Meet the Oblates

Meet the Oblates

Mary Frisch Steidle – Faithful to Her Calls as Wife, Sister, Aunt and Oblate Mary Steidle (75) died at Madonna Manor on Friday, October 16, of congestive heart failure, after a suffering for many years with breathing problems.  She lived at Madonna Manor for over 10 years in assisted living, was faithful to Mass and all the other residents. Mary was the youngest of the John Frisch Family from Pleasant Ridge Ave, Ft. Mitchell, KY.  Two of her sisters entered St. Walburg Monastery; Sr. Jeanette, and Sr. Ann, following their aunt, Sr. Elizabeth Frisch.  Mary also entered and took the name Sr. Maria Goretti, but left after some years.  She became an Oblate with the Cincinnati Chapter of St. Meinrad’s Monastery, and in 1996 become an Oblate with our community, after we welcomed Oblates.  She took her Oblate responsibilities seriously, and attended the gatherings as long as she could.  Sr. Mary Rabe was her prayer partner and constant friend and helper along her journey. Mary and Bob Steidle married in 1973, and lived in Erlanger, KY, and considered St. Henry their parish.  She worked at many things:  teacher, IRS, librarian, and playground supervisor at Villa Madonna Elementary School, and volunteering at other schools.  She also helped out at his family’s business, until he retired.  They loved traveling, esp. to St. Meinrad Archabbey.  Bob died in February, 1999. Mary loved shopping, playing at her large organ in their living room, taking pictures of her siblings, nieces and nephews, and pencil drawing.  She also loved to read. She borrowed many books from our Oblate Resource Room, almost every time she came to visit her sisters. The Visitation and Funeral Mass was at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Ft. Mitchell, right across the street from the Frisch family home, on Tuesday, October 20.      The Oblates will have a Mass offered at this Monastery for Mary, and Fr. Meinard will have a Mass at St. Meinrad’s for her as well.  Keep Mary and the Steidle and Frisch families in your prayers. Sr. Mary Tewes

Oblate Stefanie Lyn Parker  – Devoted Educator   Oblate Stefanie Lyn Parker (64) died at her Ft. Mitchell, KY home on June 1, 2015.  Stefanie had suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis for the past few years.  In September 2014, Stefanie had called to ask for prayers and help with her new service dog, Sammie.  Sr. Joan Fraenzle helped her out in this way and also brought her Communion once a week as Stefanie could no longer leave her home.   Sr. Andrea, became her new prayer partner, and wrote to her assuring her of our prayers.  Through this time, she was also in the hospital getting help for the pain. Stefanie was born December 25, 1950 to George and Olga Boehm, who were in the motel business.  She had few relatives.   After much traveling she needed more guidance than public school could offer and she was enrolled in Villa Madonna  in the 5th grade.  There she had Srs. Justina and Bartholomew (Margaret Mary Gough) as teachers and Sr. Emmanual as art teacher.    She said she “learned far more than academics” which enriched her life.   From 1963-1975, she went back to Florida, where she got her degree from Jacksonville University in 1972. In 1990, Stefanie, as an educational specialist, started her own private tutoring business called SMARTER Learning Systems and continued this ministry until very recently.  Her constant companion was her beloved dog named Freeway, whom she grieved when the dog died. In 2000, she had her 50th birthday party to which the Sisters, especially Sr. Agnes Ruschmann, her devoted prayer partner, were invited, along with her many friends, students, and acquaintances from her participating in dancing, ice skating, symphony, and her volunteering at the art museum and the Cincinnati Zoo.  Stefanie, accompanied by Freeway, welcomed all the guests to celebrate this special occasion with her. She was one of the first to participate in the Associate Program we offered by St. Walburg Monastery from 1985 on.  Because of all the above activities, she found it hard to participate regularly in the monthly Oblate Gatherings .  But she kept up with all of the communications sent out to the Oblates.  She participated in the annual Oblate Renewal Days. She said that being a Benedictine Oblate “is a treasure, a privilege, and most special blessing to share in a relationship with the community.  It gives me strength, happiness, and peace.  I feel at home when I am with the Sisters of St. Walburg”. She asked that no public or private service be held.  Instead, she suggests that friends have a Mass offered, do volunteer services, or make donations in her memory.  The Mass on Tuesday, June 9th will be offered in memory of Stefanie at St. Walburg Monastery.  May she rest in peace!       Sr. Mary Tewes, OSB, Oblate Director

Pat Heidrich, Faithful Wife, Mother, Friend and Benedictine Oblate Pat Heidrich, who celebrated her 81st birthday in January, had been kept from doing many of the things she loved to do, because of knee pain for much too long.  She finally found a doctor she trusted and prepared for her knee replacement surgery on April 8th, and eager to go to Madonna Manor for her rehab.  She was confident and peaceful, when she called to announce this the day before, asking to be kept in prayer.  She had the surgery and got to the Manor on April 12th.  Complications from reactions to some meds set her on her final journey, when she was taken back to the hospital on Holy Thursday – entering the Paschal Mystery with Jesus, and on back to God on April 30th.  We are all sure that Pat was ready, but it has taken her family and friends these three weeks to accept her dying so unexpectedly. Pat was one of the original group of Associates in 1987.  We all knew of her devotion to her husband, Art, now 87, and her 4 children; Donna, Denise, Kris and Tim, and her “greatest joy- my 5 grandkids”. She was a member of St. Henry Parish, involved in several ministries, following a Cursillo life-changing experience in 1982. Then she participated in the Lay Ministry Development Program in the Diocese of Covington, where she learnt how to prepare others to assume leadership roles in her parish. When Sr. Stella Marie Gough told her about the new Benedictine Associate program, and asked her if she would like to be involved, Pat was thrilled. “Over the years I just cannot put into words how much the sisters have enriched my life.” As her prayer partner, Sr. Mary Ann Wolking was a joy and became very special to her. Pat said that “being an Associate has been one of the highlights of my spiritual journey.” Later on when her neighbor and good friend, Peg McKnight, became an Associate in 1999, Pat agreed to be her prayer partner, as well. After Sr. Mary Ann died in 2003, Pat asked Sr. Esther O’Hara to be her prayer partner, and they too had many delightful years of sharing. Pat participated in the Associate (now Oblate) Gatherings regularly, until her other commitments and pain kept her away.  But she was there for the Oblation Renewal Days and the Ice-Cream Socials for sure.  For the last 15 years Pat has served as Treasurer for the Benedictine Oblates.  We are all grateful to her for that service on the Coordinating Team. Pat’s favorite prayer is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.  Her aim was to be able to imitate his simple life and foster his way of peace and justice.  Together with her husband she volunteered weekly at the Parish Kitchen.  She saw herself as  out-going, with a good sense of Irish humor.  She enjoyed needlework and crafts and playing cards and having lunch with her friends. We will all be celebrating Pat Heidrich’s life and death at the funeral Mass on Tuesday, May 6, 7:00 p.m. at her home parish, St. Henry’s in Erlanger, KY.  Visitation at the Church prior to Mass from 5:30-7:00 pm. There will be a reception following the funeral Mass.  Keep her husband, Art, family and friends in prayer.

Helen Kiffmeyer, Charming Woman, Gifted Educator & Benedictine Oblate Helen Kiffmeyer who died at Carmel Manor on April 1, 2014, had just begun her 91st year of life, all of which she lived to the fullest. She was loved dearly by her three children, Carolyn, Joseph, and Donald; and by many co-workers, friends and Oblates. She had a long association with the Benedictine Sisters, beginning with Sr. Mercedes teaching Joseph at St. Henry Kindergarten. Later all three children went to St. Paul School. In 1958 when Donald was in the first grade, Sr. Edward asked if she would teach the fifth grade “only until the sisters came back.” She continued to teach there for 14 years. She was the first lay teacher in our schools, and the teachers and students loved her. I got to know her when I arrived at St. Paul in 1959.  When Carolyn went to high school at Villa Madonna, she got to know even more Benedictines.She taught one year at St. Benedict School where Sr. Betty was principal, and Sr. Estelle taught first grade. Then she taught at Thomas More College with Sr. Joyce Quinlan in the Ed. Dept  When Sr. Victoria left the Diocesan Education Office, she took her place as Consultant for the Elementary Schools for the next 13 years. Sr. Helen Hergott started working as an Elementary Consultant a few years before Helen retired. When the Benedictine Associate Program began in 1985, Helen thought that she would fit in quite naturally, having gotten to know so many of the sisters over the years. She asked Sr. Helen Hergott to be her Prayer Partner and that continued till her death. She made her first covenant with the first group of Associates in 1987. She was there at the 20th anniversary celebration of the group where the title was changed to Oblates, still full of life and laughter. Helen enjoyed being with folks in so many arenas. She traveled the world, volunteered for Be Concerned and the Parish Kitchen, member of the Covington Art Club, book clubs and the “Derby Girls”. After Helen moved to Carmel Manor from the Brent Spence High Rise in Covington, she was unable to attend the Oblate Gatherings, and was greatly missed by the group. Her loving daughter, Carolyn, kept her many friends advised of her health, and was there by her side much of the time lately. Helen Kiffmeyer will be remembered fondly, and our prayers go out to her family and friends. We will be celebrating her life and death, especially at the funeral Mass on Tuesday, April 8, at Mother of God Church, in Covington, KY. Sr. Mary Tewes,  OSB, Director of Benedictine Oblates of St. Walburg Monastery 

Dick Middendorf, a Gracious Companion to many on his Journey Dick Middendorf was born in Park Hills, KY 85 years ago into a family of very generous people.  He is known all over Northern, KY and Cincinnati area for the many and varied-places he taught and served on committees organized to better places include LaSalle High School, Xavier University, Chatfield College/Community Center in Lower Price Hill, and was a member of St. Ignatius Parish. Folks loved having Dick as a member of their groups or committees. He was always encouraging and full of good ideas. In 1987 Dick and his wife, Rita, became Benedictine Oblates of St. Walburg Monastery in Villa Hills, KY, where his sister, Sr. Ann is a member. As director of the Benedictine Oblates, these are the things I have observed over the past 26 years. He and Rita faithfully attended the monthly gatherings. He was a model of Benedictine hospitality, and appreciated that virtue in others.  The Oblates will miss his gregarious entrance to all meetings; greeting each one, and inquiring about each one and their families.  He enriched the group with his words of wisdom, great insights, and a questioning spirit in faith sharing and discussions around living the Benedictine charism. He loved the sisters of the community and told them so regularly.  He seemed to have had a genuine love for every person he met. Dick was known for his challenging views regarding issues of peace and justice in the Church and in the world and was always hopeful for a better life for all.  Even after he suffered from Bell’s palsy a few years ago, his spirits were not damped by the disfigurement. “Oh, I’m doing fine. That doesn’t bother me.” He was very patient and accepting of his cross. Sending his dear wife, Rita, off to heaven last August was very difficult for him, but she was with him in spirit throughout this past year when his suffering became very intense. Dick died peacefully on Sunday afternoon at Madonna Manor Nursing Home in the care of Hospice nurses, with his family present. The sisters and oblates are praying for the family of Dick and Rita as they celebrate the life and death of Dick Middendorf, beloved father, grandfather, brother, oblate and dedicated disciple of the Lord. Sr. Mary Tewes, OSB, Director of Benedictine Oblates of St. Walburg Monastery

  • Donna & Jack Alexander
  • Martha Arlinghaus
  • Mary Bach-Loreaux
  • Betty Bradbury
  • Dotti Due
  • Kathy Dye
  • Mary Easterling
  • Jerry & Stella Edwards
  • Joan Erb-Breetz
  • Laura Flippen-Tenzel
  • Mary Jo & Wayne Hall
  • Pat Heidrich
  • Chaille Holt Miller
  • Christine Hoskey

  • Christine Hovanitz
  • Louise Jewett
  • Helen Kiffmeyer
  • Mary Carol Landwehr
  • Gerry & Jim Lockhart
  • Deborah Lueke
  • Margie Maschmeyer
  • Peggy McKnight
  • Gail & Dick Michalack
  • Dick Middendorf
  • JoAnn V. Moeller
  • Joan Moser
  • Liz O’Halloran
  • Sue & Mike Page

  • Stefanie Parker
  • Mary Jo Rechtin
  • Sharon Rust
  • Yvonne & Dick Schladen
  • Dan & Aubrey Schmidt
  • Pat Scott
  • Nancy Starkey
  • Mary Steidle
  • Amy Steioff
  • Judy Ten-Eyck
  • Mary Kay Wenstrup
  • Linda Young
  • Cindy Zegarra