Sister Hildegarde Ricken, 1924-1997

Born April 13, 1924, Covington, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, December 27, 1941
First Profession June 30, 1943
Died October 5, 1997

Sr. Hildegarde was the oldest of her family’s five daughters. When she was thirteen, her mother died and her father quickly followed her in death. Sr. Hildegarde had started high school at Villa Madonna Academy as a day student, but when her father died, she became a boarder. The younger children were placed in St. John’s Orphanage where the Benedictine Sisters also served.

In 1941 Sr. Hildegarde entered St. Walburg monastery. from 1943 to 1952 she served as a housekeeper at St. Therese, Southgate or at Sante Fe Hospital, LaJunta, Colorado. In 1952 she began teaching elementary school in the Northern Kentucky area and taught until 1987. For two years she volunteered at Brighton Center and Welcome House and then she served as a teacher’s aide at Mary Queen of Heaven kindergarten.

In 1996 she was diagnosed with cancer. Sr. Hildegarde continued to face each day positively and patiently. When it was clear to her that death was going to come much sooner than she anticipated, she viewed her years of service in the church and community with pride and satisfaction. She continued to cherish and nurture family relationships and the personal friendships she had developed over the years. Being mentally clear and alert until she died was a special blessing for Sr. Hildegarde, giving her the opportunity to say goodbye to community members and many of her friends and family members.