October 26, 2012

Five Sisters of St. Benedict celebrate jubilees of monastic profession

Criterion staff report

Five Sisters of St. Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove are celebrating jubilees of monastic profession this year.

When they made their first profession of monastic vows, the sisters promised stability in the monastery, fidelity to the monastic way of life and obedience according to the Rule of St. Benedict.

Sisters Louise Hoeing and Renee Wargel are marking their 60th jubilee as Benedictines.

Sisters Sharon Bierman, Dolores Fritz and Joann Hunt are 50-year jubilarians. They professed their first vows on June 11, 1962, and had been members of the first novice class to enter the new community in Beech Grove.

A native of Beech Grove, Sister Louise Hoeing grew up in Indianapolis and attended the former St. Agnes Academy in Indianapolis before transferring to the former Academy Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind.

She earned a bachelor’s degree at the former St. Benedict College in Ferdinand, and master’s degree in education at Spaulding University in Louisville.

In 1976, Sister Louise earned certifications as a principal and guidance counselor at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Sister Louise began teaching in 1953 at St. Ambrose School in Seymour then ministered as a teacher and principal at St. Anthony of Padua School in Clarksville.

In 1965, she was named the principal at the former Our Lady of Grace Academy in Beech Grove.

Her next ministry assignment in 1975 was as a guidance counselor and administrative team member at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis.

Sister Louise was named “Principal of the Year” while serving at St. Anthony of Padua School, and also was honored by the archdiocese for her ministry at Bishop Chatard High School.

A native of Evansville, Sister Renee Wargel graduated from the former Academy Immaculate Conception.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education at the former St. Benedict College and master’s degree in music education at Butler University.

Sister Renee also earned a master’s degree in theology at Mundelein College in Chicago. In 1986, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social services at the University of Indianapolis.

In the archdiocese, Sister Renee taught at Christ the King School in Indianapolis, St. Pius X School in Indianapolis, the former St. Paul School in Tell City, the former Our Lady of Grace Academy and Roncalli High School in Indianapolis.

Also in the archdiocese, Sister Renee served as music director at St. Paul Parish in Tell City, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Indianapolis and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Indianapolis.

Presently, she ministers in social services at St. Paul Hermitage in Beech Grove.

A native of Floyds Knobs, Sister Sharon Bierman graduated from the former Our Lady of Grace Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the former St. Benedict College.

She began teaching in 1964 at the former St. Columba School in Columbus, and also taught at St. Anthony of Padua School in Clarksville.

In 1974, Sister Sharon changed her ministry to physical therapy. In 1976, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.

Sister Sharon served as the physical therapist at St. Paul Hermitage for 21 years until she was named administrator there in 2000.

She also served the Benedictine community as director of formation, director of health care and physical therapist for the sisters until 2003.

Presently, Sister Sharon is working toward her certification to become a hospital chaplain.

A native of Cincinnati, Sister Dolores Fritz graduated from the former Our Lady of Grace Academy.

Sister Dolores earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the former St. Benedict College, and master’s degree in elementary education and special education at the University of Cincinnati.

She also completed post-graduate studies at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio; Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio; and Butler University.

Early in her ministry career, she worked in food services at Our Lady of Grace Monastery and St. Paul Hermitage.

In 1969, she began teaching and served at the former Assumption School in Indianapolis and former All Saints School in Indianapolis.

Sister Dolores has taught special education students since 1979 and received many awards for her ministry.

A native of Seymour, Sister Joann Hunt earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the former St. Benedict College and master’s degree in education at Indiana University in Bloomington.

She began her teaching career in 1963.

In the archdiocese, Sister Joann taught at St. Pius X School in Indianapolis, Christ the King School in Indianapolis, St. Anthony of Padua School in Clarksville, St. Ambrose School in Seymour, Our Lady of the Greenwood School in Greenwood, the former St. Patrick School in Indianapolis and Central Catholic School in Indianapolis.

In 1983, she completed the Credo Program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., then began a new ministry as a director of religious education.

Sister Joann ministered as director of religious education at St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis and Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis, where she served for 22 years before her retirement in June. †

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!