“Enjoying the beauty and eventual harvest…”
Sister Theresa Dvorak was born into eternal life on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, at approximately 11:30 p.m. She will be remembered for her commitment to education, her passion for nature, and her deep interest in the stars and the heavens.
Sister Theresa Dvorak is the daughter of Frank and Frances Musil Dvorak (who both immigrated from Czechoslovakia) and entered the Monastery from Nampa, ID, making her First Monastic Profession in 1949. She held that “Benedictine life offers women challenges to a deep spirituality which can enable them to be effective in ministering to the spiritual hungers of the world.”
Sister Theresa was an elementary school teacher for most of her religious life. At the start, Sister Theresa worked in domestic services with the Sisters at St. Joseph’s School in Cottonwood, St. Mary’s School in St. Maries, St. Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington, and St. Paul’s School in Nampa. Her teaching ministry took her to St. Anthony’s in Pocatello, Sacred Heart in Boise, St. Paul’s in Nampa, Holy Trinity in Nezperce, St. Nicholas in Rupert, Our Lady of Lourdes in Lewiston, and Sts. Peter and Paul in Grangeville (where she retired in 1998). Sister Theresa would have marked her 64th year of Monastic Profession on August 17th this year.
Like Hildegard of Bingen, Sister Theresa became very interested in the healing properties of plants. “I have always been interested in plants, from planting the seed and watching it grow, to enjoying the beauty and eventual harvest. Over the years I have discovered the healing power of plants in whatever form they manifest themselves — in their beauty, fragrance, or medicinal properties.” In her retirement, she had a chance to be in the garden caring for plants and flowers and was the community bread baker for a while. Her interest and passion for plants greatly influenced the development of the Monastery’s Nature’s Gifts herbal products.
Sister Theresa was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Frances Musil Dvorak, and two brothers, James and Joseph. She is survived by her monastic community, three sisters, Mary Dvorak Blasko, Agnes, and Rose Dvorak, and one brother Benjamin (Wilhelmina) Dvorak, all of Boise. Sister Theresa is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Sister Theresa’s Rosary Vigil was on Monday, July 8, at 7 p.m. and her Mass of Christian Burial was Tuesday, July 9, at 1:30 pm.
Memorial gifts in Sister Theresa Dvorak’s honor can be made to the Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID 83522.