Merle (Florentine) Maerz, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St. Joseph, Minn.
December 17, 1928 – February 9, 2023
The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., for Sister Merle (Florentine) Maerz, who died on February 9, 2023, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benson Funeral Homes. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, from 3–4:15 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 3 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 Thursday, February 16.
Florentine Maerz was born December 17, 1928, to Anthony and Theresa (Laumeyer) Maerz in Long Prairie, Minn., the fourth of their five daughters. She attended St. Mary’s Grade School and High School in Long Prairie and Saint Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph. In 1980, she received her GED diploma from St. Cloud Area Vocational Technical High School in St. Cloud, and in 1981, she received her certificate of completion for the dietetic assistant course from the University of Florida in Gainsville, Fla.
On August 26, 1945, Florentine entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery, was received into the novitiate on June 17, 1947, taking the name Sister Merle, made first monastic profession on July 11, 1948, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1951. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee on July 11, 1998, and her 60th anniversary of profession in 2008.
The domestic arts and hospitality were the foundations of S. Merle’s ministry. Her first assignment was to White Earth, Minn., from 1948–1954 teaching sewing, weaving and home economics. She then served as a supervisor in the cafeteria at the St. Cloud Hospital until 1957 when she moved to St. Mary’s Mission in Red Lake, Minn., where she worked in community housekeeping. In 1964, she was asked to serve with the sisters in Ogden, Utah, where she was food supervisor at St. Benedict’s Hospital for 15 years. On returning to Minnesota in 1979, she served for five years as director of food service at Saint Raphael’s Convent in St. Cloud. S. Merle also served in food service at Saint Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud, as well as receptionist and nursing assistant. At Saint Benedict’s Monastery, she served in hospitality as receptionist and as the guest house assistant. S. Merle moved to Saint Scholastica Convent in 2014 where she undertook a ministry of prayer and community living.
In addition to the sisters in her Benedictine community, S. Merle is survived by her sister, Betty Schenk (+Robert). She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Bernice (Albert) Weinmann, Josephine (Romaine) Host, and Sister Leanne (Lucille), OSB, of St. Paul’s Monastery.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Outreach Ministries.