Sister Julia Wilkinson, O.S.B.
September 29, 1926 - November 7, 2006
Sister Julia Wilkinson, OSB, 80, a Benedictine Sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Tuesday, November 7, 2006, at the monastery. The vigil service will be in the monastery chapel Thursday, November 9, 2006, at 7pm, and the Mass of Resurrection will be there Friday, November 10, at 10:30am.
Born in St. Joseph, Mo., Sept. 29, 1926, Sister Julia (and her twin, Jeanne) were the children of Edward B. and Mary Nelle Murphy Wilkinson. Sister Julia spent much of her life in study, teaching, counseling, and spiritual direction. She entered Mount St. Scholastica in 1954, having earned her Bachelor’s degree in sociology and Spanish and been a certified social worker for the Jackson County, Mo., welfare office. She transferred vows to Benet Hill Priory, Colorado Springs between 1965-1969, and taught in Walsenburg and Antonito High Schools, Colo. When she returned to Atchison, she taught sociology at Bishop Lillis High School, Kansas City, Mo, and then joined the Benedictine College sociology department, Atchison. She was named Teacher of the Year in 1978, and professor emerita when she retired from the college. She was a member of the American Sociological Association and supervised sociology internships and seminars. Sister Julia earned the Master’s in sociology from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.; studied at Menninger’s, Topeka, Kans., for work in marriage counseling; and took a sabbatical at the Jesuit Graduate School, Berkeley, Calif., to become a certified spiritual director at Sophia Center, Atchison. Sister Julia was a sought after spiritual director, directed the monastery’s oblate program, and incorporated the twelve-step program in her retreats and direction.
Her parents and her sister Jeanne predeceased her. She is survived by her nephew Tom Huckins, Topeka, Kans.; her nieces Cathy Bredahl, also of Topeka; and Amy Schad of Castle Rock, Colo.; and her monastic community. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison.
Let us remember her gratefully in our prayers.
S. Julia's memorial card:
“To live with you is joy,
To praise you and never stop.”
During her vowed life, Sister Julia Wilkinson was a committed member of two Benedictine communities: Mount St. Scholastica where she entered in 1954, and Benet Hill, Colorado Springs, where she taught from 1960, transferring vows there between 1965 and 1969. In Colorado she was a member of the community council, was librarian and taught sociology and English in Walsenburg and Antonito high schools. She earned the Master's in sociology from St. Louis University. Returning to Atchison in 1969, she taught at Lillis High School, Kansas City, and then sociology at Benedictine College until 1996. She was named Teacher of the Year at Benedictine in 1978 and professor emerita on her retirement. She was on the counseling staff of Valley Hope, Atchison; director of Mount St. Scholastica oblates from 1990 to 2001; and on staff at Sophia Center from 1996 until her death. She served on the community senate and many committees, including the formation team. Her sisters knew her loyalty to family and friends, affinity for prayer, her love of life (she danced!), her embrace of suffering. Her stories were evidence of her loving respect for students, colleagues, and clients and of her delicate sense of confidentiality. She was mirror twin of her sister, Jeanne, and perhaps that relationship contributed to her being the superb listener and spiritual director she was. A valiant woman, Sister Julia met life’s demands with wholehearted trust and joy. Let us remember her in grateful prayer.