Sister Dorothy Heideman, OSB

January 17, 1930-August 29, 2019

Sister Dorothy (Mary Robert) Heideman, OSB, 89, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Thursday, August 29, 2019, at the monastery. The vigil service will be Tuesday, September 3, at 7 p.m. in the monastery chapel, and the Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated there Wednesday, September 4, at 10:30 a.m.

Sister Dorothy was born in Seneca, Kan., on Jan. 17, 1930, one of nine children of Fred and Laura Blocker Heideman. After graduating from Sts. Peter & Paul High School in Seneca in 1948, she received a scholarship to Mount St. Scholastica College. She entered the Mount community in 1949 and became a teacher. She taught at schools in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, California, Iowa, and Colorado. After receiving an M.S. in education from Creighton University, she was also a principal for several years. Earning a master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1980, she served as librarian at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kan., from 1981-87 and Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan., from 1987-2000. After her retirement, she worked in the monastery library.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Richard and Lawrence Heideman, and her sisters Leona Conwell, Mary Cooper, Gertrude Lazalere and Joan Wenger. She is survived by brothers Hubert (Mae) and Fred (Geri) Heideman and by nieces, nephews, and her monastic family. Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home ( is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica or made online at the Mount’s web site (

Vigil Reflection

Given by S. Thomasita Homan, OSB | Tuesday, September 2, 2019 | Proverbs 2:1-9, Phil 3:8-14, Mt 11:28-30

We extend our sympathy and prayers to Sister Dorothy’s family: her brothers: Hubert and Fred, her nieces and nephews, her nephew Tim who shared so much of her earthly journey, for her friends, colleagues, former students, and all who knew and loved her. We remember also Sister Dorothy’s family in eternity: her parents Fred and Laura, her  brothers Richard and Lawrence, and her sisters Leona, Mary, Gertrude, and Joan.

We will all miss Sister Dorothy…her wisdom, listening, and smile.  Yesterday, I roamed the monastery asking sisters what they treasure and learned from Dorothy. They said she was “always gentle,” “quiet,” “effective in her library work, and unassuming,” “very gracious.” Abbot James had been impressed with her love, respect, and patience when college students formed long lines in the library, and Sister Dorothy visited with them as they waited.

Sister Dorothy lived tonight’s reading from Proverbs. She walked with her “ear attentive to wisdom,” inclining the ear of her heart. She walked in many a school, in libraries, the halls of our monastery, Dooley Center, and she walked the land. She walked her prayers, she walked her thoughts. She walked for insights and understanding. She walked in gratitude for the beauty of the land and skies.  She knew, as the Proverb says, that “the Lord gives wisdom” as she walked herself into a prayer among us.

She was a gentle woman who was other-centered, always pleased to do for others, to make others feel at home. She loved words and The WORD… and was a living example of humility.  She lived simply and faithfully.

Some years ago Abbot Jerome Kodell wrote in his message Golden Prayer: “Our call in Christ is to become open channels of blessing for the world by making ourselves more and more available for God’s action in and through us…The heart that has chosen by free human decisions over years to be emptied of self and filled with Christ remains fixed in that attitude and continues as a channel of God’s grace for the world. “

I think Sister Dorothy was fixed in that attitude and taught us by her life in community. She trusted the Lord who gives wisdom, who stores up wisdom. She became a channel of God’s grace for our community and for the world.

Sister Angela said she was moved when Sister Dorothy made the sign of the cross twice shortly before she died. Earth and eternity were becoming one.


In your earthly journey, you have come to know Christ

and how to share in his sufferings.

You have crossed the finishing line.

“May you now find rest and rejoice in life in Christ.”