Benedictine Sister Barbara (Irene) Kort, 82, died March 2 at St. Benedict’s Senior Community, St. Cloud. A private Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, on March 8 followed by burial of her cremated remains in the monastery cemetery.
Barbara Jean Kort was born Feb. 4, 1939, to Manley and Ethel (Platzer) Kort in Minneapolis, the second of four daughters. She attended Annunciation Grade School and Holy Saints Academy High School in Minneapolis. On Sept. 8, 1959, she entered St. Benedict’s Monastery and was received into the novitiate June 14, 1960, as Sister Irene. She made her first monastic profession July 11, 1961, and her perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1964. Sister Barbara returned to her baptismal name in 1969 and celebrated her golden jubilee in July 2011.
A graduate of the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Sister Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with minors in philosophy and English. She received a master’s degree in elementary school administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a master’s in theology from St. John’s University School of Theology in Collegeville.
For 28 years, Sister Barbara taught in elementary schools and served as principal in several. She taught at St. Joseph School in Minneapolis; taught and served as principal at St. Anastasia School in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and at St. Mary’s School in Breckenridge; taught at St. Joseph’s Lab School in St. Joseph; was principal at St. Mary’s School in Long Prairie and at Holy Family School in Albany. Later, Sister Barbara taught religion at Cathedral High School/John XXIII Middle School in St. Cloud.
In 1989, Sister Barbara was appointed coordinator at St. Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud, a position she held until 1995 when she was appointed to the leadership team at St. Benedict’s Monastery, serving as community secretary for 10 years. She later assisted the administrator of human resources and dietary services at St. Scholastica Convent, served in the mission advancement office at St. Benedict’s Monastery, and was secretary to the president of the Federation of St. Benedict. In 2017, due to ill health, she moved to St. Scholastica Convent and later to St. Benedict’s Senior Community.
Sister Barbara is survived by the members of her Benedictine community, her sisters, Catherine Swenson and Janet Miller, nieces, nephews and in-laws. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Mary Jo Sterner.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.