Sister Freida (Marie Patricia) Horak, OSB, 74, of St. Scholastica Monastery, died in Benet Hall at the Monastery on Saturday, May 24, 2008. She entered the Duluth Benedictines in 1958 and made her monastic profession in 1960. She was in her 48th year of monastic profession.
Sister was born March 17, 1934, in Menominee, Michigan, and attended Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Marinette, Wisconsin. After graduation in 1952, she took a business course at Green Bay Badger Business College and then was employed by Marinette Paper Company where she was Production and Engineering Secretary until 1958. In 1969 she earned a B.A. in elementary education from The College of St. Scholastica and, in 1988, an M.A. in Theology from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois. Sister Freida taught elementary grades in several Minnesota schools: St. Anthony, Duluth; Holy Name, Wayzata; St. Thomas Aquinas, International Falls; St. Joseph, Grand Rapids; and Our Lady of Victory, Minneapolis. In addition to teaching she also served as principal for three years in International Falls and for two years at Our Lady of Victory. Outside of Minnesota she taught at St. Timothy, Chicago, Illinois. She left elementary teaching in 1991 and, having taken CPE from United Hospital, Grand Forks, ND, she worked for eight years as a pastoral minister in East Grand Forks and in Waverly, both in Minnesota. She was called back to the Monastery in 1999 to serve in vocation ministry, and in 2000 she was named Oblate Director for the Monastery. In 2002 she became the Monastery’s computer support person and was called upon to fill other positions as needed.
Two characteristic traits were found in Sister Freida by those who knew her well. The first was her sense of humor. One of the Sisters who saw her shortly after she had been admitted to Benet Hall told her she, as the assigned chaplain, would be coming to visit her periodically. Sister Freida responded, “Oh, I already have too many visitors so you can take me off your list!” Confirming this humor trait, a nephew said the family felt she had “the Blarney gene”! One of the Oblates said she sometimes wondered if Sister Freida were ever serious until she saw her well-worn copy of the Rule of St. Benedict.
The second trait was the faith-filled way she accepted her last illness. Many marveled at what they saw as an astonishing courage and hope nurtured by a strong faith. It is not surprising to find that a reading which Sister Freida chose for her funeral opens with the words, “I consider the sufferings of the present to be nothing compared to the glory to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
Sister Freida was preceded in death by her parents, Frederick and Marie (Schuster) Horak, one brother, Frederick, and three sisters, Gertrude (Sabowski), Catherine (Meyer) and Evelyn. Besides the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by one brother, Raymond, numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, and many friends.
A wake service was held in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on Saturday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m. with visitation until 10:45. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11:00 a.m., with Father William Graham presiding. Burial was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
- St. Anthony, Duluth, MN
- Holy Name, Wayzata, MN
- St. Thomas Aquinas, International Falls, MN
- St. Joseph, Grand Rapids, MN
- Our Lady of Victory, Minneapolis, MN
- St. Timothy, Chicago, IL
- Principal, St. Thomas Aquinas, International Falls, MN
- Principal, Our Lady of Victory, Minneapolis, MN
- Oblate Director, St. Scholastica, Monastery, Duluth, MN
- St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN
- Sacred Heart Catholic Community, East Grand Forks, MN
- St Mary, Waverly, MN
- Board of Trustees, Hibbing General Hospital
- Trinity Hospital Board, Farmington, MN
- St. Joseph’s Medical Center Board of Directors, MN
- Information Desk, St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN