Madonna (Goretti) Kuebelbeck, OSB
Mary Dominic (Loretta) Eickhoff, OSB
Kerry O’Reilly, OSB
Rita Kunkel, OSB, and Georganne Burr, OSB
January 13, 1932 – September 3, 2015
igure skater, political activist, nurse, pioneer—words that each tell a part of Sister Madonna Kuebelbeck’s story. Growing up in St. Paul, Minn., Madonna knew at the age of nine she wanted to be a nurse; she met the Benedictines at the St. Cloud School of Nursing and one year later knew she wanted to be a Benedictine!
Healthcare was truly her avocation and she was a great innovator. For example, as the first clinical nurse specialist in the Mental Health Unit at St. Cloud Hospital she developed programs to launch this service. Understanding that chemical addiction was different from mental illness, S. Madonna developed separate units for chemical dependency and for adolescents suffering from addiction, enabling them to have their own treatment program.
Hard work and creative thinking required a relaxing outlet; for Madonna it was figure skating. Asked if she was good, her response was, “Darn good!”
S. Madonna was also the force behind a mission to the people of Recife, Brazil. She developed a lifelong friendship with Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife/Olinda. At a time when working in Brazil was politically tense for the Church, he appointed her coordinator of healthcare for the archdiocese.
Thank you, S. Madonna, for sharing your creativity and pioneering spirit and for your willingness to initiate something new when needed.
In 1989, S. Madonna (shown far right) served in Recife, Brazil, along with Sisters Mary Schumer, Kerry O'Reilly and Jean Schwartz
November 17, 1919 – September 14, 2015
ister Mary Dominic (Loretta) was the third of seven children, five girls and two boys. From high school days onwards, Loretta sensed a call to religious life but “put it off." After high school she spent three years studying nursing at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, N.D., completing the program in 1943. After working another year at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., she entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery, where her elder sister, Sister Hildebrand, was already finally professed and her younger sister, Sister Keith, had just made first monastic profession.
S. Mary Dominic’s nursing career was spent at St. Cloud Hospital. Her focus was maternal/child health. She enjoyed working with mothers and was known as a good teacher who expected her students to do their best and be conscientious. S. Mary Dominic also had an interest in therapeutic massage and, in 1985, she became certified as a massage therapist; she used her skills for the benefit of many, including our sisters. Dedicated to praying the rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours, her fidelity to prayer was an inspiration. She was a faithful community member, willing to help whenever possible. A woman of few words, S. Mary Dominic was quiet, gentle and caring, with a smile that expressed her interest and love toward others.
Published on Apr 4, 2016
Published by the Office of Mission Advancement, Saint Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn. The purpose of Benedictine Sisters and Friends...