Sister Magdalen (formerly Magdella) Dooper, OSB, 97, of St. Scholastica Monastery, died December 27, 2009. She entered the Duluth Benedictine community on February 24, 1931, and was admitted to the novitiate November 13, 1931, when she received the name “Magdella.” Many years later she returned to her baptismal name.
Sister made her first profession December 30, 1932, and professed final monastic vows July 11, 1936. She observed the 70th anniversary of her profession July 28, 2002, and at the time of her death she was in the 77th year of her monastic profession.
Sister Magdalen was born in Amery, Wisconsin, November 23, 1912, the first of eight children born to Bernard and Catherine (Dosch) Dooper. Her early life was spent in the Amery area where she attended the public elementary and secondary schools.
In 1930 she enrolled at The College of St. Scholastica where she earned a B.S. in elementary education after which she began her teaching ministry. Sister Magdalen taught at St. James, St. John’s, and St. Clement’s in Duluth; Assumption in Hibbing; Marquette in Virginia; and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Cloquet. Later Sister earned an Executive Housekeeper Certification through the National Executive Housekeepers Association.
As a member of this association, Sister Magdalen held offices in both the Head of the Lakes Chapter and the Upper Midwest District. She was a member of the Council on Aging of the Duluth Community Fund. She served as prefect of nurses at St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Duluth and as sacristan at Hibbing General Hospital in Hibbing.
For the last forty years of her active career Sister Magdalen worked with the elderly at St Anne’s in Duluth. In this work she served in various capacities: bookkeeper, administrator, executive housekeeper, house director, and supervisor of linen and housekeeping.
In 1996 Sister Magdalen retired and returned to the Monastery where she continued to provide craft items for the Monastery gift shop and participated in prayer ministry.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Edward, Bernard, and August; her sisters Irene, Elizabeth, and Marie; a step-sister, Florence, and a step-brother, Francis.
Besides the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery she is survived by her sister Dorothy O’Meara and by many other relatives, including Sister Michelle Dosch, OSB, of St. Scholastica Monastery.
A wake service was held at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery, with visitation until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with Father Ronald Gagne presiding. All services were held on Wednesday, December 30, 2009. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.