Mary George (Hedwig) Ortmann, OSB

Sister Mary George Ortman was called Hedwig or Hattie, before she became a member of Saint Benedict’s Monastery. In April we’ll celebrate her 95 years of life and 75 years as a religious.

S. Mary George’s ministry is prayer for the prioress, for vocations and for the Ojibwe people of Minnesota. Her smiling presence is also a ministry. She is often one of several Sisters gathered for the rosary each day; one can hear her responding to the “Hail Mary.”

During her more active years, S. Mary George was an elementary grade teacher, especially for grades 2, 3 or 4. She appreciated being able
to prepare children and adults, for the reception of the sacraments.

Her ministry of 45 years at the Little Flower Mission in Onamia, Minn., included a great variety of services—Head Start, Title I, staff trainer, cook, Green Thumb program for adults, pastoral assistant and administrator of the Mission, caring for the people’s needs of both body and spirit. In her work with the young, she tried creative ways to make learning more enjoyable, such as storytelling using props. When asked if her ministry was difficult, she said: “I have never thought much of anything being difficult. When you are working out of love for Him, it is love. What more could you ask for?” She was glad to be able to use her gifts.

Written by Stephen Kurpiers, OSB