Sister Mary Carol Braun, OSB, 90, died on April 26, 2014. She was born Carol Rose Braun on October 20, 1923, to Anton and Emma (Gehl) Braun in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Carol, the third of five children, grew up in Kohler, Wisconsin, and after graduation followed her older sister, Joan, to The College of St. Scholastica (CSS). After two years at the College, this lively and fun-loving girl answered God’s call to religious life, to the surprise of her friends and family. She would have celebrated 70 years of religious life in the summer of 2014.
She entered St. Scholastica Monastery and professed her Triennial Vows on July 11, 1944, and Perpetual Vows on July 11, 1947. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Education from The College of St. Scholastica in 1946, Sister Mary Carol, a gifted pianist and organist, was sent to teach music at St. Timothy’s School in Chicago. Her extraordinary business and organizational skills led to her being called back to Duluth in 1948 to teach typing and shorthand at The College of St. Scholastica while also serving as the Secretary to the Dean and as an organist for St. Scholastica Monastery. From 1954 until 1962 she taught business skills at Cathedral High School in Duluth while pursuing graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas in Secondary School Administration and completing her Master’s of Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Curriculum and Instruction (1961).
In 1962, Sister Mary Carol took part in a pilot program for Personnel Management in Religious Communities through the Catholic Hospital Association in St. Louis. When she returned to Duluth in 1963, she became the Personnel Director for the Monastery. Full of energy and life, she rarely held only one position, and during this time she taught Medical Records at CSS, was the Secretary of the Federation of St. Benedict (1966-1971), continued to play the organ, and also served as the house mother at Sellwood, a residence for CSS students, where she made a lasting impact on her “Sellwood girls.”
She became the Academic Dean at CSS in 1969 and then the Assistant to the President in 1973. In 1976, her ministry called her in a different direction, and Sister Mary Carol went to Washington, D.C., to assist Sister Maureen Harney at St. Gertrude’s School, a residential school for girls with disabilities. She served as Director of the school from 1981-1990. Sister Mary Carol was one of those rare individuals who possess both an extraordinary organizational ability and extraordinary warmth and compassion, which served her well in this favorite ministry.
After her “retirement” and a sabbatical, Sister Mary Carol returned to St. Scholastica Monastery where she served as the assistant to the archivist and continued to play the organ. Ill health caused her to give up her music ministry and to retire to Benet Hall, but she never lost her fun-loving nature and warmth, which endeared her to all whom she met.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert, and her older sister, Sister Joan. She is survived by her younger sisters, Sister Grace Marie and Mary Merline, as well as her devoted nieces and nephews, many cousins, friends, and the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.
Visitation was from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. and after the 7:00 p.m. Wake Service until 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery. The Mass of Christian Burial was on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with visitation from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. prior to the funeral. The presider was Father Kevin Gordon of the Diocese of Superior. Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery are preferred. Arrangements were by Dougherty Funeral Home.