Obituary: Franciscan Sister Donna Ebner

Franciscan Sister Donna Elizabeth Ebner, 92, died June 20 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Francis Convent on June 26.

She was born Feb. 18, 1931, in Elk River, to Eric and Bernadette (Stenglein) Ebner, the fourth of their six children. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota, Aug. 12, 1949, and received the name Sister Mary Hugh. She later reverted to her baptismal name. Sister Donna made her first profession of vows Aug. 12, 1951, and final vows Aug. 12, 1954. She was a Franciscan Sister for 73 years.

Sister Donna graduated from St. Francis High School in 1949. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, and furthered her education with studies at Dayton University, Dayton, Ohio; Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana; College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph; and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

She ministered as an elementary teacher and principal in Catholic schools in St. Cloud, Morris, Fergus Falls, Osakis and Little Falls. She also shared her musical ability as organist. On leaving teaching, she ministered in the Community Relations Department of the Franciscan Sisters for 36 years. She dutifully held the positions of communications director, executive secretary and publications specialist. At this time, she also taught literacy classes.

Over the years, Sister Donna was a faithful blood donor — she was recognized by the American Red Cross when she donated her 100th unit.

Sister Donna was preceded in death by her siblings Father Frank, Eugene and Leon. Survivors include siblings Franciscan Sister Bernice, Little Falls, and Gilbert (Kathy), Richville, nieces and nephews and her Franciscan Community.

Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.


Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

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

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