Sister Rosella Dentz, age 98, died on September 30, 2022, at Villa Saint Vincent, Crookston, MN.
Sister Rosella, the first of five children of Albert Julius Dentz and Adelia Clare Laubach Dentz, was born September 5, 1924, into a loving, close, and strict Catholic family. She was baptized Rosella Julianna Dentz, in Saint Michael’s church, in Mahnomen, MN.
Rosella attended Saint Michael’s grade school until the school burned. She graduated from Cathedral High School in Crookston while living at Mount Saint Benedict.
Rosella found it challenging to leave home, but she wanted to be a sister. The Benedictines who taught her in grade school inspired her. She wrote, “I loved the sisters very much, and this love was nurtured by my parents.”
Rosella entered the Mount Saint Benedict community on January 1, 1942, and made her final monastic profession on July 11, 1947. She described her feelings on that day, “When I made my final vows, I thought I was close to heaven. I felt free and that now I could stay in the convent. I wasn’t going to be sent home.”
Sister Rosella wrote, “What appeals to me now as a Crookston Benedictine is the family spirit which is so cheerful. I also like the spirit of prayerfulness. The Benedictine life is so ordinary.” When asked what she considered her most significant accomplishment, she replied. “My greatest accomplishment in the community is trying to be a good teacher, especially of first grade. Thinking back on her life, she wrote, “I am most grateful for the good parents God gave me and for my vocation.”
Sister Rosella graduated from Viterbo College in LaCrosse, WI, with a bachelor’s degree and taught for many years in Red Lake Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Barnesville, Mahnomen, MN, as well as in Asherton, Texas. She usually taught the lower grades, and former students fondly remember her warmth and playfulness and the gerbils she kept in her classroom. After retiring from classroom teaching, she participated in the Foster Grandparent program in Mahnomen.
Sister Rosella stated, “It was exciting to go on my first mission, which was Saint Joseph’s School in Red Lake Falls, MN. It became almost a second home to me. I was there for ten years. I taught grades one to three, but the first grade was my favorite grade to teach. I loved the little ones; they were so close to God.”
Sister Rosella was very close to her family, and after retirement, she and her sister Mary Ann cared for their mother for many years. Her nieces, Julie Pierce and Sheila Nudell, visited her regularly at the Villa and stayed around the clock with her during her last ten days. Sister Rosella is preceded in death by her parents and her siblings Albert Jr., Gerald (June), Dolores (Gaylen) Nudell, and Mary Ann. She is survived by her sister-in-law June, her nieces and nephews and their children, and the Sisters of Saint Benedict.
Sister Rosella will be remembered at a prayer service at 11am and the Mass of Christian Burial at 2pm on Tuesday, October 4. Services are at Sacred Heart Chapel at Mount Saint Benedict, 620 Summit Avenue, Crookston, MN. Burial will be in the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery.
Gifts in honor of Sister Rosella may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation, 620 Summit Ave., Crookston, MN 56716.
The Mass will be livestreamed from www.stenshoelhouske.com.