Obituary: Benedictine Sister Monica (Gloria) Mai

Benedictine Sister Monica (Gloria) Mai, 88, died March 5 at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, at Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, with burial in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at St. Scholastica Convent on Thursday, March 10, 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. on March 11 until the time of the funeral.

Gloria Mai was born to Ernest and Marcella (Sherpy) Mai in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the second of five children. She attended Sacred Heart Grade School and St. Patrick’s Catholic Central High School in Eau Claire. She entered St. Bede Monastery in Eau Claire, Nov. 1, 1950, was received into the novitiate June 20, 1951, as Sister Monica, made first monastic profession July 11, 1952, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1955. She celebrated her golden jubilee in 2002 and her 60th jubilee in 2012.

Sister Monica studied at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul and Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin, receiving a bachelor’s degree with a major in business education and a minor in mathematics. She earned an master’s degree in business education from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and also attended Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio; Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conneticut; Aquinas Institute of Theology, Dubuque, Iowa; received a certificate in hospital pastoral care ministry from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri; attended a spiritual direction workshop in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Benedictine Symposium in Rome, Italy; and the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, and St. John’s University, Collegeville.

For several years Sister Monica was an elementary and high school teacher in Wisconsin. In 1980, she was elected prioress of St. Bede Monastery, a position which she occupied for total of 12 years, as well as being vice president of the Federation of St. Benedict. After serving as prioress, she completed the corporate ministry program and was chaplain for 15 years at St. Joseph Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin and at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.

In 2010, St. Bede Monastery merged with St. Benedict’s Monastery and she worked in the business office and in monastery services. In April 2013, she moved to St. Scholastica Convent where she undertook a ministry of prayer and community living.

Sister Monica is survived by her Benedictine community and her brothers, Richard (+Doris) and Dennis (Kathy), nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Mary Ann Bluem (+Marcellus) and Elaine Sheehan (+James).

Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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