June 25, 1913 – November 25, 2004
Sister Mary Aquinas (Irene Margaret) Schaecher, 91, died peacefully at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, ID on November 25, 2004.
She was born in Cottonwood on June 25, 1913, the youngest child of Theodore and Catherine Beller Schaecher. She entered the Monastery of St. Gertrude where she made her monastic profession as a Benedictine Sister on August 27, 1931.
A passionate life-long learner herself, Sister Aquinas relished teaching and was a favorite among many students. She taught at Guardian Angel School in Colton, WA, and in Idaho brought her creative educational talents to St. Gertrude’s Academy and St. Joseph’s School in Cottonwood, St. Maries Academy in St. Maries, St. Paul’s School in Nampa, St. Anthony’s School in Nezperce, the Keuterville and Greencreek schools, and St. Mary’s School in Boise.
In the early 1970’s she assisted the Benedictine Sisters in Covington, LA as they amalgamated with the Benedictine community in Fort Smith, AR. She taught for a year in Bogota, Colombia, with Benedictine Sisters from St. Gertrude’s and several other US communities who served at Colegio San Carlos which the Benedictine monks from Richardton, ND, still operate there. For over 15 years she poured out her compassion with the migrant workers in Caldwell, ID, the poor in Pocatello, ID, the homeless in Seattle, an elderly friend in St. Maries, ID, and members of the Nezperce Tribe in Lapwai, ID. Among her varied careers, she also served at the monastery as Director of Novices and Sisters in Temporary Profession and as Director of Maintenance. She loved to care for the flower gardens and the monastery cats.
Sister Aquinas was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Lawrence and Ray Schaecher, and her sisters Gertrude Albers, Sister Mary Rose, and Sister Mary Assumpta. She is survived by her monastic community and her nieces and nephews.
A Vigil Service for her was held in the Monastery Chapel on November 28 at 7:00 p.m. . The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for her on November 29 at 10:00 a.m., also in the Monastery Chapel with Fr. Meinrad Schallberger, OSB, Chaplain at the Monastery, presiding and Prioress Jean Lalande, OSB, giving the reflections.