Sister Margaret Mary Bielinski, OSB

Sister Margaret Mary Bielinski, OSB

CLYDE – Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration Margaret Mary Bielinski, OSB passed away Aug. 7, 2017, at Our Lady of Rickenbach in Clyde, Missouri.

She was born on April 12, 1923, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Alex and Veronica Chucka Bielinski. Given the name Monica, she grew up with seven siblings and attended Catholic grade school. During the Depression, the family moved from Milwaukee to Black River Falls, Wisconsin, a small town that was quieter than the city they were used to.

“My uncle owned the only hotel in town, and we all got jobs there,” she recalled. “Things weren’t too exciting, so we made things happen.”

After her high school graduation, she moved back to Milwaukee and worked as a housekeeper, in a bakery and a retail store. Then World War II began, and she became an inspector in a factory, working the second shift and making a good salary.

However, after making a retreat at a convent when she was 18 years old, she suspected God might be calling her to do something else with her life.

“The retreat made a great impression, and Jesus became real to me,” she said.

Over the next few years, she spent time in prayer, enrolled in several religious associations and read booklets from the Benedictine Sisters such as “Eucharistic Adorer.”

“The desire to lead a religious life was growing, so I made changes in my life,” she said.

She began making novenas, additional retreats and confided in her priest, seeking spiritual advice. She ultimately decided she wanted to follow the contemplative life led by the Benedictine Sisters.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to make,” she said. “I longed to be a spouse of Christ, and I never once regretted it.”

Novice Monica made her first monastic profession on Sept. 1, 1945, and was given the name Sister Margaret Mary. She made her final monastic profession on Sept. 8, 1950.

During Sister Margaret Mary’s years as a Benedictine Sister, she lived at the Congregation’s monasteries in Clyde, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; San Diego and Tucson, Arizona. Her tasks included working in the sewing room, the bakery, the kitchen, the printery, the infirmary and the altar bread department. At Clyde she was superior of the healthcare wing and blossomed in the experience of caring for others. She was a good baker, many remember the delicious bread she made and her waffle Pizzelle cookies.

When younger, she liked to hike. Later, she did her hiking by walking around Tucson and attending extra masses in nearby parishes. When more elderly, she asked friends to take her. It was a form of outreach that bonded her to lay friends.

During her last years in Tucson, she suffered the loss of her eyesight, which made it necessary to transfer to the Congregation’s health care center at Our Lady of Rickenbach in 2013.

Sister Margaret Mary loved her 72 years of monastic profession with a heart so devoted to Christ. She once summed up her gratitude and a spirituality of life.

“I appreciate most the stable life of prayer, lectio, adoration and community life. What more could a woman want in this world?” she said. “My talents have been used, and I am very grateful to be a Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Our love for each other is our greatest witness. Relationships are what it’s all about. We need each other to grow. All these friendships and circumstances have molded me into who I am today. God is more interested in who we are rather than what we do.”

 

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Friday
November 24, 2017
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph