In Memoriam: Sister Philomena Vogler, OSB

imvoglerpSister Philomena (Margarita) Vogler, 101, died November 25, 2002 at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood.

She was born June 28, 1901, the eleventh child of Konrad and Agnes Schallberger Vogler from Lungern, Ct. Obwalden, Switzerland.  She came to the United States in 1921 where she became a Benedictine Sister at St. Gertrude’s in 1923.

Her work in the book bindery at St. Gertrude’s included binding magazines and documents for St. Gertrude’s Academy and College, Prairie High School, The Chronicle Printing Office, Nezperce Herald, and St. Mary’s Hospital. She also did domestic work at St. Martin’s College in Lacey, WA, St. Valentine’s Hospital in Wendell, ID, and Keuterville Public School in Keuterville, ID; and kitchen work at St. Martin’s in Lacey, WA, Our Lady of Consolation Hospital in Cottonwood, ID, and at St. Gertrude’s.

She loved caring for the plants at the monastery grotto, cultivating flower gardens, and collecting and preparing herbs for medicinal use. Her file contains a 1939 copy of The Herbalist Almanac.

From reading the magazines she bound Sister Vogler gleaned vast knowledge of many things and gained a broad world view. Until the last few years of her life she was keenly interested in and aware of world events. She kept in touch with many family members and friends in Switzerland and throughout the US. Two trips to her homeland to visit family remained highlights of her life, as did the visits of her Swiss relatives who came to Cottonwood.

Feisty, mischievous, profoundly prayerful, strong-willed, full of zest for life, Sister Vogler cared deeply for the community, worked hard and exhorted others to do likewise. She thoroughly enjoyed her 100th birthday celebration.

Sr. Vogler was preceded in death by her 10 brothers and sisters. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

A Vigil Service for Sister Vogler was held in the Monastery chapel on Wednesday, November 27 at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 1:30 p.m. the same day. Rev. Meinrad Schallberger, OSB, Monastery Chaplain, presided and Assistant Prioress Meg Sass, OSB, gave the reflections.