S. Marie Imelda Baumgartner, OP
Born to earthly life: December 20, 1922
Religious profession: August 4, 1942
Entered eternal life: May 10, 2016
“Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” — Matthew 25, 40
S. Marie Imelda Baumgartner Celebrating 70 Years
(Drawn from S. Marie Imelda’s autobiography and her reflections in 1996)
What first drew you to the Racine Dominican community?
I decided in my early years of school that I wanted to be a Dominican Sister. In my home, and especially from my mother, I learned the beginnings of a deep faith and prayer life.
What have you been most grateful for in your ministries?
- For the year of Sabbatical in 1978-79 when I prepared for chaplaincy (after 36 years in teaching)
- For my 21 years in the ministry to the sick as chaplain
- For the opportunity I had to give about 15 talks to the student nurses at Gateway about the spiritual care of patients and their families
- For the privilege of preparing and conducting to may wakes, funerals and memorial services
- For the opportunities of preparing and giving homilies at Siena Center and in the hospital for Masses and prayer services that I prepared for staff at special times, such as National Nurses Week
- For all the love and support I received from doctors, nurses, employees and volunteers during my years in chaplaincy.
- Most of all, for the love and support and encouragement from the administration and members of my community.
What kept you in the community all these years?
Vatican II and Renewal in Religious Life was truly a breath of fresh air and a real life-saver for me. I whole-heartedly welcomed the changes that came in so many areas of our life. I greatly appreciate the encouragement my community offered for continuing education and religious development. I will never be able to express how grateful I am that my sisters took renewal so seriously, providing me and others many beautiful opportunities to dialogue about change, to choose to offer input into decision-making, and to decide in dialogue with local community and the executive members of the community the ministry to which we felt called.