Sister Renee (Genesia) Rau, 79, died May 22 at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 28, at Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, followed by burial of her cremated remains in the monastery cemetery. A vigil prayer service and visitation will take place on Thursday, May 27, at 7 p.m. at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on May 28.
Renee Rau was born Oct. 12, 1941, the third of three children, to Leo and Everdina (deGrood) Rau in St. Cloud. She attended elementary school at McKinley Public School and St. Joseph’s School, both in Waite Park, and graduated from Cathedral High School in St. Cloud in 1959. Renee entered St. Benedict’s Monastery in 1959 and was received into the novitiate as Sister Genesia on June 14, 1960, reverting to her baptismal name in 1968. She made her first monastic profession July 11, 1961, her perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1965, and celebrated her golden jubilee in 2011.
Sister Renee graduated from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, with a degree in elementary education and a minor in philosophy and later received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, also from CSB. She received a master’s degree in professional psychology and a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
She taught at various elementary schools in Minnesota: St. Anthony in Watkins, Sts. Peter and Paul in Richmond, St. Boniface in Cold Spring, St. Anastasia in Hutchinson, St. John Cantius and St. Anthony in St. Cloud and Holy Family in Albany. She later served as community coordinator at St. Raphael’s Convent in St. Cloud and also served in ministry at St. Benedict’s Monastery and at St. Scholastica Convent.
Upon completion of her doctorate, she taught at St. Thomas University, St. John’s University in Collegeville and at CSB. At the monastery, she served in the archives, the business office, liturgy office and as an artisan for monastic enterprises and for Whitby Gift Shop and Gallery. Sister Renee also was a member of the monastery technology team and helped in the Sunset Drive Community Garden.
She is survived by the members of her Benedictine community, her brother, Thomas (Betty), and sister, Doreen Bengtson. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, Larry Bengtson. Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.