Alard (Bernadette) Zimmer, OSB

Alard (Bernadette) Zimmer, OSB

Saint Benedict’s Monastery

St Joseph, Minn.

February 5, 1923 – December 1, 2015

The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2015, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Alard (Bernadette) Zimmer, who died, age 92, on December 1, 2015, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Wednesday, December 9, 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.

Born February 5, 1923, to Nicholas and Katherine (Pletschett) Zimmer in Belgrade, Minn., Bernadette attended Belgrade Public Grade School and Belgrade Public High School. Her education continued at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, where she earned a B.A. in mathematics with minors in physics and philosophy. While still a student there, Bernadette entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on December 6, 1942; was received into the novitiate as S. Alard on June 22, 1943; made first monastic profession on July 11, 1944; and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1947.

S. Alard continued her study of mathematics and received an M.A. from Boston College in Boston, Mass. She also studied at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn.; Viterbo College, LaCrosse, Wis.; the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa,; and received a certificate for a program designed to interest women in mathematics and related fields held at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.   

Teaching mathematics was S. Alard’s ministry for many years. She served at Cathedral High School, St. Cloud; Saint Benedict’s High School, St. Joseph, Minn.; and as instructor of mathematics and director of the mathematics laboratory at the College of Saint Benedict. In 1982 Sister taught mathematics for the January term in the Bahamas, as well as during some summers. A sabbatical in 1982-1983 took her to St. John’s International School in Waterloo, Belgium.     

The talents that S. Alard possessed were evident in other areas of her ministry. She assisted in the monastic initial formation program and co-authored a history book with Sister Imogene Blatz, Threads from Our Tapestry (1994). In 1992, S. Alard moved to Saint Scholastica Convent where she undertook a number of craft activities, including machine knitting and making jewelry for Monastic Enterprises; helped in the gift shop; assisted other sisters and undertook a ministry of prayer. 

S. Alard is survived by the sisters of her Benedictine community, her brother, Rev. Nicholas, Braham, Minn., and sister, Dorothy Zimmer, St. Cloud. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Kathryn (Marguerite) Zimmer, OSB, Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, N.D., and Mary Maudal, Alexandria, Minn.

Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.