Yvette Keller, the seventh of William and Frances (Useldinger) Keller’s nine children, was born on May 18, 1940, in St. Cloud, Minn. Yvette attended Holy Angels and St. Paul’s grade school and graduated from Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery in 1958.
Sister Hilda graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with degrees in Latin and English education. She went on to study at St. Thomas, St. Catherine and St. Cloud State University. She also did graduate study at Saint John’s University, receiving a degree in theology.
Hilda taught elementary grades at Sacred Heart, Sauk Rapids and St. Augustine’s, St. Cloud, and then moved into secondary education teaching English, Latin and religion at several Catholic high schools in Minnesota, as well as Puerto Rico and Japan. In 1984, she moved to Saint Benedict’s Monastery where she worked in the library, taught reading classes for our sisters and worked as a receptionist and sacristan. For three years, she wrote reflections for the Liturgical Press at Saint John’s University and worked in Studium at the monastery. In 2000, S. Hilda moved to Saint Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud and taught English to Korean guest-sisters, read to sisters and continued her life of prayer and community living. She moved to St. Benedict’s Senior Community in February 2017.
A good friend, Sherrie Foehrenbacher, shared that S. Hilda has been an icon in so many ways. She left a legacy of incredibly fond memories when she attended aquatics classes at the YMCA. Her fortitude inspired everyone around her, her sense of humor even more. She is an inspiration for every single person who walked into her room through the many years of being bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. There is no way to describe the impact she has made without even knowing it.
Music is S. Hilda’s greatest joy. She loved to sing with her sister Petra at the piano. She is grateful for contemplative living, humor and her Benedictine community of sisters. In addition, she loves books. She appreciates when Sister Jane Weber and others read to her, and she is grateful for books on tape. She also keeps up with all the communications from the monastery.
Hilda amazes all of us with her sharp memory, remembering and reminiscing about what is going on in the community, world, church, daily life, friends and family. She is so grateful for the staff at St. Benedict’s Senior Community, and she treasures the visits from sisters and friends. S. Hilda and S. Jane’s parting words after a visit are “Grüß Gott! Segens Gott!” This is German for “Praise God! God’s blessing!”
Profile written by Cecelia Prokosch, OSB, and Jane Weber, OSB