Sister Carla Cook

Born October 1, 1920, Latonia, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery September 8, 1941
Received habit, June 29, 1942
Made First Profession, June 30, 1943
Died March 7, 2012

          Sister Carla Cook, OSB was born to Carl and Lucille French Cook on October 1, 1920 and given the name Rosemary at her baptism. Mr. Cook’s first wife had died, leaving three young daughters who were Rosemary’s half-sisters; two brothers followed her into the family. The Cooks belonged to Holy Cross Parish where Rosemary attended school for twelve years and became familiar with the Benedictine Sisters. After graduation she worked at Shillito’s in Cincinnati and enjoyed her job but soon felt a call to religious life. Rosemary became a postulant at St. Walburg Monastery on September 8, 1941 and a novice known as Sister Carla on June 29, 1942. First and perpetual monastic profession occurred in 1943 and 1946; silver, golden and diamond jubilees in 1968, 1993 and 2003.

            Sr. Carla served in schools as teacher and sometime principal from 1946-1983 at St. Joseph, Crescent Springs, Holy Cross, St. Patrick in La Junta, CO, St. Pius X, St. Anthony, Blessed Sacrament and Villa Madonna Academy. After her retirement from teaching she earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. Some sisters remember her weekends of reflection with them. She was closely associated with the New Jerusalem Community and became a lifelong friend of Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM and Fr. John Quigley, OFM.

            During these years Sr. Carla resided at the Knoll and at Villa Madonna Academy; in 1996 she moved to the monastery. Health needs took her to the infirmary in 2002.

            Sr. Carla developed deep and lasting friendships. These were a steady source of support; her hearty laugh was a joy to all. In time movement became difficult for her. Good days would find her in her recliner but these became fewer. Her mood was cheerful and her appreciation deep for any little service. She regularly offered candy to her visitors. A fall and two trips to the hospital followed and her condition deteriorated. Friends and family visited this past week, prepared for her death which came peacefully on Wednesday, March 7 at 11:20 p.m. Sr. Carla was preceded in death by her three half-sisters; she is survived by two brothers, Robert of West Chester, Ohio and Charles of Baltimore, Maryland,  nieces and nephews, many friends and her religious community. Her funeral took place March 12, 2012, followed by burial at St. Walburg Cemetery.