Elvan (Mary) Drayna, OSB

Elvan (Mary) Drayna, OSB (97)

St. Joseph

July 10, 1914- July 21, 2011

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Elvan Drayna, who died on July 21 at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Monday, July 25, from 1-6 p.m., or for a Prayer Vigil at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the funeral at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26.

S. Elvan was born to Peter and Christine (Cebulla) Drayna on July 10, 1914, near Browerville. She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on September 8, 1932, and made her monastic profession on July 11, 1934. S. Elvan graduated from St. Joseph’s Grade School and public high school in Browerville. She attended the Diocesan Teachers’ College in St. Paul and received a BA degree in biology and a minor in art from the College of Saint Benedict. She taught middle and upper grades in elementary schools at St. Bernard’s in St. Paul, Sobieski, St. John Cantius, St. Mary’s and St. Anthony’s in St. Cloud, White Earth, Freeport, Little Falls, Gilman, Miesville, Browerville, St. John’s in Wahpeton, N.D., and biology at St. Mary’s Central High School, Bismarck, N.D. She was principal in Sobieski and Browerville and held assorted other positions. In the early 1950s, Sister Elvan sketched a picture of the Blessed Virgin on which students sewed hundreds of different buttons, each signifying a school task successfully completed. Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Little Falls, continues to display this parish treasure. 

In later years, S. Elvan assisted at Saint Benedict’s Monastery in the liturgy office, corresponded with family, Sisters away and Sisters in Poland, and recorded her family history. Throughout her life, S. Elvan researched and wrote extensively on Polish history and her family history and spoke to community and school groups. She moved to Saint Scholastica Convent in 2006, where she participated in community life and a ministry of prayer.

S. Elvan is survived by her Benedictine community; two brothers: Joseph (Browerville) and Robert (Zimmerman); and four sisters: Clara Lucas (Browerville), Cecelia Gresback (St. Paul), Albina Greenwood (Eagle Bend) and Elizabeth Schneider, (Andover, S.D.). Three brothers, Emanuel, William and Henry, and two sisters, Mathilda and Loretta Costello, preceded her in death.

Please direct memorial gifts to Saint Benedict’s Monastery for the care of our elderly Sisters.