Reflection from Sister Mary David Walgenbach

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB

After graduating from high school, I considered a call to become a sister. A year later in nurse’s training, it became clearer to me that I needed to try this way of life.

My friends didn’t think I’d last. My parents wanted me to wait until I graduated from nursing school. Amidst all the concern for my well being, I took the train from Sioux City, Iowa, to Madison, Wisconsin, to join the community. Despite initial concerns, they soon realized it was the right place for me.

Faith is my response to God’s love in my life. It has changed over the years from my initial call to religious life. I rely more on God leading and supporting me than on doing it all my way. God takes me to the depths of my being and to the heights of my joy. Letting go and trusting God is the challenge for me on this roller coaster called life. Some days I do it well, and some days, I don’t.

Community life is my crucible: the place where I come to know myself and others. Together, we come to the awareness that we weave a common vision and a sense of belonging into a vibrant community. Here I discover the gifts I have received and the joy of sharing them. I learn, too, that my needs provide other community members the opportunity to share their gifts with me.

I am grateful that my family and friends continue their love and support.

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pauline reis May 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Have often thought of my years at the Academy Of St. Benedict, having the distinction of being the first class- 1963 – to graduate, most of memories of course are of the girls I graduated with, but also the women who made great imprints on my life, I would love to know what has become of these women.
Sister Mary David, whom I remember quite well, was first a novice when I saw her, and quite the tom boy, as I also was known to be, however I outgrew this stage, as I am sure Sister David did also. May I say I am not the least shocked to learn that this woman is now the head of St. Benes (as we girls used to call the center). She always seemed self assured and open minded, always eager to try and learn new things.
Is there a site where one could find stories and pictures of the short lived Academy Of St. Benedict? Would love to see it, and if there is none should there be one, just asking.

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