Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek, OSB

Sister Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek
St. Joseph, Minn.
August 14, 1910-November 1, 2011

The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek, (101) who died on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud.  Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Monday, November 7, 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 time of the funeral on Tuesday, November 8, at 3:30 p.m.

S. Giovanni was born on August 14, 1910, to Joseph and Agnes (Nowak) Bieniek in Holdingford, Minn. She attended the district school in Arban and Holdingford High School (1929). Her entrance at Saint Benedict’s Monastery on November 29, 1931, was followed with acceptance into the novitiate on June 12, 1932, first monastic profession on July 11, 1933, perpetual profession on July 11, 1936, and consecration as a virgin on July 14, 1957. She celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Benedictine in 1983, her 60th in 1993, and her 75th in 2008. 

In preparation for a lifelong ministry in health care, S. Giovanni graduated from the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing in 1934. She also received a B.S. degree in hospital administration from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., in 1940 and a certificate in pediatric nursing at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago. 

As director of nursing, S. Giovanni spent 27 years ministering at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, N.D., at St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden Utah. Coordinating health services at Saint Benedict’s monastery, high school and college filled the next six years. The Sister Visitor Program in the Spiritual Care Department at the St. Cloud Hospital was under her supervision for eight years. In 1971, she was appointed to the St. Cloud Hospital Board of Trustees. Following this were years of visiting patients at the St. Cloud Hospital, and nursing services to Sisters in retirement. She went to live at Saint Scholastica Convent in 1988.   

S. Giovanni is survived by her Benedictine community; her brother Stephen, Sartell; sister-in-law Dororthy Bieniek; two sisters: Pauline (Rein) Mans, Riceville, Iowa, and Sister Joel, OSF, Little Falls, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews. Seven brothers (John, Theophil, Alois, Joseph, Peter, Sylvester and Walter) and three sisters (Mary Mathe, Sister Vianney, OSB, also of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, and Sister Mary Grace, OSF) preceded her in death.

Please direct memorial gifts to the care of the elderly Sisters at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, 104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph, MN 56374