Mother Aloysia Bath

Mother Aloysia (Mary Helena) Bath was born in Addison, Wis., on November 7, 1849. At age 15, she entered the newly founded community of St. Agnes in Barton, Wis. There, she was given the name Sister Agatha and spent the next six years teaching in public and parish schools.

Because the community’s future was questionable and with the advice of her confessor, she entered Saint Benedict’s Convent* in St. Joseph, Minn., on May 31, 1871, and professed her first vows on August 29, 1972. As a Benedictine, she was given the name Aloysia. For the next three years, she was in charge of the parish district school in St. Joseph. She pronounced her perpetual vows on September 1, 1875, and on September 4, she was sent to St. Cloud, Minn., where she taught in the parochial school for one year.

On September 2, 1876, S. Aloysia was sent to Minneapolis, where she took charge of the newly opened school in St. Joseph Parish. She remained there until February 21, 1877, when she was appointed superior of Saint Benedict’s Convent by Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch. She held this office until April 10, 1880, when the bishop accepted her resignation. She then returned to St. Joseph Parish and remained in charge of the school until ill health forced her to return to Saint Benedict’s on July 10, 1883.

For a number of years, M. Aloysia was in charge of the needlework department and the stationery store in the academy at Saint Benedict’s. On June 4, 1887, she was appointed second assistant to Mother Scholastica Kerst and on April 22, 1889, she was given charge of the novitiate. On August 28, 1889, in the community’s first free election, M. Aloysia was chosen to be prioress for a six-year term, and on July 30, 1895, she was re-elected for another six-year term. During her time as prioress, M. Aloysia sought to replace the community’s overemphasis on external works with a renewed spirit of prayer, thus bringing about a better balance between work and prayer. She died on April 16, 1933.

*Our community was named Saint Benedict’s Convent until 1996 when it was formally changed to Saint Benedict’s Monastery.