August 2018

Header - Summer's End and New Beginnings
Temyra with Sister Marie

(Sister Marie Rademacher with baby Temyra.)

Sister Mary Courteau

Sister Mary
Courteau, OSB

Born: January 2, 1940
Professed: July 11, 1961
Died: August 29, 2018

August Events

          What a glorious month of sunshine and light rain showers we have enjoyed in August.  This used to be vacation month when most of the Sisters were teaching in our Catholic school system.  Not today.  We are a busy family with many guests to greet and retreatants.

          The Health Care Sisters were busy welcoming a new Health Care Manager, Patty Dress, and thanking Sister Karen Sames for her years of service in that position.  They also prayed for Miracle as she delivered Temyra (a combination of Mom and Dad's names).  What a joyful day as she brought her to visit the Sisters! Sister Marie Rademacher was ready to adopt Temyra.

          We were so honored on August 1 by the number of artists who celebrated our 70th Anniversary with such a spectacular art show, arranged by Kathy Fleming and Victor Klimoski.

          On July 24, Sisters Paula Hagen, Karen Sames, Jacqueline Leiter and Mary White traveled to Bismarck, North Dakota to participate in the Federation of St. Benedict Chapter.  What an inspiring Chapter conference with excellent speakers.  Father Dan Ward, OSB, Canon lawyer, and Sister Linda Romey presented on Change in the Monastic Culture to serve in our current culture. 

          Hill-Murray School is no longer a quiet campus for long summer walks.  It is a buzz of activity.  Sister Linda Soler is back at school to support, bless and cheer on the Pioneer football team.  The Sisters served as Eucharistic Ministers at the Opening School Mass on August 24 where Abbot John presided.

          After a very busy and sacred summer, the Monastery is humming with activity planning and ready for the year ahead.  May September bring you many blessings and may you recognize and enjoy them.

Your Friend in Christ,​
Sister Paula Hagen, OSB


“May Christ bring us all together to everlasting life.” 
Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 72

Sister Mary Courteau went home to God early on August 29th, upheld by the love and prayers of all her Sisters, with Sister Catherine Schoenecker keeping vigil at Regions Hospital.

Sister Mary was born to Jordan and Doris (Zierath) Courteau on January 2, 1940. She grew up in Minneapolis with older sister, Char, and younger brother, Doug. Sister Mary was an active member of Holy Name Parish in Minneapolis and chose to attend St. Anthony High School. Sister Mary credited the Sisters of St. Joseph for helping her discern her vocation to the Benedictines of St. Paul’s Priory, then located on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

Sister Mary celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2011. She was nourished by life with her Benedictine family and said that happiness came by her “knowing God is there!” Sister Mary discovered that she was not in charge, and her illness gave her ample opportunity to discover it over and over.

Much of Sister Mary’s ministry was teaching students at St. Bernard’s Parish School in St. Paul; Hill-Murray School in Maplewood; St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater; and St. Odilia’s in Shoreview. Most recently, she served as Monastery Treasurer and provided much support to the Prioress and to Monastery Leadership and Administration.

Sister Mary enjoyed life and never let it get her down. However, recently she said that she was growing tired of looking for answers and confessed: “I know that I need to accept what is…. Accepting it with joy!” She liked stories, especially funny ones and appreciated many kinds of music and was part of a community quartet, 3 Sharps & A Flat. Not one of the four revealed who was sharp or flat, so the mystery is safe.

We pray that Sister Mary is singing God’s praises and enjoying her place in the Heavenly Choir.

"She was a lion of a woman, as gentle as she was fierce." - Victor Klimoski



Federation Chapter
by Sister Paula Hagen, Prioress

Prioress and delegates from ten communities that belong to the Federation Chapter of St. Benedict, July 24-29, 2018.

We are pictured on the cloister walk to the Benedictine Spirituality Center, formerly the Annunciation Monastery at Bismarck.  The Sisters downsized into the smaller monastery on the campus and sold the former monastery to the University of Mary (the school they founded).

Benedictine Federation Chapter 2018
Benedictine Federation Chapter Councilors

The Federation President is Sister Kerry O’Reilly assisted by four Council members from various Monasteries:  Sister Lisa Maurer from St. Scholastica in Duluth, Sister Nicole Kunz from Annunciation in Bismarck, Sister Jacqueline Leiter from St. Paul’s Monastery and Sister Michaela Hedican from St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN (not pictured).  It was a very inspiring Federation Chapter meeting.

Reunion at 301 Summit

Reunion at 301 Summit Ave
by Sister Paula Hage, OSB

Sisters from St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Cloud (Sister Marlene Schwinghammer, Sister Margaret Michaud, and Sister Michaela Hedican)  celebrated with us at the Open House with a picture on the famous red stairs.  (shown above back row - Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Sister Marlene Schwinghammer - front row - Sister Margaret Michaud, Sister Michaela Hedican, and Sister Paula Hagen.)

4 wheel drive needed this winter

4-Wheel Drive Vehicle Needed

Winter in Minnesota can be rough.  The Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery are in need of a 4-wheel drive vehicle. 

It isn’t always possible to plan doctor, therapy and dental appointments around the weather.  It is especially important if there is a medical emergency and one of the Sisters needs transportation to an appointment.

We are looking for a new or slightly used 4-wheel drive in good condition, easy to operate and that has been maintained.  If you are looking for someplace that will make good use of your vehicle, the Sisters would.

Please contact: Mission Advancement Director  651-77-6850  Annette Walker

Sister LaVerne

Cruise Highlights
by Sister LaVerne Hudalla

          In celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary, my niece, Pat Wolf, and her husband, Michael, invited me along with their two sons, wives and four grandchildren on a Baltic Sea cruise.  There were eleven of us in our group on Norwegian Cruise lines.

            Imagine twelve days on the Baltic Sea on a 16-deck ship carrying 5000 tourists and crew.  The trip included a tour of Berlin.  Having lived through World War II, walking where the Berlin Wall once stood, seeing relics of Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate, seemed unreal to me.

            We spent two days seeing the famous paintings in the Winter Palace and Summer Palace in St. Petersburg.  Stockholm is colorful and tidy.  I was gifted with a purse from Stockholm. The landscape and trees were so similar to Minnesota that it was easy to understand why many northern Europeans settled in Minnesota. The young people were most helpful in getting me over the cobblestones, since the streets and sidewalks were a challenge for a walker and a wheelchair.

            On the last two days of the cruise, I was in the ship’s infirmary while they tried to diagnose my difficulty breathing.  There were three doctors in the group voicing their opinions. I was transferred to a hospital in Copenhagen.  This meant everyone had to change their plans for returning to the U.S.  Medicine in Europe is not comparable to the sterile clinics, etc. in the U.S.  There was doubt about my having a blood clot, so I had a CT scan back in Minnesota.  Since my birthday was going to be on July 19, the entire group arrived at my “sick bed” to sing Happy Birthday and bring good wishes. 

            This was a memorable trip and gift.  How does one say “thank-you” for such a gift?

Hill-Murray School International Students

International Students at Hill-Murray do a Service Project
by Sister Linda Soler

International students and teachers from China are visiting Hill-Murray School for the month of July for education and to discern if they would like to attend as a future student. On July 31, the Sisters hosted them for dinner and the students did some service to benefit the monastic community. Sister Linda also brought this group to Feed My Starving Children when they first arrived.

Maple Tree Childcare Center - Children Praying

Maple Tree Monastery Childcare Center
by Jennie Schlauch, Program Director

On a bright and sunny day Maple Tree Childcare Center children enjoyed a lunch outside. A quick photo captured them praying before their meal. 

Maple Tree Graduation 2018

Maple Tree Childcare 2018 Graduation
by Jennie Schlauch, Program Director

Congratulations to the young Graduates from Maple Tree Childcare 2018! Proud parents and friends watched as they accepted their diplomas and posed in their graduation caps and gowns. They even left a lovely bouquet of white roses for the Sisters. What a lovely way to say "Thank you."

Formation Team Little Falls Retreat

Sisters on Retreat to Little Falls
by Sister Lucia Schwickerath

August 13-17 Sisters Lucia Schwickerath, Sister Jacqueline Leiter, Sister Mary White and Sister Virginia Matter attended the retreat,  Jesus Risen in our Midst.

The Spirituality of Resurrection in the Gospel of John by Sister Sandra Schneider held at the Franciscan Convent in Little Falls.  They are pictured here with Sister Sandra Schneider, the retreat director, in the center.

Art Show Reception

Art Show Reception
by Kathy Fleming

On the evening of August 1st the Sisters welcomed the artists who were invited to share their vision on the core values of Benedictine Spirituality in the current exhibit at the Monastery. The exhibit, Formed In Mission: Inspired For Vision, celebrates with the sisters their 70 years of service to our St Paul community. Twenty-five artists exhibited their work.

All of these artists have exhibited in the past in our ongoing Exhibit Program bringing beauty and light to topics of interest. They represent all stages of art making; career artists to those who have come relatively lately to their vocation. Vision was shared in image, color and shape; in work of weaving, dying, and stitching.  Glass, metal, wood, and clay were formed into sculptural statements to round off the exhibit. The artist's statements included with the artwork give meaning and understanding to the visual artistic statements.

A few words of welcome and gratitude were delivered by Sister Paula Hagen, Prioress, in the Chapel so the sisters in healthcare could be included in the thank you. A lively conversation continued between sisters, artists, friends, and family in the gallery. It was an evening celebrating art, friendships, and Benedictine vision. The exhibit will be open daily through August 31st.

Former Members of St Pauls Monastery

Former Members Reunion
by Sister Karen Sames

Sister Luchia Schwickerath, Mary Seidel, Sister Joan Utecht, Pat Lord and Norine Stimart reunite with their classmates at the 70th Anniversary Former Members Reunion.

Sister Virginia

Attentive Companions: Spiritual Direction and the Journey with God
With Samuel Rahberg, S. Carol Rennie OSB, S. Virginia Matter OSB,
Mary Martin, Peter Watkins, Kami Pohl, Rev. Peggy Thompson,
Steve Arnold and S. Jackie Leiter OSB

September 18, 2018

This conversation offers those new to spiritual direction a place to start and those experienced with spiritual direction insight into making the most of each session. A panel of Benedictine Center spiritual directors will offer insights and assist with questions. Register Online.

Food and Faith Events

Food and Faith: an exploration of eating as a spiritual practice 

October 19-21, 2018

  • Oct. 19: A day of service and learning at a local farm and food shelf, where we will plant garlic, share a meal and spend time at the food shelf hearing people’s stories. Sign-up.
  • Oct 19: A potluck dinner celebration at the Monastery. Freewill offering to benefit Christian Cupboard foodshelf. Sign-up.
  • Oct 19-21: A retreat at the Monastery. We will bake bread for communion and get practical suggestions for how to cook at home and waste less food. Norman Wirzba, farmer and professor from Duke University, will guide us in conversation about how we our modern ways of consumption disconnect us from seeing all food as a gift from God. Sign-up.


Sister Cordis with Ava
Taiwan Sisters of Saint Benedict

Visiting Sisters from Taiwan
by Sister Karen Sames

Sister Cordis Chen, Sub-Prioress, and Sister Julianna Chua visited from Saint Benedict's Monastery in Taiwan. They attended the Federation Chapter with Sister Paula Hagen, Sister Jacqueline Leiter and Sister Karen Sames in Bismarck, North Dakota and wanted to come visit friends and see St. Paul's Monastery.

Top picture - Sister Cordis visits with young Ava to showing her where she is from.
Bottom picture - Sister Julianna, Sister Andriette Schommer, Sister Andine Schommer, Sister Rosella Shommer and Sister Cordis visit.

Ava Krize Benedictine Award

Hill-Murray Benedictine Award
 by Sister Linda Soler

St. Paul's Monastery and Hill-Murray provided a Benedictine Award to a female student at the time of graduation. This past graduation held at the St. Paul Cathedral, announced Ava Krize to receive the Benedictine Award. Ava and her mother  were at the monastery on August 14 to share her award with the monastic community. Ava is a stellar student who reflects Benedictine values such as a life of prayer, hospitality and outreach to all ages. Congratulations Ava for living a life of Christian values. We are proud of you. Ava will be attending the University of St. Thomas this Fall. She is well known for volunteering with the kitchen baking cookies. We hope to have her stop by to help with the "qualilty control" on the chocolate-chip cookies!

Mary Mother of God

Her Gaze: Mary Mother of God Exhibit
Reception with Artist

Wed., Sept. 5, 6-8:00PM

Powerful in its simplicity, “Her Gaze” is a collection of paintings by Seattle artist and Jesuit priest Trung Pham will be on exhibit at St. Paul’s Monastery beginning September 3.  Beautifully simple images of women in reflective poses invite the viewer to look with the mother depicted in the painting, not just at the image. Vietnamese-American artist Fr. Pham’s journey has been shaped by the sacrifices and love of his mother and grandmother.  He honors their courage and strength with his work.
All are welcome at the opening reception Wednesday, September 5th from 6-8:00PM with a brief presentation by Trung Pham at 7:00PM. He will describe the inspiration, intention, and the creative process behind these paintings.  Refreshments will be served.
The exhibit is open daily September 3 through November 1st, 2018, 9:00AM to 6:00PM

Karen Fleming and Sister Margaret Kramer

Visiting the Sisters
by Jessica Lauderman

Karen Fleming (right) visiting with Sister Margaret Kramer in front of a painting from our current art exhibit, “Formed in Vision, Inspired for Mission.” The painting is called “Early Morning Walk” by Margaret Thompson. In her words, “I love to take early morning contemplative walks by our cabin near the Boundary Waters. I am alone in the wilderness with the ever changing magical light… I am one with Mother Nature, cradled in the arms of the Unconditional Love of God.” 

Community Block Party

August Community Block Party
by Sister Jacqueline Leiter

The Community Block Party began as a way for neighbors and communities to get to know each other including the Police and Fire Department. Through community service they build positive relationships in order to reduce and prevent neighborhood crime. Neighborhood block parties hosted by churches, nonprofits, police and fire stations, and other community organizations support this endeavor as a way to provide resources and encourage involvement.

The celebration included Tubman, CommonBond and the Monastery visiting with one another. Games, food, crafts, and visits from local police and fire stations provide clients, residents and community members the chance to engage with one another. 

The Sisters enjoyed visiting with neighbors and watching children playing with bubbles and in the jumpy house.


Saturday, Sept. 29 - Oblate Retreat & Renewal of Commitment
8:45 a.m. - Arrival / Refreshments
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Praying the Psalms in Word and Music, Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB


*Thursday, Oct. 25 - Great Conversation I: Change IS Possible
Diane Millis, Ph.D.
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Sunday, Oct. 28 - Native American Spirituality and the Rule of Benedict
Larry Martin, Ph.D.
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

"*" indicates an event sponsored by the Benedictine Center for which a fee will be charged. Please call 651-777-8181.


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Abbot John Classen

Mass at Hill-Murray
by Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Sister Linda Soler welcomes Abbot John Classen as the presider at the Opening Mass at Hill-Murray.  Linda Anderson and Sister Jacqueline served as Eucharistic Ministers.


Art Show Publication
by Annette Walker

The Leadership Team has approved the publication of a Memorial Book of the 70th Annual Art Show for the Monastery.  This will give others the opportunity to share in this spiritual reflection.  Thanks to all these artists whose work and creativity can be enjoyed by future generations.

Hill-Murray Football

Varsity Football Team
by Sister Linda Soler

Sister Linda Soler is returning as the Spiritual Coach for the boys varsity football team. The helmets were blessed, and each player received a Benedictine medal for safety. Each game begins with Mass by Fr. Kevin Manthey, a pregame talk by Sister Linda, then a shared meal, and lots of cheering and support on the sideline, so that in all things God may be glorified!



We Would Love to Hear from You

Let us, in fellowship, “lay your petitions before the Lord God with the utmost humility and sincere devotion.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Chap. 20)

If you have not seen our new website, we invite you to have a look! The address is still the same. If you would like to send a prayer request or concern via our website, you will find that request submission form on the Home page (, just under the header “St. Paul’s Monastery Community."

Amazon Smile Back to School

Go to and Amazon donates to St. Paul's Monastery.

This is an opportunity to partner with a national company...AMAZON! Most everyone has placed a few orders for those hard to find items. Others use Amazon because it is easy to find "everything!" Go to and pick your donation; we hope you pick us! Type "St Paul's Monastery" in and in the future a pop-up window will appear reminding you to go through AmazonSmile to count your donation. Your account will appear as normal but you'll see "Supporting: St Paul's Monastery" right under the search bar. 0.5% of your purchase will come back to us every quarter. Last quarter we only made $5.00 but we're hopeful to spread the word and get everyone connected to us designating us on AMAZONSmile! It makes you just want to SMILE!


We are deeply honored by those friends and supporters who have made a planned or estate gift to the Monastery. Including the Monastery in your estate planning allows you to continue sharing in the work that the Monastery plans to do for generations to come: supporting and serving in our educational apostolates, pastoral ministry, social outreach and spiritual care. To help foster the mission of St. Paul's Monastery, planned gifts and annual contributions can be made for general needs or to a special fund.  Possibilities include:

Membership: Oblates, Benedictine Associates and Vowed Religious
Pastoral Social Outreach
Spiritual Direction and Retreats
Health and Retirement

If you would like information on how to make a planned gift to the Monastery, please let us know. If you have already included the Monastery in your estate planning and have not yet informed us, let us know that as well so we can thank you now for including us in your planning. For more information, contact Annette Walker in the Mission Advancement Office, or 651-777-6850.


What are corporate team volunteer grants?
Team volunteer grants are corporate giving programs in which a company provides a monetary donation to nonprofits when a group of employees volunteer together.

Corporations offer these programs to promote team building and community service. These corporate grant programs have the potential to be a win-win for everyone involved. If your organization can design appealing opportunities for groups of corporate employees to come out and volunteer, everyone wins!

  • Your organization receives volunteer support from a group of individuals
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  • The corporation gets to give back to the community
  • Your organization receives a grant from the company

read full article here

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St. Paul's Monastery
2675 Benet Road
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55109

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