Sister Bernadine Paschke, 96, died at Villa Saint Vincent on October 30, 2012.
Bernice Frances Paschke was born in Oslo, MN on March 2, 1916, the tenth of the twelve children of Joseph and Mary (Schultz) Paschke, natives of Ardock, ND. Even though the family address was Oslo, MN, their home was just across the Red River near Warsaw, ND. The language spoken by most of the people in the community was Polish. Like the other children in the community, Sister Bernadine did not learn the English language until she began her education in a rural school in Walshville Township, Ardock, ND.
Sister Bernadine's love of learning began at an early age. Sister Bernadine told of her desire to attend school. "As a youngster of four years of age, I was eager to start school. My older brothers and sisters were attending the rural school. I continuously begged to go also. One beautiful December afternoon my mother allowed me to walk the 'short quarter mile' to the school. My gentle raps on the school door were not answered, and I returned home crestfallen over my unsuccessful venture. It was then that my oldest brother hitched up a team of horses to a sleigh and took me to school."
Her parents, realizing her love of learning, sent her to Mount Saint Benedict Academy for high school. In 1935, she entered the monastic community at Mount Saint Benedict, and then received the name, Sister Bernadine. She made her permanent monastic profession in 1939.
Sister Bernadine earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI, and a Master of Science Degree in administration from Moorhead State College. She served as an elementary teacher in the parochial schools of East Grand Forks, Crookston, Thief River Falls, Moorhead, Benson and Mahtomedi, MN, and in the public schools at Selfridge and Lefor, ND. She served as school administrator at Saint Bernard's in Thief River Falls, Cathedral Elementary School, Crookston, Saint Jude's School, Mahtomedi, and Saint Joseph's School, Moorhead. After her retirement from education, Sister Bernadine served as a receptionist at Villa Saint Vincent, Crookston, for nine years and at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery from 1991 until 2003. Wherever Sister Bernadine served, she was known and admired for her precision, competence and graciousness.
Sister Bernadine's special interest were reading and traveling. Besides visiting many parts of the United States, she also traveled to Europe, the Holy Land and Bogota, Colombia, South America where she spent a three-month sabbatical. Sister Bernadine was also an avid card player. Even when she was in long-term care at Villa Saint Vincent, she would often be playing solitaire. With a twinkle in her eye, she would say, "I always win!"
Sister Bernadine was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and seven sisters. She is survived by the members of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Reception of the body of Sister Bernadine will be at 4:30, p.m. Sunday, November 4, with visitation from 5:00 until the wake service at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 5. All services will be at Sacred Heart Chapel, Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, 620 Summit Ave., Crookston, MN.
Memorials in honor of Sister Bernadine Paschke may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation, 620 Summit Avenue, Crookston, MN.