|Birth: ||Feb. 25, 1927|
|Death: ||Jul. 7, 2010|
Reverend Mother Stephen Prokes OSB., a Benedictine Nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, died on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, aged 83.
Mother Stephen was born Mary Louise Prokes on February 25, 1927, in Jackson, Minnesota to Wenceslaus and Ludmilla Dostal Prokes, the fifth of six children in a devout Catholic family. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at Mount Marty College and her Master's degree in Education at Mankato State Teachers College, becoming a teacher of English and physical education. She taught at Marycliff High School in Spokane, Washington, and at the Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota.
She also taught with the Benedictine Sisters at Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota for two years, before entering Regina Laudis in September 1953. She was clothed as Sister Stephen in September 1954, and made her Perpetual Vows and received the Consecration of a Virgin on March 12, 1959. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2006.
When Mary entered Regina Laudis, a tall woman with beautiful blue eyes, experienced in farming and animal husbandry, the Nuns knew very little about farming. Placing her gifts at the service of the young Community, Sister Stephen took on the management of the dairy, developed the pastures, orchards, woodlands and vegetable gardens, and established the beef herd and first flock of sheep. In these pioneering ventures, she also called on and received help from neighboring farmers and numerous other professionals and scholars, forming relationships that were vital to the growth of the new Monastery. With Oblate Dorothy Eichelman and these "friends of the Monastery", Mother Stephen helped build the very successful Abbey Fair, which took place every summer for forty years. In cooperation with the State Forestry program, she also established tree plantings that became the basis for the Christmas trees and wreaths sold each December at the Abbey. Mother Stephen was the First Director of the Abbey Land Program, now known as the Monastic Internship Program, through which young persons are introduced to work with land and animals, within a monastic context.
Besides her love of nature and competence with land and animals, and unusual capacity to introduce others to these, Mother Stephen had a love of culture, literature and poetry. She was devoted to the Divine Office, and was known for her faithful presence throughout the years at the Office of Matins in the night. Mother Stephen showed great courage and strength of character in the final days of her suffering, continuing to be a touchstone of hope for so many, as she had been throughout her life.
Abbey of Regina Laudis
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Oct 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59750647
For those who love His animals, He loves best. Thank you for your loving care of His beings. You sit at His right hand and are Blessed.|
Beth J. M.
Added: Apr. 5, 2012
Added: Oct. 8, 2010
Rest In Peace, Most Reverend Mother Abbess!|
Added: Oct. 8, 2010