Sister Monica Fessler, 1921-2013
|Born December 11, 1921, Newport, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, September 8, 1946
Received habit, June 8, 1947
First Profession, June 29, 1948
Died October 5, 2013
Sister Monica Fessler was born to Edward and Louise Ruschmann Fessler on December 11, 1921 in Newport, KY and received the name Martha at her baptism. She and her twin sister Mary were the youngest of four siblings; Mildred and Raymond were older. Martha entered St. Walburg Monastery on September 8, 1946 where Mildred, as Sister Raymond, had made profession shortly before. Martha became a novice, Sister Monica, on June 28, 1947. First profession followed on June 29, 1948 and perpetual profession on August 24, 1951; silver, golden and diamond jubilees were celebrated in 1973, 1998 and 2008.
In the fall of 1948 Sr. Monica was assigned to Good Counsel Kindergarten in Hazard, KY where she served one year and then moved to Hazard’s Mount Mary Hospital where she assisted Sr. Raymond in the bookkeeping department. It was there on October 17, 1953 that she learned of the death of her twin sister, Mary. In 1959 Sr. Monica moved back to the monastery where, until 1962, she served as sacristan, assisting where needed in the infirmary and at Marydale Retreat House. For one year she assisted in the bookkeeping department of Santa Fe Hospital, LaJunta, CO.
After this short time in the west, Sr. Monica returned to the monastery where she resumed the position of sacristan for the monastic community. When the community withdrew from hospital work in Colorado, Sr. Raymond also returned to the monastery where she assisted Sr. Monica in chapel flower arrangements and in many other ways.
Failing eyesight which had plagued her for years and other health issues necessitated Sr. Monica’s move to the infirmary in 2002. Sr. Raymond’s death in 2008 was a great loss to her but she remained patient and uncomplaining. For many months her cousins Srs. David and Agnes (who died September 4) prayed the rosary with her daily. Sr. Monica died suddenly at noon on Saturday, October 5, 2013.
Surviving are her sister-in-law Lee Frye Fessler, wife of Raymond who died in 2009, nieces and nephews, friends and this Benedictine community.