Benedictine Sister Marie (Alda) Gerads, 85, died July 18 at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery.
Friends may call at St. Scholastica Convent on Monday, July 25, for a prayer service at 1 p.m. followed by visitation until 4:15 p.m., or for a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on July 26.
Sister Marie Gerads was born Feb. 8, 1937, to Charles and Loretta (Harren) Gerads in Freeport, the 11th of 17 children. She attended Public School District #160 in Freeport and Holdingford High School, Holdingford, for two years before moving to St. Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph, where she graduated. In September 1952, she entered St. Benedict’s Monastery, was received into the novitiate as Sister Alda in June 1954, made first monastic profession July 11, 1955, and perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1958. She chose to revert to her baptismal name in 1969. She celebrated her golden jubilee July 11, 2005, and her 60th jubilee in 2015.
Education was S. Marie’s main area of ministry. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in philosophy from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, and a certificate of completion of the program for the Theological Institute at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin. She also attended St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, and St. John’s University, Collegeville.
Assignments as a teacher in elementary school education included Wadena, St. Anthony’s School in St. Cloud, New Munich, Long Prairie, Browerville, Cold Spring, Melrose, St. Joseph Lab School, and Freeport. She later was a driver for the sisters at St. Scholastica Convent. In 1997, Sister Marie moved permanently to St. Scholastica Convent where she helped with the laundry, in food service, as a receptionist and caring for the sisters. She also undertook a ministry of prayer for the prioress and leadership team.
Sister Marie is survived by members of her Benedictine community, her brothers, Frank (Doreen), Herbert, Gilbert (Carol), Jake (Judy), and her sisters, Magdalen (+Dean) Schwanke, Loretta (Herbert) Thull, Dolores (+Dennis) Linn, and Bertha (+Ambrose) Herdering. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Martha and Elizabeth (+Alphonse) Bechtold, and her brothers, Martin, Jerome, Joseph, Bernard, John, and Norbert (+Mildred).
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.