Sister Madonna (Mary Ann) Niebolte
May 3, 1930 – December 8, 2017
The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., for Sister Madonna (Mary Ann) Niebolte, who died, age 87, on December 8, 2017, at Saint Scholastica Convent. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Tuesday, December 12, from 1-4:30 p.m., or for a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation will continue at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on December 13.
Mary Ann Niebolte was born May 3, 1930, the fifth of five children, to Frank and Agnes (Schuetze) Niebolte in St. Augusta, Minn. She attended St. Mary’s Grade School in St. Augusta, Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, for three years, and graduated from Saint Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph.
She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on September 8, 1947, was received into the novitiate as Sister Madonna on June 16, 1948, made first monastic profession on July 11, 1949, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1952. S. Madonna earned a diploma at Diocesan Teachers’ College in St. Paul, Minn., and a bachelor’s degree in history, with minors in sociology and philosophy, from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph. She also earned a certificate in tutoring for the “Right to Read” program from Bemidji State University and a certificate in lip reading and sign language, for which she studied in Little Falls, Minn.
For more than 30 years, S. Madonna served as an elementary educator, both as a teacher and a principal, in the state of Minnesota: Maple Lake, New Munich, Red Lake, Pierz, St. Anthony’s and Holy Angels in St. Cloud. A change of ministry in the early 1980s saw her become director of personal services and health care aide at Saint Raphael’s Convent in St. Cloud. Her ministry then took her to Saint Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud where she supervised housekeeping services. In 1996, S. Madonna returned to Saint Benedict’s Monastery where she served in health care until shortly before her death.
In addition to the sisters in her Benedictine community, S. Madonna is survived by nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Adolph and Henry, and two sisters, Vlasta Kieke and Frances Salzer.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.