Sister Evin (Josephine) Rademacher was born in Rosen, Minn., on August 2, 1926. She entered Saint Benedict’s Convent* as a high school student on August 28, 1940, and became a novice on June 21, 1945. She professed her first vows on July 11, 1946, and her final vows on July 11, 1949.
Prior to her election as the 11th prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, S. Evin served the community as a teacher at the elementary, secondary and college levels. Her teaching specialty was math, having received her master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Detroit in Detroit. In addition to teaching, she served as religious superior at Cathedral High School Convent, St. Cloud, Minn., as coordinator of the Millstream House of Simple Monastic Observance, as director of community renewal, and as president of the Federation of Saint Benedict, now called the Monastic Congregation of Saint Benedict.
S. Evin was elected prioress of Saint Benedict’s Convent* on June 9, 1973, and re-elected for a second four-year term on June 5, 1977. It was during her time as prioress that the title “Mother” for the prioress was discontinued. S. Evin continued the Vatican II renewal, adaptation and restructuring begun by Mothers Richarda Peters and Henrita Osendorf.
Under S. Evin’s leadership, the community decided to renovate the Sacred Heart Chapel, the outstanding symbol of the community’s work of renewal. It was also her conviction that the sisters living and serving in the community’s international missions and in areas at a great distance from the motherhouse would be more effective in their cultural adaptations if they became autonomous priories. Therefore, she assisted the sisters in Ogden, Utah, Manchester, N.H., Japan, Taiwan, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico in their first steps in achieving this goal.
Toward the end of her service as prioress, it became apparent that the health care center at Saint Benedict’s could no longer meet the needs of the increasing number of aged and infirm sisters. Therefore, in 1978, the decision was made to transfer the sisters’ health care services from Saint Benedict’s Convent to the vacated St. Joseph Home in St. Cloud, now known as Saint Scholastica Convent.
Following completion of her second term as prioress in 1981, S. Evin moved to St. Anselm College in Manchester, where she served as a part-time instructor in mathematics, as regional superior for Manchester Priory, and as a librarian and social worker at St. Theresa Manor nursing home. She returned to Saint Benedict’s in 1989, where she worked for various intervals as a nurse’s aide at Saint Scholastica Convent and in the monastery’s business and development offices. In 1992, S. Evin was instrumental in developing the space and program that is now Studium. Until moving to Saint Scholastica Convent in 2011, she assisted the archivist in organizing and computerizing community records. S. Evin died on November 20, 2016.
*Our community was named Saint Benedict’s Convent until 1996 when it was formally changed to Saint Benedict’s Monastery.