Cover photo for Sister Edith Bedard's Obituary
Sister Edith Bedard Profile Photo
1919 Sister 2016

Sister Edith Bedard

April 16, 1919 — May 13, 2016

Sister Edith Bedard, 97, died at Villa Saint Vincent on May 13, 2016. Sister Edith Bedard's journey of ninety-seven years, including seventy-five of them as a Benedictine sister, began on April 16, 1919, in Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada. She was one of 22 children born to Alma and Barthelemy Bedard. Sister Edith recalls her mother relating that she was born in the early morning on a stormy April day in Holy Week. Despite the weather, that same afternoon she was taken to the parish church and baptized Anna Marie Pauline Bedard. At age thirteen, Pauline expressed her desire to enter the convent, but her mother said she was too young. She encouraged her to pray to know God's will. Pauline continued to dream of serving God as a sister. When Pauline was 19, her cousin, Sister Cecilia Beaudry and her mother were visiting. Pauline made up her mind to go to the US with her cousin and become a Benedictine sister like her. She obtained her parents' consent, and when Sister Cecilia left to return to Crookston, Pauline went with her accompanied by her aunt and mother. On August 27, 1938, Pauline was to enter the monastic community, but she could not speak English, so Sister Cecilia and Sister Cuthbert LaCoursiere were commissioned to teach her the formula of entrance. Sister Edith wrote later that her pronunciation and French accent must have sounded unfamiliar to the sisters but she was admitted just the same. A week later her father came to accompany his wife back to Canada. In July 1939, Pauline received the habit and her name as a sister, Sister Edith. She wrote, "My mother and brother came for the celebration. What a happy day! I really was a sister now giving myself to God." Four years later at her final profession her mother and aunt were present again. Sister Edith wrote: "Now it is for life!" Sister Edith related that the days were sometimes very lonely, especially on holidays. Every New Year's Day, in French-Canadian culture, it was customary to kneel and receive the father's blessing, so she would write for his blessing. When the letter came she would kneel down and make the sign of the cross. Later, she received permission to call them on New Year's Day. The first time she called, she and her parents were overcome with tears as she knelt by the phone to receive the blessing. From that time on it became a yearly event. She had many talents culinary, sewing and efficient competent execution of her assignments. Many sisters on mission welcomed her ministry and prayerful, joyful presence. Her competence led her to appointments as dietary supervisor in hospitals in Red Lake Falls, Crookston and Mahnomen. In Red Lake Falls, she was often seen pulling a little red wagon filled with fresh, homemade bread which she distributed to many elderly and people in need. One of her last assignments was to the chancery where she and Sister Cuthbert were an unbeatable team. They were appreciated by the bishops who had busy lives and schedules. The sisters tried to make life pleasant for them. Sister Edith also had hobbies. One involved dressing dolls in the Benedictine habit that were so life-like one would expect them to talk! Sister also won many prizes at county fairs for her culinary and baking skill. When Sister Edith finally came to the Mount due to health problems she never used the word "retire." Sister's health problems involved a time of convalescence at Villa Saint Vincent. When she was able to return to the Mount, she exclaimed that it was a good experience for her to see what those old people have to go through. She was only 90 years young. And so the journey that began in Charlesbourg, Quebec continued, prayerfully, somewhat slower but she was always present in chapel for morning, noon and evening prayer and for Eucharist. Until she entered Villa Saint Vincent, she wore her Benedictine habit, white during weekdays and black on Sundays and feasts. One still could count on a bright smile and time to converse. To her death she spoke with a distinct delightful French accent. Now she can say with God, "Ce n´est pas seulement pour la vie; c´est pour l'éternité (Not only is it for life, it is for eternity)!" Reception of the body of Sister Edith will be on Tuesday, May 17 at 4:30, p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18. All services will be at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, 620 Summit Ave., Crookston, MN, phone 218-281-3441. Gifts in memory of Sister Edith may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation.


Funeral Home: Stenshoel-Houske Funeral & Cremation Service 615 South Minnesota Street Crookston, MN US 56716

Previous Events

Visitation
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Mount St. Benedict

620 Summit Ave.
Crookston, MN 56716

Her remains will be received at 4:30 p.m. and a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m.

Service
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
10:30 AM
Mount St. Benedict

620 Summit Ave.
Crookston, MN 56716

cemetery
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Mount St. Benedict

Crookston, MN 56716

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