Sister Barbara (Marjorie) Higgins, OSB, died on December 4, 2020 at St. Scholastica Monastery. Born on June 6, 1935 to Clinton and Genevieve (LeBeau) Higgins in Duluth, Minnesota, she was one of a family of twelve children. Her strong Catholic upbringing, her connection with the Benedictine Sisters at St. Clement’s and Cathedral, and the witness of her sister, Sister Mary Rae, all contributed to her desire to join the Monastery in 1953. She professed her Perpetual Vows in 1958, celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2005, and her Diamond Jubilee in 2015. She was in her 66th year of vowed commitment.
Her love of God and others combined with gifts of joy, thoughtfulness, and humor permeated her varied ministries, starting as a primary grade teacher in Brainerd, Duluth, and Cloquet from 1955 to 1972. From 1972 to 1981 she was a Youth Consultant staff member at the Welch Center, ministering to teens and their parents, directing leadership training, and leading retreat experiences. From 1981 to 1986 she was the Director of Residential Life at the The College of St. Scholastica. In 1987 she graduated from Creighton University with a Master’s degree in Christian Spirituality. This experience deepened her prayer life, strengthened her gifts, and enabled her to better accompany others on their faith journeys. In l987 she became Sub-Prioress of the Benedictine Community.
Following a sabbatical, she went to St. Patrick’s Parish in Scottsdale, Arizona and became Director of Initiation and Coordinator of Senior Life until 2006, followed by more involvement as a spiritual director and giving sessions on prayer. In 2014 she returned to the Monastery and became Director of Associates, Novice Director, and continued her work as a spiritual director. Over the years, another important ministry she shared was the gift of laughter and creativity by doing pantomimes, often with music and dance.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers “Butchie” (Lawrence Joseph), Don, James, and Roy and sisters Susan Krier, Pat (Larry) Marlenga, Sister Mary Rae Higgins, and Irene Williams. Besides the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by sisters Nancy (Chuck) Davidson and Bonnie (Mike) Tweedy, brother Wayne (Carol), sister-in-law Evelyn Higgins, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends – all whose lives she deeply cared about.
Wake, Morning Prayer, and funeral Mass will be held on Friday, December 11 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery, with Father William Fider as Presider. Interment is at Gethsemane Cemetery. Because of public health restrictions, the funeral is private but will be livestreamed beginning at 9:30am on the Dougherty Funeral Home Facebook Page, https://facebook.com/dfhduluth/. Memorials are preferred to St. Scholastica Monastery.
Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd St, Duluth, MN 55805, 218-727-3555.