Sr. Mary Lucille (Mary Anna) Nachtsheim, OSB, died peacefully at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, ID, on June 4, 2008.
Born in Tacoma, WA, to Theodore and Katharina Nachtsheim on April 2, 1918, she entered the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood on September 8, 1934. She was professed there on March 21, 1938. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1988 and her Diamond Jubilee in 1998. This past March, Sister Lucille marked 70 years of profession as a sister.
Sr. Lucille graduated from St. Gertrude’s Academy. She attended the Benedictine Institute of Sacred Theology held in Atchison, KS and then St. Joseph, MN, between 1951 and 1964. In 1962 she completed studies in theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN.
From 1938-1945, Sr. Lucille taught school in St. Marie’s and Cottonwood. In 1945, she returned to the monastery and served as Formation Director for the next 19 years. From 1967-1977, she served as Sub-prioress of the monastery with Prioress Regina O’Connell. From 1980-82, she was appointed Director of Spirituality in the Deaconate Program for the Diocese of Boise, which later became the Ministerial Development Program. In early 1982, she began research of the community’s history, eventually writing the book On the Way, which chronicled the lives of the Idaho Benedictine sisters from 1882-1982. On the Way was published in 1997 and is now in its second printing.
A high point of Sr. Lucille’s life was her 1983 visit to San Andreas Kloster in Sarnen, Switzerland, the founding community of St. Gertrude’s. She was delighted to witness the continuity of prayer and work from San Andreas to St. Gertrude.
Sr. Lucille will be remembered as a gentle, deeply prayerful and contemplative woman who always sought authenticity and depth in her spiritual life. Desiring to share this gift with others, her entire life was spent being companion to those who sought to deepen their spiritual lives; candidates, postulants, novices, community members, deacons and the laity. She will also be remembered as a strong woman of vision, courage and action as she helped implement the changes of Vatican II. The community will always be grateful for her grounded leadership and courage in those challenging times. Her book, On the Way, will tell the monastery’s story far into the future. Her smile, kindness, gratitude and love for God will be missed by all her sisters in community, her caregivers and friends.
Sr. Lucille was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Leo. She is survived by her monastic community and two nephews.
A vigil service will be held in the monastery chapel on Sunday, June 8 at 7 pm. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated there on Monday, June 9 at 1:30 pm. Father Halbert Weidner, Chaplain, will preside.
Memorials may be made to the Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID 83522. Uhlorn Funeral Home, Cottonwood, is in charge of funeral arrangements.