St. Scholastica Monastery, making her first profession in 1932.   Sister’s ministry began with teaching in the elementary schools in Duluth, Brainerd, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis for 23 years.   In 1955,  Sister Estelle became a registered occupational therapist and then served as the department head of Occupational Therapy at St.  Mary’s Medical Centerf or 22 years.   Sister Estelle then spent two years in Dubuque, Iowa, preparing herself to begin an occupational therapy department in the Benedictine Health Center when it opened in 1980.  Here she served another eight years. 

Among her craft specialties were knitting, crocheting, rug-weaving, and tatting, which she used in preparing artistic greeting cards depicting nature objects.  Sister Estelle, now age 99, resides on Benet Hall in the Monastery.



Sister Cecile LaForest – 75 years

Cecile LaForest, OSB


Sister Cecile LaForest’s journey toDuluth began at age 14 with an all-night train ride from Negaunee, Michigan, to enroll at Villa Scholastica as a high school sophomore.   Sister Cecile made her first profession July 11, 1937.   Like many of Sister’s contemporaries she was educated to join the ranks of elementary school teachers.  Assignments included St. Clement’s, St. James, St. Margaret Mary, Sacred Heart, and the towns of Virginia, Eveleth, Grand Rapids, Aitkin, Cloquet, and Chicago.   Her later supervisory work allowed her to travel to all the Duluth Diocesan schools.  Over the years she functioned as teacher, principal, supervisor, and director of religious education.  She says that working with children and teachers was always stimulating and rewarding.

In 1991, Sister Cecile became both a resident and staff member of St. Ann’s, entrusted with the care of St. Ann’s chapel and united with the people of St. Ann’s and the surrounding community.  She now resides on Benet Hall in the Monastery.



Sister Victorine Sitter – 70 years

Victorine Sitter, OSBSister Victorine Sitter grew up inBerwick,North Dakota. After graduating from Stanbrook Hall, Sister Victorine joined St. Scholastica Monastery onSeptember 8, 1940.  She attended The College of St. Scholastica and Superior State College, then taught primary grades inBerwick,ND, for a time and in several of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Duluth as well as in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Sister’s ministries also included the Monastery Transportation Office and Benet Hall.  In 2008 she accepted an invitation from The College of St. Scholastica to assist with tutoring in Academic Support Services. When asked about her work at the College Sister Victorine proclaimed, “I love it!” 

Sister Victorine’s sister Agnes joined the Benedictine Community five years after Sister Victorine.  Now, they are both living at the Monastery and enjoy outings, playing dice games, sharing joys and sorrows and reminiscing about family.  Sister Victorine says she is grateful for her vocation and the blessings she has received.



Sister Ramona Ewen – 70 years

Ramona Ewen, OSBSister Ramona Ewen began her teaching career at Duluth Cathedral Senior High School. She had graduated from The College of St. Scholastica and earned her Master’s degree at the University of Minnesotain Minneapolis. Her teaching assignments were primarily bookkeeping, typing, and office machines.  In 1982 Sister Ramona moved from Cathedral High to The College of St. Scholastica as an assistant professor in the Management Department and began teaching accounting and serving as an advisor for CSS students in the Brainerd area. 

Sister Ramona served as trustee of Hibbing General Hospital and as a trustee of Benedictine Health System members in North and South Dakota and Idaho as well as in Minnesota at St. Joseph Medical Center, Brainerd; Benedictine Health Center, Duluth (and on its Foundation Committee); and Madonna Towers and Madonna Meadows in Rochester.

Sister Ramona’s travels have taken her to Chile, Ireland, Scotland, England, and Canada.



Sister Margaret James Laughlin – 70 years

Margaret James Laughlin, OSBSister Margaret James Laughlin is from Iron Mountain, Michigan, a mining town of about ten thousand people.  She chose The College of St. Scholasticaf or her family’s required “year of Catholic school,” and in her junior year entered the Benedictine Community.  Three years later she was sent to teach typing and shorthand at Cathedral Senior High School in Duluth, where she stayed for 17 years, the last ten as assistant principal.  Sister says, “finances were always tight, but the students were a joy, and life was always interesting.” 

She then served as principal of Stanbrook Hall High School until it closed in 1967.  She served as CSS’s registrar and then assistant to the president until 1991 when she moved to the Monastery Development Office.  Three years ago Sister Margaret James moved from full-time to half-time in the office.  Sister looks back on her seventy years and says, “It is my hope ‘Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus!’”



Sister Kathleen Doyle – 60 Years

Katie Doyle, OSBSister Kathleen Doyle, originally from Dubuque and then later Des Moines, Iowa, graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Des Moines in 1948.   In 1968 Sister Kathleen transferred from the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, to the Duluth Benedictines.  

Her ministry was in physical therapy, and Sister Kathleen worked at Polinsky Rehabilitation Center for seven years.   She helped to design the new physical therapy department at the Benedictine Health Center and worked there for a few years.  She then worked at St. Mary’s Home Care and also did Home Care in St. George, Utah; Colorado Springs, Colorado;  and Des Moines, Iowa, before returning to Duluth.  Sister Kathleen says of her years in physical therapy, “I felt I gained as much from my patients as they did from my services to help them attain improved health.

After “retiring” Sister Kathleen was assigned to manage the Monastery Books and Gift Shop, which she continues to do.



Sister Beverly Horn – 60 years

Beverly Horn, OSB

Sister Beverly Horn attended Catholic elementary schools in Duluth and graduated from Stanbrook Hall in 1949.   She attended The College of St. Scholastica for one year before entering St. Scholastica Monastery in September 1950.

 She served as an elementary teacher at Our Mother of Sorrows, Cincinnati, and then completed her BSN in 1957 at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  She became an instructor in the Department of Nursing at CSS and completed a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Washington, Seattle.  In 1975 she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington and then returned to CSS as Chair of the Department of Nursing from 1974-1976.   Sister Beverly then joined the faculty at the University of  Washington School of Nursing, and retired as faculty emerita in 2001.  Now at the Monastery, Sister Beverly is currently on sponsored organization boards including St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd, and Essentia Health, Central Region.  She is also Executive Director of the Transcultural Nursing Society.



Sister Joyce Fournier – 60 years

Joyce Fournier, OSB

Sister Joyce Fournier, from Warren, Minnesota, entered The College of St. Scholastica in the fall of 1949 and felt gradually called to religious life. When she pronounced her triennial vows, she was assigned to teach and assist at St. John’s School and Children’s Home. Over the next two decades she taught at schools in Phoenix, Hibbing, International Falls, Duluth, and Chicago. She then served as subprioress for nine years and later at McCabe Renewal Center in Duluth and St. Gertrude School in Washington, D.C.

When she returned to Duluth, she began working with Sister Noemi Weygant, a noted photographer, then suffering from macular degeneration.  Working as her assistant, Sister Joyce was deeply impressed by the beauty of her work, and her skills and interest in nature photography blossomed over the years as did her skills at framing those photos.  In her “shop,” Scholastica Framing and Photography, she provides services for the Monastery, individual Sisters, sponsored institutions, and numbers of others to whom her work has been recommended.


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