Sister Matthew (Angela) Laurich, OSB, 96, died Tuesday, July 10, 2007, at St. Scholastica Monastery. Born May 30, 1911, in Hibbing, Minnesota, she was one of eleven children born to Matthew and Helen (Dolinar) Laurich. She attended McGolrick Institute and Hibbing High School and lived in Hibbing until she entered the Duluth Benedictines August 31, 1932. On July 11, 1934, she professed monastic vows. She was in the 73rd year of monastic profession.
Her many years of service as a cook and housekeeper took Sister Matthew to a number of places in Minnesota: Holy Name Convent, Wayzata; St. Bridget’s Convent, Minneapolis; St. Peter’s, Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s, St. James, and Cathedral High School Convents, all in Duluth; St. Benedict’s and St. Leo’s Convents, Hibbing; and St. Joseph’s Convent, Cloquet. She also served at St. Timothy’s Convent, Chicago, Illinois. Periodically between these assignments she was sent back to assist at St. Scholastica Monastery.
As a result, when she retired in 1995, she had spent a total of twenty-one years in the dietary department at the Monastery. She brought real artistry to her food preparation as well as happiness to the Sisters through her tireless attempts to make things that would please them. She also showed an interest in their work and activities. Sister Matthew felt it was just as important that meals looked as appetizing as they were tasty. Her dainty roses atop divinity and miniature cream puffs will not be forgotten! In 1990, while at St. Bridget’s, she received an invitation from Archbishop Roach of St. Paul/Minneapolis to attend an event which publicly honored all religious in the archdiocese who gave such selfless service in the domestic/food ministry.
One of her side interests was sewing, though she would often wryly comment that she ripped out as much as she sewed. Sister liked to recall her happy childhood: parties and picnics with family and neighbors, school experiences, “pilfering” candy and ice cream from her father’s grocery store and getting to know the Benedictine Sisters who were her teachers. Sister Matthew said her life had always been happy and that she advised everyone else to be happy. A quiet peace and joy emanated from her. In her later years, she who had ice skated and polka danced with the best of them in her youth, found difficulty walking even short distances. Never one to complain or indulge in self-pity, Sister Matthew bore these trials with peaceful resignation and even rejoiced that her enforced confinement brought her more time for prayer than she had had in her active years.
Sister Matthew’s parents, five brothers (Matt, Ludwig, Joe, Frank, and Henry), and three sisters (Frances Turk, Pauline Solmonson, and Ann Debelak) preceded her in death. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, Sister Matthew is survived by her sisters, Helen Parich and Jennie Perpich, both of Hibbing, as well as by many nieces and nephews and special relatives and friends.
A wake service was held on Thursday, July 12, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery, with visitation following until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. with Father Kevin Gordon presiding. Burial was in Gethsemane Cemetery.
Housekeeping/Food Service Ministry
- Holy Name Convent, Wayzata, MN
- St. Bridget’s Convent, Minneapolis, MN
- St. Peter’s Convent, Duluth, MN
- St. Mary’s Convent, Duluth, MN
- St. James’ Convent, Duluth, MN
- Cathedral High School Convent, Duluth, MN
- Sacred Heart Convent, Duluth, MN
- St. Benedict’s Convent, Hibbing, MN
- St. Leo’s Convent, Hibbing, MN
- St. Joseph’s Convent, Cloquet, MN
- St. Timothy’s Convent, Chicago, IL
- St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN