Colman (Dolores) O’Connell, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St Joseph, Minn.
March 13, 1927 – September 30, 2017
The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Colman (Dolores) O’Connell, who died, age 90, on September 30, 2017, at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Burial of the cremated remains will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Friday, October 6, 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 on Saturday, October 7.
Dolores O’Connell was born March 13, 1927, to John and Anastasia (Gallagher) O’Connell in Roberts, Wis. She attended Elm Town District Public School, Roberts State Grades School in Roberts, Wis., Warren Union High School in Roberts and the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), St. Joseph, Minn. On September 8, 1946, she entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery, was received into the novitiate on June 17, 1947, receiving the name Colman, made first profession on July 11, 1948, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1951.
S. Colman earned a B.A. degree from CSB with a major in English and minors in speech and philosophy. She received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the Catholic University in Washington, DC, with a major in drama and a minor in English, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan with a major in higher education. S. Colman also attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., Birmingham University in England, Denver University in Denver, Colo., Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.
Education was at the heart of S. Colman’s ministry. In particular, she was renowned for her commitment to promoting education for women. Her first experiences as a teacher were at Cathedral High School, St. Cloud, Minn., where she taught English, and Pierz Memorial High School, Pierz, Minn., where she taught English and theater. In 1954, she began teaching speech, English and theater at CSB. This was the start of her long professional association with the college. For a number of years she worked as Director of Planning and Development and served as President from 1986-1996. In the following years, she accompanied students to Greece and Italy for a semester, served as a member of various Boards and worked in CSB development, including as Vice President for Institutional Advancement, consultant and Senior Development Officer; she was active in this latter role up to the time of her death.
S. Colman is survived by the sisters of her Benedictine community, her nephew, John Hacker, nieces Anne Hacker, Mary Dee Hacker, Barbara Hacker, cousins and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Honor Hacker.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.