+Sister Eleanor Ann Beckfelt, OSB

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+Sister Eleanor Ann Beckfelt, OSB

In Loving Memory

Sister Eleanor Ann BeckfeltSister Eleanor Ann Beckfelt, OSB, 61, died May 7, 2010, at Solvay Hospice House.  She entered the Duluth Benedictine community as an affiliate on March 23, 1978, became a postulant September 8, 1978, entered the novitiate June 24, 1979, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1980. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee June 19, 2005.

Sister Eleanor Ann was born December 10, 1948 in Duluth, the fourth child of Raymond John Beckfelt and Eleanor Ann (Hoolihan) Beckfelt.  She attended St. Helen’s Elementary School in Vero Beach, Florida, and John Carroll High School in Ft. Pierce, Florida.  After attending Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, from 1976 to 1977, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse.  Later, she took a summer course in art, and was a student in the gerontology program at The College of St. Scholastica.

Sister Eleanor Ann did nursing work on the orthopedic floor at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN.  She also worked in the Adult Day Services in the Benedictine Health Center, Duluth, and later in the Special Care Unit of the same facility.  In 1990 she became the Program Facilitator and Licensed Practical Nurse at St. Anthony’s Center in Duluth.  In 1991 she was assigned as nurse for the Sisters at the Monastery of St. Scholastica.  On her return to the Monastery, after a period of providing supportive care for her brother, Reverend John Beckfelt, who lived near River Falls, Wisconsin, she worked in the Spiritual Resource Center and was designated as one of the Sisters on-call. 

Sister had a strong Marian devotion and enjoyed visiting many Marian Shrines, including some in Europe.  She also belonged to several prayer groups. At her wake, comments were made about the good care she provided for the Sisters when she was the Monastery nurse.  Other comments described how devoted she was to her extended family, including thirty-one first cousins.  In his homily at the Mass of Christian burial, her cousin, Father Fider, said they were proud they had a Benedictine in the family and that she had lots of fun at family gatherings.  When her brother, Father John needed care while serving in Wisconsin, she provided that care.  He, in return, provided care for her by visiting and celebrating Eucharist for her daily at Solvay Hospice House.  Father Fider mentioned that her Silver Jubilee had coincided with the anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Reading a quotation from Romero, he said he felt Sister Eleanor Ann had tried to live out those words.

Sister Eleanor Ann was preceded in death by her parents Raymond John and Eleanor Ann (Hoolihan) Beckfelt; a brother, Jerome Raymond Beckfelt; and by her sister, Mary Catherine Pommerville.  In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her brother Fr. John William Beckfelt; special spiritual daughter, AnnMarie Goulet; and many other relatives and friends.

A wake service was held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel in St. Scholastica Monastery with visitation until 10:45 a.m.  The Mass of Christian burial took place at 11 a.m. with Sister Eleanor Ann’s brother Father John Beckfelt and her cousin Father William Fider presiding as concelebrants.  Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.


Nursing ministry

  • St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN
  • St. Anthony Center, Duluth, MN
  • St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN
  • Care for her brother, River Falls, WI
  • Benedictine Health Care facility, Duluth, MN
    • Adult Day Services
    • Special Care Unit

Spiritual Resource Center, St. Scholastica Monastery Prayer Ministry  

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–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict