April 2, 1924 – February 1, 2018
Sister Mary (Mary Arthur) Kratina, OSB, 93, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Thursday, February 1, 2018, at the monastery. The vigil service will be Sunday, February 4, at 4:00 p.m. in the monastery chapel and the Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated there Monday, February 5, at 10:30 a.m.
Sister Mary was born in Chicago, Ill., on April 2, 1924, but spent most of her childhood in the Rossville, Kan., area. After graduating from Immaculate Conception High School in St. Marys, Kan., she worked as a welder during World War II until entering the monastery in 1944. She earned her B.S. in education at Mount St. Scholastica College and M.S. in education at St. Louis University, and pursued further studies at the University of Detroit and Washburn University. She taught in area schools and was also a principal for several years. Later, she served as religious education coordinator in Kansas City, Mo., and Wamego, Kan., and did adult education in several parishes, conducting workshops, leading prayer groups, and teaching in ecumenical settings. Returning to Atchison in 1998, she was laundry supervisor for eight years.
Sister Mary was preceded in death by her parents Helen and John Kratina, and her brother George Kratina. She is survived by her brother John (Marjorie) Kratina, sister-in-law Patricia Kratina, nieces and nephews, and her monastic family. Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home (beckerdyer.com) is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica or made online at the Mount’s web site (www.mountosb.org).
We are gathered here in thanksgiving and to celebrate the life of Sister Mary Kratina. In the name of Sister Esther and our community, I offer comfort and prayers to Sister Mary’s family: her brother John and his wife Margie; to Pat, her sister-in-law; her many nieces and nephews, many friends far and near; and to the Dooley Center staff and residents.
I returned to the Mount in 2013 after many years ministering to the people in Oklahoma and in various parishes in Kansas and Missouri. It was during this time that I met Sister Mary, who was sitting on a chair near St. Lucy’s Chapel. That day she asked me if I would be her companion, and I responded with a gracious yes. In the five years since, I have traveled with her to various family gatherings. I was graciously received as a part of her family, and I was honored to attend with Mary, John and George’s 80th birthday celebration as well as many other family events.
Mary was very close to her family. When there was a special need in the family, they called Mary knowing that their intention, person, or newborn baby would be put on the community prayer list. For example, recently when Finnly was born, she had to be rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Now, three months later, she is home and is a miracle baby.
Mary was always very aware of God’s call and of doing God’s will. In the reading from Isaiah, we hear, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Sister Mary heard God’s call and entered Mount St. Scholastica in 1944. She was obedient to the call by being faithful to prayer, good works, and teaching in various schools in Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado.
In Colossians, we hear “as God’s chosen one, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, meekness and patience.” With much prayer, she responded to the needs of the community and after prayer and discernment left Mount St. Scholastica for a number of years to care for her sick mother. During this time, besides caring for her mother, she continued the ministry of teaching in various schools in the area around Rossville, Kansas.
Then in 1998, Mary had the courage to return to the Mount as a volunteer and later reentered the community. She was thankful to be of service here at the Mount. Mary was a cheerful person and always had a good word and a smile for everyone. She loved to sit down at the piano in Dooley and pick out a tune that was going through her head.
Mary was a person who made friends wherever she was planted.
In these last weeks it was very evident that in her suffering and embracing her illness, Sister Mary continued to know God’s presence and special love for her. Sometimes not understanding but believing the words in the Gospel of John, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.”
Thank you, Mary, for choosing family and community and for giving your all!
May your soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.