Barbara Jean (Irene) Kort, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St. Joseph, Minn.
February 4, 1939 – March 2, 2021
Sister Barbara (Irene) Kort died peacefully on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Saint Benedict’s Senior Community, St. Cloud, Minn. A private Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Benedict’s Monastery on Monday, March 8, 2021, followed by burial of the cremated remains in the monastery cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benson Funeral Home.
Barbara Jean Kort was born February 4, 1939, to Manley and Ethel (Platzer) Kort in Minneapolis, Minn., the second of four daughters. She attended Annunciation Grade School and Holy Saints Academy High School in Minneapolis. On September 8, 1959, she entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery and was received into the novitiate on June 14, 1960, as Sister Irene. She made her first monastic profession on July 11, 1961, and her perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1964. S. Barbara returned to her baptismal name in 1969 and celebrated her Golden Jubilee in July 2011.
A graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn., S. Barbara earned her B.A. degree in elementary education with minors in philosophy and English. She received two masters’ degrees: in elementary school administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a master’s in theology from Saint John’s University School of Theology in Collegeville, Minn.
For 28 years, S. Barbara taught in elementary schools and served as principal in several. She taught at St. Joseph School in Minneapolis; taught and served as principal at St. Anastasia School in Hutchinson, Minn., and at St. Mary’s School in Breckenridge, Minn.; taught at St. Joseph’s Lab School in St. Joseph; was principal at St. Mary’s School in Long Prairie, Minn., and at Holy Family School in Albany, Minn. Later, S. Barbara taught religion at Cathedral High School and at John XXIII in St. Cloud.
In 1989, S. Barbara was appointed coordinator at Saint Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud, a position she held until 1995 when she was appointed to the leadership team at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, serving as community secretary for 10 years. She later assisted the administrator of human resources and dietary services at Saint Scholastica Convent, served in the mission advancement office at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, and was secretary to the president of the Federation of Saint Benedict. In 2017, due to ill health, she moved to Saint Scholastica Convent and later to Saint Benedict’s Senior Community.
S. Barbara is survived by the members of her Benedictine community, her sisters, Catherine Swenson and Janet Miller, nieces, nephews and in-laws. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Mary Jo Sterner.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Outreach Ministries.