Obituary: Franciscan Sister Mary Bernarda Sanoski

Franciscan Sister Mary Bernarda Sanoski, 102, died Feb. 28 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Francis Convent on Tuesday, March 5, at 11 a.m. Friends may call at the convent on Monday, March 4, from 4 to 8 p.m.; with a Franciscan prayer service at 7 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral on March 5, at 11 a.m.

Sister Mary Bernarda (Cecilia Marie) was born Aug. 15, 1916, the ninth of 10 children, to Andrew and Mary Sanoski, in Minneota, Minnesota. The family later moved to Morrison County where Cecilia attended a country school near Flensburg. She enrolled at St. Francis High School, Little Falls, graduating in 1935.

Cecilia was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls on Aug. 12, 1935 and given the name, Sister Mary Bernarda. She made final vows Aug. 12, 1940 and was a Franciscan sister for 83 years.

Sister Bernarda obtained her RN at St. Francis School of Nursing, Breckenridge, in 1940. In 1942 she received a certificate in obstetrical nursing from Marquette University and in 1945 received her BSN from Marquette. She ministered as an obstetrics nurse at St. Francis, Breckenridge, and St. Gabriel’s, Little Falls.

She was licensed as a hospital administrator by the Minnesota Department of Health in 1960 and served as administrator of St. Ansgar Hospital, Moorhead, for 18 years. In 1978, she was named Woman of the Year by the Fargo/Moorhead Young Women’s Association.

She received a certificate as a pastoral associate from St. Margaret Health Center, Kansas City, Kansas. She was elected to the Community Board of the Franciscan Sisters in 1980 and served for four years. During that time she was also a member of the founding board of directors of Franciscan Sisters Health Care, Inc. Sister Bernarda then served in pastoral care at McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Trinity Memorial Hospital, Cudahy, Wisconsin, and St. Francis Medical Center, Breckenridge. She then served in parish ministry in Swanville and Flensburg before retiring to the motherhouse in 2014.

Sister Bernarda was preceded in death by siblings: Nellie Pease, Stanley, Tillie Witt, Rose Fedor, John, Frank, Walter, Anna Miller and Theodore. Survivors include nieces, nephews, extended family, many friends and her Franciscan community.

Funeral arrangements are by Emblom Brenny Funeral Service, Little Falls. 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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