+ Sister Mary Paul Ludwig, OSB

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+ Sister Mary Paul Ludwig, OSB

Sister Mary Paul (Collette) Ludwig, OSB, 90, died at St. Scholastica Monastery on May 7, 2010.  August 30, 1938, she entered the Duluth Benedictine Community as a postulant, was admitted to the novitiate July 9, 1939, professed monastic vows July 11, 1940, and made her final monastic commitment July 11, 1943.  She celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1965, her Golden Jubilee August 12, 1990 and her Diamond Jubilee August 12, 2000.                        

Sister Mary Paul was born February 20, 1920, in Duluth, Minnesota, one of nine children born to Charles and Verena (Rodenkirch) Ludwig.  She attended Duluth Cathedral Grade School and Stanbrook Hall High School.  She received a B.A. in Elementary Education from The College of St. Scholastica in 1953 and an M.E. in Elementary Supervision and Administration from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

Other professional training included courses for educational planning for Latin America offered by the United Nations in Santiago, Chile, and completion of a course for certification as an Executive Housekeeper through Normandale College, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During her active career, Sister Mary Paul ministered in many capacities.  She taught in elementary schools at St. Timothy’s School, Chicago, Illinois; St. Thomas School, International Falls, Assumption School, Hibbing, and Cathedral Grade School, Duluth, Minnesota. During this period she also taught summer religion classes in various diocesan parishes. 

In 1963 Sister Mary Paul attended the Center of International Formation in Cuernavaca, Mexico, to prepare for work in South America.  The next year she was in the first group of Sisters from the Monastery to go to Antofagasta, Chile.  While there she was principal and director of grades K-12 at the Colegio San Jose, and later, served as curriculum director and master teacher at the high school level. 

The last years Sister Mary Paul was in Chile (1968 until her return in 1973), she worked with FIDE, the federation of Chilean private schools in Santiago.  She served in a number of positions there:  Director of the National Linguistic Reading Program for the Federation of Private Education in Santiago, technical advisor to the Ministry of Education, coordinator of the private schools in Santiago, supervisor and coordinator of the reading program in Chile, and consultant to the American Book Company for its publications regarding teaching English as a second language.  She also founded and contributed to several educational magazines in Chile.

When Sister Mary Paul returned to Duluth until 1993, she worked in diverse ministries:  Co-chair of the Benedictine Community Renewal Process, Executive Coordinator of the Duluth Diocesan Pastoral Council, and Director of Environmental Services at the Benedictine Health Center.  She gained national attention when she was appointed by Bishop Paul Anderson as administrator of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Duluth.  In 1982 she worked at St. Thomas Parish, Phoenix, Arizona, in parish ministry and catechetical work.  For the next two years she assisted at Holy Name School, Wayzata, Minnesota, returning to the Monastery in 1985 to work in the College Library, co-directing the Monastery gift shop, directing the Enrichment Center at the Monastery, and tutoring high school students in Spanish.  

n 1995 Sister Mary Paul retired but continued putting in as much time as her health permitted to working in Hospice at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Solvay Hospice House, organizing Christmas sales, doing craft work and sewing for the Sisters.  She helped with the rhubarb festival sponsored by CHUM, and made quilts, hats, mittens, and scarves for the homeless.  She made complete newborn baby kits, including Christmas stockings and quilts for the pediatrics department of St. Mary’s Hospital, Duluth, Minnesota.

Sister Mary Paul was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Verena (Rodenkirch) Ludwig, four brothers:  Charles, Urban, Paul, and Joseph, and four sisters:  Marguerite (Meritt-Shearer), Henrietta (Payson), Eda (Christianson), and Mary (DeChantal-Nelson). 

In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by her sister Mrs. Richard (Therese) Piekarski, Glenwood, Minnesota, and many other relatives and friends.

A wake service will be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 11, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel in St. Scholastica Monastery, with visitation until 10:45 a.m.  The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. with Father William Graham as presider.  Interment was at Gethsemane Cemetery.  

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“And let them first pray together, that so they may associate in peace.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict