+Sister Sharon O’Neill, OSB

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+Sister Sharon O’Neill, OSB

In Loving Memory

Sister Sharon O'NiellSister Sharon O’Neill (Mary Ellen), OSB, 86, St. Scholastica Monastery, died February 5, 2008, in Benet Hall at the Monastery.  She was born January 24, 1922, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She attended St. Bridget’s Elementary School in Minneapolis and graduated from Stanbrook Hall High School in Duluth, Minnesota. She earned a Bachelor of Science  degree from The College of St. Scholastica June 8, 1954, and received certification for elementary education from the State of Minnesota.  She also received a diploma from the Child Care Institute at St. Thomas College, St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Sister Sharon entered the Duluth Benedictine community in 1940 and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1942.  She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 16, 1967, her Golden Jubilee July 26, 1992, and her Diamond Jubilee July 28, 2002.  She was in the 65th year of her monastic profession. Sister Sharon began teaching elementary grades in St. Clement’s in Duluth and eventually taught in other schools in Minnesota:  Assumption Hall, Hibbing, St. Bridget’s, Minneapolis, and Holy Name, Wayzata.  From 1956-63 she was a House-parent at St. James Children’s Home in Duluth. 

She was one of the pioneering Sisters who went to the Colegio San Jose in Antofagasta, Chile, from 1964-1975.  This was preceded by a training period at the Center for Intercultural Formation in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for courses in Spanish and in cultural adjustment.  During the time she was in Chile, she taught English in the primary grades and was Principal of the elementary grades from 1968-1975.  One of the priests working with the Sisters, noting her difficulties with the language, said he never knew anyone who did so much good for the people of Chile with such poor Spanish!  She, no doubt, had other ways of communicating, as the people loved her.

Upon returning to Minnesota, Sister Sharon again taught at St. Bridget’s, Holy Name, and Assumption Schools, and in 1989 she returned to St. Scholastica Monastery.  There she served as a tutor in the Enrichment Center and assisted in the  Monastery’s Gift Shop, Information Desk and the Transportation Office.  Her favorite  hobbies were arts and crafts, and she created many things that were sold at the annual Monastery Christmas sale.  As soon as the sale was over, she began making things for the next one.  An avid sports fan, she  often watched games while crocheting.  

Sister Sharon was preceded in death by her parents Edmund O’Neill and Helen (Bouchard) O’Neill; two brothers, George and Robert; and three sisters, Margaret, Elizabeth and Catherine.  In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by nieces, nephews, and special friends. 

A wake service was held on Saturday, February 9, 2008, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica  Monastery.  The Mass of Christian Burial  followed in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, with Father Brian Schultz presiding. Interment was in Gethsemane Cemetery.


Education Ministry

  • St. Clement’s, Duluth, MN
  • Assumption Hall, Hibbing, MN
  • St. Bridget’s, Minneapolis, MN
  • Holy Name, Wayzata, MN
  • Colegio San Jose, Antofagasta, Chile
  • Tutor in Enrichment Center, Duluth, MN


  • Monastery Gift Shop
  • Information Office
  • Transportation Office


  • Houseparent
    • St. James Children’s Home, Duluth, MN
  • Principal of elementary grades
    • Colegio San Jose, Antofagasta, Chile
    • Holy Name, Wayzata, MN

Prayer Ministry



Posted in Happenings, Obituaries

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