|Sr Christine "Mary Dolorita" Thome|
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|Birth: ||Dec. 31, 1887|
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF SISTER MARY DOLORITA (Christine) THOME
My, God-parents and others used to call me a "Sylvester Child" because I was born on the feast of St. Sylvester, December 31, 1887, at Stacyville, Iowa. The following day, January 1, 1888, I was baptized by Father John B. Albers and was given the name Christine.
My uncle, Hubert Hackenmiller, and my aunt, Christine Nacke, a sister of my mother, are my god-parents.
I am the oldest of eight children born to Jacob Thome and Anne Catherine Nacke Thome. My mother was the youngest sister of Rev. J.C. Nacke, who was chaplain at St. Francis Hospital, Waterloo, during his last twenty years and died in 1931.
From my father's first marriage, twins were born: a boy who lived to maturity and a girl who died at the age of one year. The mother died at child-birth.
Two of the eight children -- three boys and five girls -- of my father's second marriage, died in infancy; a third one, Joseph, died at the age of eleven.
At this time, September, 1980, all have died except my sister - Mrs. Bertha Lingl, Bird Island, Minnesota, and myself.
When I was six years old I started school at the Visitation School, Stacyville, and finished the grades there. My teachers were: Sisters Christine Mohrhauser, Sister Monica Fuchs, Sister Lucy Eich, and Sister Seraphia Rohlmann, my beloved seventh and eighth grade teacher. Sister Seraphia was such an inspiration to me that I then and there felt I was called to be a Franciscan Sister. (It so happened that when I finally entered she was the mistress of postulants and novices.)
On June 24, 1900, I received my First Holy Communion. The required age was thirteen but since my father had bought a larger farm in Stewart, Minnesota, our pastor, Father John Nobers, granted special permission. It was in Stewart that I was confirmed in October, 1904 and added the name Elizabeth to my baptismal name.
My father had been promised a Catholic School to open in Stewart in the near future, but when there was no sign of a school by 1905, we moved to a farm in Bird Island, Minnesota, about 50 miles farther west.
In the meantime, my brother and sister attended a nearby rural school. Bird Island had a good Catholic grade and high school.
About two years after we left Stacyville, my mother took seriously sick and was a complete invalid for over a year and never fully recovered. She died as a semi-invalid on April 4, 1920 at the age of fifty-eight.
Because Sister Seraphia knew my intention of becoming a religious, she wrote to me regularly asking me to enter soon. She also knew that my brother Joseph had died so young and my half-brother had left home to be married; and therefore we girls had to help on the farm. My next two older sisters helped father on the farm and I took charge of the younger children, the household duties and the garden.
My father still felt that I could not be spared although he was happy about my intention to enter religious life. Finally in 1909 Sister Seraphia wrote such a strong letter telling my father that my sisters were now old enough to take over, that my father let me go.
I entered the order on Feb. 2, 1910, and received the habit on May 19, 1910.
After one year of novitiate and schooling, I was sent to Holy Ghost School in Dubuque in 1911 to teach seventy little people in Kindergarten and First Grade combined. At the beginning of the second semester, Sister Mary Anastasia Vallester came to my rescue. In addition to teaching, I was the assistant sacristan.
The following year I taught fifth grade, then sixth, and later, eighth grade g i r 1 s.
In August of 1913, Sister Mary Dolores, my sister Mary, entered Mount St.
Francis. The following year on March 8, 1914, our good father died at the age of fifty-nine.
In 1927 I was transferred to St. Mary's, Waterloo, where I taught mostly eighth grade for twenty-four years. For fifteen years, I had charge of Mass Servers, also.
During November, 1930, I became seriously ill with pleurisy and pneumonia and was a patient at St. Francis Hospital (where my Rev. Uncle, Father J.C. Nacke, was chaplain) for three months. Upon my dismissal, I was sent to the Motherhouse to recuperate for the remainder of that school year.
In 1950, I was transferred to Dyersville where I taught eighth grade boys and girls for thirteen years.
After teaching fifty-three years I was missioned to Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, 1964, where I helped with domestic duties until it closed in August, 1969.
Since then I live semi-retired at the Immaculate Conception Convent, a place of peace and quiet and a house of prayer.
Besides my sister Mrs. Bertha Lingil (decease) there remain many nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews. Sisters Virginia Hackenmiller, Margaret May and Mary Ann Hackenmiller are cousins.
Mount Calvary Cemetery
Plot: Section b, Row 1, Stone 40
Created by: Mark Nacke
Record added: Sep 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76618835
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