+Sister Mary Clare Hall, OSB

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+Sister Mary Clare Hall, OSB

Sister Mary Clare (Claree Mae) Hall, OSB, died on December 17, 2020 in her 74th year of vowed commitment. She was born August 24, 1927 in Two Harbors, Minnesota, the third child of six of Edward Hall and Catherine (MacDougall) Hall. Her parents worked on the family farm and the town barbershop. As she grew, Claree Mae observed women working hard to raise their families and labor in the fields. She decided that was not the life for her; instead, she was drawn to the Benedictine Sisters who came from Duluth each week to teach CCD classes. From them she received love, respect, and a listening ear, and this reserved, shy girl blossomed. She helped them teach CCD to the little ones and resolved to enter the Community after high school.

As Sister Mary Clare, she earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and, in 1971, a Master’s in Education with emphasis on new educational methods. From 1948 to 1975 she taught elementary school in Chicago, Cincinnati, Hibbing, Minneapolis, Aitkin, and Duluth, and in her last seven years of teaching served as principal. She was an outstanding elementary teacher and was especially notable for excellence in teaching first and second grade students. Her former students, now adults, would often ask about her and praised her contributions to their lives.

The driving force of her ministry was to pass on the love she had received, always looking for goodness in the children whom she taught, telling them, “You are very precious to God, and God loves you.” She especially loved the ones who struggled to fit in or learn. She once said, “It bothers me when people see only what is wounded, and not what is good, what is healed and whole.”

After retirement she worked at internal ministries in the Monastery and volunteered at the Benedictine Living Community-Duluth next door. During this time, she returned home to care for her ailing mother and, later, her sister until their deaths, bringing them the same healing love she shared with her students.

In her last years, she developed Alzheimer’s, and for her own safety moved to Safe Harbor in the Benedictine Living Community-Duluth. +Sister Jane Casey visited her every day, and when Sister Mary Clare saw her friend her face would light up with her luminous smile. She and the other residents there struggled with failing memory but knew they are always precious in God’s eyes.

One of her nephews remembers her as a selfless person who lived a life of service in the name of Jesus. Every day she lived her faith, a constant beacon of hope, helping others develop self-confidence. She carried another’s burdens without wanting praise or gratitude. It was enough to know she made a difference. He said, “May the Lord show her the same attentiveness and compassion that she modeled for others. She will be missed. She will be remembered.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Hugh Hall, and her sisters Barbara Youngberg, Jacqueline Gow, Bonnie Wilkins, and Kathleen Richardson. She is survived by the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery and many beloved nieces and nephews. Wake, Morning Prayer (10:00 a.m.) and funeral Mass (11:00 a.m.) will be held on January 6, 2021 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery, with Father William Fider as Presider. Interment will be in Gethsemane Cemetery.

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home. Because of public health restrictions, the funeral is private but will be livestreamed beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Dougherty Funeral Home’s Facebook page: https://facebook.com/dfhduluth/. Memorials are preferred to St. Scholastica Monastery.



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  1. Sister Mary Clare was my mother’s sister, my Aunt. She was a wonderful person who lived a life of service to others. She was a constant beacon of hope who could instantly help you stay on focus when needed. She had a remarkable heart and lived what she believed, service to others in the name of Jesus. I am so blessed to have had her in my life. I will always be grateful for her trust, selflessness and the confidence she always gave to others. Often she would carry the burden of others so they could say they did it. No praise or gratitude needed. She did it willingly as part of her service.

    I am sad at my loss but happy for her fortune. May the Lord treat her with the same attentiveness and compassion that she modeled for others.
    She will be missed.

    She will be remembered.


  2. Sister Mary Clare was indeed a special person. She was my husband’s aunt and helped take care of his mom in Silver Bay. She loved when we would bring her great-great nephew to visit her at the priory. Her face would light up when she saw children, she was so excited to show off her family. Her love for and the desire to help the people around her was clear. She had a heart full of giving to others.
    She will be remembered fondly in our hearts.

  3. Sr Mary Clare Hall was my Dad’s ( Hugh Hall) sister. I knew Sr Mary Clare as I was growing up in Seattle when she visited, and later after I married and had my sons Christopher and Andrew. We got to know her well when she visited and then later lived with her mom Catherine, my Grandma. She had the patience and kindness of a very loving Aunt and we had many conversations about the Lord and the bible. She was a fun and very caring person always serving and caring for others before herself. We will miss her very much, but so happy she is now able to serve God in Heaven.

  4. Sr. Mary Clare was my first grade teacher at Assumption Hall in Hibbing–1957. Once, she asked each child what he/she wanted to be when they grew up. The boys said either a priest or a fireman; the girls all wanted to be wives and mommies or Sisters. When it was my turn, I announced that I was going to join the circus. Sr. Mary Clare laughed at this skinny little girl and said, “Are you going to be the fat lady?”

    Because of her and other teachers like her, I became an English and Spanish teacher. This June I will retire after 48 years in education.

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict