Magdalen (Magdala) Schwab, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St Joseph, Minn.
March 26, 1924 – January 23, 2018
The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Magdalen Schwab, who died, age 93, on January 23, 2018, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Monday, January 29, from 1-4:30 p.m., or for a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 30, until the time of the funeral.
Magdalen Schwab was born March 26, 1924, to Frank and Clara (Heiling) Schwab in Redwood Falls, Minn., the fourth of six children. She attended elementary school at District #101 in Redwood Falls and public high school in Wabasso, Minn. Magdalen entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery on September 1, 1942, and was received into the novitiate on June 21, 1944, taking the name Sister Magdala. She made first monastic profession July 11, 1945, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1948. In November 1949, she reverted to her baptismal name, Magdalen.
Education played a significant role in S. Magdalen’s ministry. She earned a B.A. degree in elementary education with a minor in philosophy from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn., and also studied at Nazareth College, Nazareth, Mich., and at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn. S. Magdalen served as an educator in Eau Claire, Wis., South Tacoma, Wash., and at several schools in Minnesota: St. Paul’s and St. Anthony’s in St. Cloud; Watkins; Maple Lake; Eden Valley (teacher and principal); Miesville (teacher and principal); Browerville; Wadena; Melrose; and St. Michael’s, Morgan.
In 1985, S. Magdalen and her sister, Mary Larsen, began coordinating the “We Care” program. “We Care” is based in Morgan but serves 11 counties, providing food, clothing and other necessities to families in need. During these years, S. Magdalen also ministered in social services for the parish and the hospice program for Redwood County, as well as being a substitute teacher at St. Michael’s.
S. Magdalen continued her connection with “We Care” after moving to Saint Scholastica Convent in 2004. Here she undertook a ministry caring for sick and retired sisters for several years and then a special ministry of prayer and community living.
S. Magdalen is survived by her Benedictine community, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers, Ruben, Francis and Joseph, and by her sisters, Mildred Schwab and Mary Larsen.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Fund.