In Memoriam: Sister Ida Mae Fuchs, OSB

sisteridamaeA profound faith, freely shared

Sister Ida Mae was peacefully born into eternal life on Friday, May 18 at 12:25 a.m. Her unexpected death brought sadness to her Sisters at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, to her family and friends. Her deep appreciation for all of life inspired her community, family and countless others.

Sister Ida Mae entered this life on August 10, 1933 and was raised on the Coeur d’Alene reservation. When Ida Mae made First Monastic Profession on June 11, 1958, she was given the name Sister Mary Martha, which fit her well since she was doing domestic work at the time. Later she ministered to the elderly, caring for the homebound. She received her CNA and also took a cooking class in order to increase her skills. Over the years she served in Lewiston, Nampa, Jerome, Cottonwood, Blackfoot and Boise.

Ministering in Blackfoot was one of the high points of her life. While she was there, she cooked for Father Xavier, who was from India. This gave her the new opportunity to prepare Indian cuisine. She continued to visit the homebound and was also able to lead a prayer group at the state hospital.

She also ministered in the prayer and spirituality ministry at the Monastery. She enjoyed meeting retreatants and felt deeply affirmed by praying for their needs. Sister Ida Mae celebrated her 50th Anniversary of Monastic Profession on August 16, 2008 with her two profession companions Sisters Clarissa Goeckner and Bernadette Stang. This was a day of great happiness for her.

Sister Ida Mae is also celebrated for her artistic gifts. In her earlier years, she played the piano by ear and loved to sing. She especially enjoyed harmonizing, which she did beautifully.

Sister Ida Mae was a simple woman of profound faith.  Her relationship with God was very deep and very real. Having grown up on the Coeur d’Alene reservation she had a special affinity for Native Americans and a very real devotion to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Over the years many people had been touched by Ida Mae’s fervent faith which she shared freely, deeply and with great joy to all who would listen. Sister Ida Mae had gratitude for everything; she indeed had a grateful heart and was a gift to many people.

Sister Ida Mae was preceded in death by her parents George and Josephine Reisenauer Fuchs, her brothers, Brother Francis Fox, S.J., Art (Regna), Ernest, Glenn (Dorothy) Fuchs, and her sisters Irene (Ray) Engle, and Marilyn Fuchs. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

The Vigil Service was Friday evening, May 25, at 7:00 p.m. and the Mass of the Resurrection was Saturday afternoon, May 26, at 1:30 p.m. Memorial Gifts in Sister Ida Mae’s honor can be made to the Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID  83522.