In Memoriam: Sister Josephine Vincke, OSB

josieApril 4, 1918 – October 20, 2011

“Reflecting the unsurpassed warmth of the Mother of God”

Sister Josephine Vincke was born into eternal life at 2:15 p.m. on October 19 at the age of 93. She took her last breath among her Sisters and caregivers at her home, the Monastery of St. Gertrude.

Sister Josie (Katherine) entered this life on April 4, 1918, the fifth child of ten born to Frank and Katherine Vincke. When her parents died within two years of each other in her early teens, she went to live as a boarder in the Benedictine Convent of St. Scholastica in Louisiana. To assuage her grief, she memorized poetry and Bible verses, sowing the early seeds of a contemplative life and an ability to move through difficult times with wisdom and beauty.

She was professed at St. Scholastica’s in 1932. Sister Josie was a natural in the classroom and taught grade school for the next four decades, mostly in Louisiana. She earned her B.S. in Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College in 1949.

In 1988 the Benedictine community in Louisiana had to close its doors and Sister Josie chose to come to St. Gertrude’s in Cottonwood. On August 12, 1988 she began her process of transfer and was fully incorporated into the Monastery in 1990.

Sister Josie will be remembered for her very gentle soul. In her deep grace and compassion she had a way of connecting with people and making them feel special. Those who knew her also knew that she faced significant challenges in her life and saw how she was able to be with others who also faced suffering. Numerous students remember her as a deeply nurturing and accepting teacher. One former student wrote, “No grade school, high school, college, or graduate school teacher was as important to me as Sister Josephine…her heart and soul reflected the unsurpassed warmth of the Mother of God and the saving grace of the Holy Spirit.”

The Mass of the Resurrection is Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m. in the Monastery chapel at 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood. All are welcome.

Memorial Gifts in Sister Josie’s honor can be made to the Monastery.