Sister Lorene Judge, O.S.B.

May 19, 1913 - July 31, 2008

Sister Lorene Judge, O.S.B., 95, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died July 31 at the Atchison Hospital. The vigil service will be Monday, August 4 at 7 pm in the monastery chapel, and the Mass of the Resurrection will be offered there Tuesday, August 5 at 10:30 am.

A native of Atkinson, Neb, Sister Lorene was born May 19, 1913, to Thomas and Josephine Becker Judge. She was baptized Margaret Marie in St. Stephen's Church in Exeter, Neb. She entered the Mount community June 3, 1930, and made monastic profession Jan. 1, 1933. She celebrated her 75th year of monastic profession in 2007.

After entering the community, she completed high school at Mount St. Scholastica Academy and graduated from Mount St. Scholastica College. She received her Master's in Education from St. Louis University. From 1932 to 1947 she taught in elementary schools in Wathena, Kelly, and Welborn, Ks, Montrose and St. Joseph, Mo, and Council Bluffs and Defiance, Ia. From 1947 to 1951 she lived in Kansas City, Ks, where she served as housekeeper to Bishop Donnelly. She served as high school home economics teacher or principal from 1951 to 1987 in Blaine, Seneca, and Axtell, KS, Portsmouth and Creston, IA, Atkinson, Neb., Salisbury, MO, and several schools in Colorado. In their retirement years she and her sister, Sister Gervase, were stalwart supporters of Benedictine College football and basketball teams. The sisters' memory will live on at the College with the two trees overlooking Wilcox Stadium planted in their honor.

Sister Lorene was preceded in death by her parents, by her brothers Linus and Paul; her sisters Sister Gervase of the Mount community, Helen (Mrs. Laurence Beman), Doris (Mrs. Ed Humpal), and Agnes (Mrs. Mrs. Max Hamik) She is survived by her cousin Sister Rita Claire Judge of the Mount community; her brother-in-law Max Hamik, of Atkinson, Nebr., numerous nieces and nephews, and her monastic family. Memorials are suggested to Mount St. Scholastica and may be made to the Benedictine Sisters. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica. 

Let us remember her gratefully in our prayers.

S. Lorene's memorial card

"I have called you by name  and you are mine."  
Isaiah 43:1

On Thursday, July 31, as Sister Lorene Judge was preparing to come home from the hospital the Lord called her, instead, to her eternal home. She had always lived in readiness for whatever was to be and for this moment she was indeed ready. Sister Lorene was the second oldest of seven children  born to Thomas C. and Josephine Becker Judge.  She entered  Mount St. Scholastica in 1930, completed high school at the Academy and professed her first vows on January 1, 1932. Her undergraduate degree was received  from Mount St. Scholastica College and her Master's degree from St. Louis University. This degree in Education prepared her well for her 52 years of teaching and administration in 19 different schools in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa. She and Sister Mary Louis Miller devotedly served as housekeepers for Bishop Donnelly from 1947-1951. On February 11, 2007, she celebrated 75 years of monastic profession. Her inner peace and her love of the monastic life were reflected in all she did, the environment she created by her presence, and her positive approach to the activities of her day. Her handiwork done with much care and love, especially her Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, brought enjoyment  to all. She was devoted to her sister, Sister Gervase, and together they were great supporters and pray-ers for the Benedictine College football and basketball teams. May she now enjoy peace in the presence of the Lord whom she served so well in these 95 years.

Reflection given at the Vigil Service

by Marcia Ziska, OSB

Readings: Isaiah 61:1-3a; Romans 8:14-23; John 14:1-6

We gather this August evening to express to God our gratitude for the gift of Sister Lorene, to remember her long life of 95 years and to offer comfort to ourselves, her community,

especially Sister Rita Claire, as well as the family she loved — her brother-in-law, Max, and her many nieces, nephews, and friends. We come also to share memories and tell stories of how Sr. Lorene touched our lives. It was just eight months ago that many of you joined us for Sister Gervase’s vigil and funeral.

While Sr. Lorene was minutes from an ambulance ride back to the Mount, I am sure she was okay with dying at the hospital just across the street from the Wilcox Stadium whose football team she and Sr. Gervase diligently cheered for and devotedly remembered in prayer these past 20 years. Since all her family has preceded her in death, I can well imagine the reunion that welcomed her home last Thursday morning and the celebration that has followed. She may even have greeted Sr. Gervase with the words: “what took you so long?”

A woman of strong faith and resiliency, Sr. Lorene’s father died when she was only 34. And, as life would unfold, she bid farewell to her mother and each of her siblings. The death of her youngest sister, Agnes, two years ago was a real shock. Yet, it was her trust in God and deep faith that gave her the necessary strength and courage to keep going. She endured this suffering and heartache quietly, mindful of St. Paul’s saying that we must “suffer with Christ in order to be glorified” and in hope of one day attaining her own reward of eternal life.

Change seemed a constant companion in her early years in community. She lived in fourteen different mission houses within a seventeen year time span. This gave her the opportunity, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, to “announce good news” to the many students she taught in the four state region of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas where she served. As both teacher and principal, Sr. Lorene ministered to many a “broken-hearted” student and offered “the oil of gladness” and a mantle of praise time and again. Her gentle and caring spirit made her both approachable and well loved. Before retiring from teaching, Lorene and Gervase were able to spend six years together at St. Joseph’s school in Atkinson.

Returning to the Mount, S. Lorene remained active, using her hands to give praise to God, and stayed engaged in community life. She supervised the monastery’s first gift shop, “receiving the guests as Christ.” She loved to sew and was kept busy filling the orders for the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that she made. Two years ago she received a blue ribbon at the county fair for one of these doll sets. In addition, she enjoyed embroidering tea towels, pillow cases, and table cloths. I am most grateful that she willingly said “yes” to yearly making a couple aprons for me to take to Rome for gifts.

In May of 2000, she moved to her last dwelling place on earth — Dooley Center in what she called a ‘package deal.’ Sister Gervase, who needed some additional assistance, was reluctant to make the necessary move. Lorene, with sisterly love and willing to go the extra mile, offered to move, as well. Adjusting well to her new surroundings, she participated in the Dooley Center activities and could often be heard encouraging others to do likewise. She was sensitive to the Dooley Center staff, offering a kind word, a smile, and loved giving them hugs.

While she certainly worked hard, Lorene liked to have fun, too. Word puzzles, playing cards and Scrabble were high on her list and in her younger days, vacationing and spending a chunk of time in the summer with family in Nebraska or Wyoming. She also enjoyed the lake house and went there whenever she could, her last trip being a week before her death.

Last year we, her community, celebrated Lorene’s diamond jubilee. While she so enjoyed that day, and what a glorious day it was, the jubilee that is now hers pales in comparison! Her body has been “set free from the bondage” of not hearing, poor eye sight, waning energy, and needing to be careful about what she ate. Death has given her a restoration of wholeness and integrity. She is now enjoying the full harvest of glory that awaits God’s children. Together with St. Thomas, let us rejoice that she now has the full knowledge of Jesus being “the way, the truth and the life.