Not long ago I was reading a news article on-line and came across an AP story about the closing of St. Bede Monastery in Wisconsin and the moving of the 29 remaining sisters back to St. Benedict Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. The Sister at the center of the story was Sister Helenette Baltes who was born in 1915 in of all places Sleepy Eye, Minnesota – my home town!
Sister Helenette and Sister Lisa
I was so excited to find another Benedcitne Sister who hails from my small town of about 3,600 people. Since +Sister Bertille Goblirsch’s death in February 2010 (who was also from Sleepy Eye) I thought I was the only one. I was very eager to meet Sr. Helenette so I stopped to visit her on my recent trip to St. Cloud. Sister and I met at St. Scholastica Convent, the Benedictine long-term care facility. We had a lovely visit sharing stories about growing up in Sleepy Eye and attending St. Mary’s Catholic School. I loved hearing her story about how she came to be a Benedictine Sister and I was touched that she was willing to listen to my vocation story, too! I love it when connections are made to demonstrate that we are all part of God’s glorious and loving family…I doubly love it when it puts my new Benedictine world in-touch with my growing-up in Sleepy Eye. It just goes to show that “it’s a small world after all!”
Sister Lisa Maurer is a Sister of the St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, before entering the Monastery, Sister Lisa taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa made her first Monastic Profession in August 2009. She currently ministers at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth.