Cathel (Frances) Sefkow, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St. Joseph, Minn.
November 29, 1915 – November 14, 2015
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2015, in Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., for S. Cathel (Frances) Sefkow, who died on November 14, 2015, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, from 1-6 p.m., or for a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral.
S. Cathel was born November 29, 1915, to Ernest and Genevieve (Sanders) Sefkow in Holt, Minn. She attended grade school in Greenbush, Minn., St. Cloud and Rochester, Minn., and Saint Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph. She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on September 1, 1935; was received into the novitiate July 2, 1940; made first monastic profession on July 11, 1941, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1944.
A graduate of the College of Saint Benedict with a B.S. degree in home economics and a minor in chemistry, she also studied at St. Paul Diocesan Teachers’ College, Saint Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn., and the University of Minnesota. Her qualifications included a certificate in executive housekeeping and a certificate in nursing home administration from Kinney Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.
S. Cathel’s education fed directly into her years of service: as an educator at White Earth, St. Boniface High School, Cold Spring, Minn., and Cathedral High School, St Cloud; as Executive Housekeeper at St. Cloud Hospital; and as administrator at St. Joseph’s Home, St. Cloud. She was a member of the Education Committee of the Minnesota Nursing Home Association.
After moving to Saint Benedict’s Monastery in 1975, S. Cathel worked in the monastery food service, physical plant and as coordinator of health care, as well as in food service at the College of Saint Benedict.
In 1993, she moved to Saint Scholastica Convent where she again worked in food service and took on a new role as receptionist. She was also involved in Monastic Enterprises, making small packaged Christmas ornaments and ribbons. To the end of her life, S. Cathel continued to serve her sisters in many ways, as well as being involved in a special ministry of prayer and community living.
S. Cathel is survived by the sisters of her Benedictine community, a niece, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by three brothers, Howard Sefkow, step-brother Henry Friederichs, half-brother, Erwin Friederichs, and a sister, Evelyn Sefkow, who died at birth.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.