In Memoriam: Sister Sylveria Weiand

2009news_sweiandSister Sylveria Weiand
1924 – 2009

Sister Sylveria (Alice Mary) Weiand, 85, died peacefully on September 23, 2009, at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho.

She was born in Blue Grass, ND, to Mike and Frances Skalsky Weiand on April 22, 1924, the sixth of eight children. At age fourteen Alice Mary took the train by herself to enter the Monastery of St. Gertrude in December 1938. She made her profession there as Sister Sylveria on February 10, 1941 and joyfully renewed her total commitment to God and to her Benedictine community on her 60th Jubilee in 2001.

She attended St. Gertrude’s Academy, Cottonwood, and earned her BA degree in Elementary Education from Mt. Marty College, Yankton, SD. She served in the kitchen at St. Gertrude’s as well as in Catholic hospitals in Cottonwood, Wendell, and Jerome, Idaho. Her eight years of teaching in Catholic schools took her to Nampa, Pocatello, Rupert, Nezperce, and Grangeville, Idaho. Then she applied her homemaking and teaching skills to managing Hays House in Boise, a safe house for status offense teenage girls, for four years, and enjoyed five years of home care for Calista Uhlorn of Cottonwood.

Since retiring to the Monastery in 1985, she served as a driver and sacristan, and provided clerical help for the community, the retreat ministry, and especially the development office the last ten years.

Sister Sylveria was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Ed, Bill and Adam, and her sisters Val, Rachel, and Agnes. She is survived by her sister Helen Bates of Billings, Montana, and numerous nieces, nephews and their families.

Though plagued with poor health most of her life, Sister Sylveria remained an adventuresome woman who loved to learn and try new things. Becoming a person of deep faith and prayer and reaching out through her ministries, along with doing handwork, taking classes, welcoming guests, keeping everything in its proper place, keeping in touch with former students, and visiting the lonely or ill filled her with vitality to the very end. She is remembered as frank in speech, a hard worker, and as compassionate and caring as her dimpled smile portrays her.

A Vigil Service was held in the Monastery of St. Gertrude Chapel on Friday, September 25, and the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated there on Saturday, September 26. Rev. John Gathungu from Nezperce presided and Sister Clarissa Goeckner, Prioress, gave the homily.

Memorials may be made to Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID 83522.