Sister Graciela Prouty, O.S.B.
July 9, 1918 - June 7, 2010
Sister Graciela Prouty, OSB, 91, a Benedictine Sister of Mount St. Scholastica, died Monday, June 7, 2010. The vigil will be Wednesday, June 9, at 7 pm in the monastery chapel, and the Mass of Resurrection will be there Thursday, June 10, at 10:30 am.
Sister Graciela was born in Huara, Tarapaca, Chile, the daughter of Gregorio Pardo Vargas and Adelaida Vergara Marin, the only sister of 12 brothers. After receiving a degree in chemistry and pharmacy from the University of Chile, she maintained her own drugstore for ten years. She later earned a Master’s in Latin American literature from the University of Washington, and taught at colleges in California and in the Bremerton, Washington, area. She married Donald Prouty in 1959 and became a citizen of the United States in 1962. Donald died in 1970.
She had become acquainted with the Mount by meeting two Sisters from the Mount at a convention in Madrid, Spain; they had invited her to visit. She arrived in Atchison to announce that she was entering there, attracted by the monastic life. She made monastic profession in 1973. Sister Graciela was pharmacist in the community clinic, instructor at Benedictine College, and translator and interpreter for area businesses and hospital patients. She translated into English the novel by Father Pedro Rubio, Lamps of Fire, based on the life of Sor Teresa of the Andes, the first Chilean canonized saint. Of her work, Sister Graciela wrote that she hoped it would "provide inspiration and encouragement for many interested in the human struggle to find God in the changing conditions of life."
She is predeceased by her parents, by her brothers Gregorio, Esturme, Antonio, Raul, Victorino, Miguel, Horacio, Hugo, Mario, Enrique, Alberto, and Lautaro, all of Chile. She is survived by her nieces Regina Isabel Pardo Espinoza and Victoria Pardo Espinoza (Carlos) and children; her nephew Gregorio Pardo Espinoza, Chile, by many friends, and by her monastic family. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica.
Let us remember her gratefully in our prayers.
S. Graciela's memorial card
“One thing I ask of the Lord: to dwell
in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
Sister Graciela, youngest child born to Gregorio Pardo Vargas and Adelaida Vergara Marin, joined a family of 12 brothers in Huara, Tarapaca, Chile. While living with her parents, she earned a degree in chemistry and pharmacy from the University of Chile and ran her own drug store in Santiago for ten years. In the U.S., she received her MA in Latin American literature from the University of Washington and taught at several colleges in the Bremerton, Wash., area. There she married Donald Prouty in 1959 and became a citizen in 1962. Donald died in 1970. Sister Graciela met Sisters Therese Dissler (De Porres) and M. Daniel Barros in Spain. They invited her to visit the Mount when she was able. Drawn to a contemplative life of prayer and silence, she came unannounced to enter in 1971 and made monastic profession in 1973. Sister Graciela prayed her way to God and into the community's heart. The greater her interest in the stories she loved to tell, the faster she spoke, a gleam of humor in her eyes. Her sisters listened, just as focused as she was, as they strained to understand her rapid fire delivery in Chilean-accented English. She was pharmacist at the community's clinic, taught at Benedictine College, interpreted and translated for various business groups and hospital patients' needs. She translated from Spanish the novel Lamps of Fire, by Father Pedro Rubio, based on the life of Sor Teresa of the Andes, Chile’s first canonized saint. Her comment in her translator's note gives a glimpse into her own life: “my hope is that [this English version] may provide inspiration and encouragement for many readers who are interested in the human struggle to find God in the changing conditions of life.” Let us remember this centered woman with grateful prayer.