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Sister Norma Jean Edie died on February 10, 2023, at Villa Saint Vincent, Crookston.
Sister Norma Jean was born on September 10, 1933, in Saint Michael’s Hospital, Grand Forks, ND, the fourth of five children of Albert M. Edie and Claire Elizabeth (Murphy) Edie. She was given the name of Norma Jean at her baptism.
In grade school, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet taught her at Saint Mary’s School, Grand Forks, ND. She attended Saint James School, Grand Forks, ND as a ninth-grader and finished her secondary education at Mount Saint Benedict Academy.
Norma Jean entered Mount Saint Benedict community during her senior year on January 6, 1952. She became a novice on July 3, 1952, when she received the Benedictine habit and the name Sister Callista. She made temporary vows on July 11, 1953, and her final monastic profession on July 11, 1956. Later she resumed her baptismal name and was known thereafter as Sister Norma Jean.
On the sixtieth anniversary of her profession of vows, Sister Norma Jean stated, “Gratitude is the only way I could begin to summarize sixty marvelous years as part of the Mount Saint Benedict monastic, fully Benedictine community! In reflecting on my life at the Mount, I feel that God guided me straight here all the way.”
Sister Norma Jean earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in art from Viterbo College. She was a classroom teacher for twenty-six years and then supervised activities for the sisters in the monastery care center from 1980 to 2000. During those years she also companioned Sister Justina Violette at night at Care and Share, a shelter for the homeless. She painted several murals for the shelter. Sister Cathi Merck, prioress, assigned her to answer the many requests for pro-life billboards, floats for Crookston’s Ox Cart Day parades, and other community needs.
Sister Norma Jean commented, “In my grade school years, I discovered I had a reputation for being artistic. My favorite pastime was drawing. There were no formal art classes at that time, but I got a feel for blending oil paints when Sister Veronica let me help paint some outdoor Christmas figures.”
Her largest paintings are of The Last Supper, one for the dining room wall at Care and Share and another for Good Shepherd Monastery in Rio Grande City, TX.
Sister Norma Jean’s creative endeavors encompassed many mediums: painting, carving whimsical gnome and fairy houses, creating imaginative creatures for Halloween, rosemaling, and making clever, one-of-a kind greeting cards. She received the 2011 Northwest Artist Award from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council.
Sister Norma Jean reflected on monastic life at Mount Saint Benedict. “I feel a deep gratitude that I did respond with a ‘Yes’ to God’s inner promptings that led me here! Throughout life, with my foibles, strengths, and weakness, in times of crisis and surety, health and sickness, fears and hopes, I feel everything has been and will be God’s plan for me.”
Sister Norma Jean Edie is preceded in death by her parents, Albert M. Edie and Claire Elizabeth (Murphy) Edie, her brothers James and Michael and sisters Mary Clair (Edie) Watson and Joanne (Edie) Myers.
Surviving her are her nieces and nephews and the sisters of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, Crookston, MN.
A prayer service celebrating Sister Norma Jean’s life will be held on Thursday, February 16, at 11:00 a.m. and the Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00 p.m. Both services will be held at Sacred Heart Chapel of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery.
The Mass will be live-recorded for later viewing on www.stenshoelhouske.com.
Gifts in honor of Sister Norma Jean Edie may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation, 620 Summit Ave., Crookston, MN 56716.
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
Mount St Benedict Monastery
Chapel at Mount Saint Benedict Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation for one hour prior to the service. Prayer Service at 11:00 a.m.
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