sister mona marie buergler


December 5, 1911 - July 1, 2011

Cheerful, kind-a life lived for others

"Delightful, delightful, indeed!"-apt words for S. Mona Marie Buergler, for she truly enjoyed life. S. M. Ermen Greene, one of her superiors, once said of her, "She is a good mixer at recreation, very witty, and can make up the fun needed for any occasion." As early as 1944 when she petitioned to make final profession, S. Mona wrote, "My greatest difficulty is to look and act pleasant when I'm dead-tired."

Looking at her life, one can readily see why she was "dead tired," for she was seldom idle. She was born on December 5, 1911, in Wanatah, Ind. One of 10 children of Carl and Mary Bauer Buergler, she was named Alice Elizabeth. Growing up with five brothers and four sisters she learned the give and take of "community living."

After her first profession in 1941 and up to 1955, S. Mona Marie spent herself as a teacher, both in elementary and secondary education. In 1959, she was assigned as a faculty member at Fontbonne College. In all educational endeavors, her rapport with the students, teachers and families was recognized by her peers and administrators. Her commitment to professionalism and her willingness to help students outside class time proved to be a real gift, especially at Fontbonne.

In 1972, S. Mona Marie took on the role of provincial treasurer. In that capacity, she attended many professional workshops and conferences to help her fulfill her duties. It was during her time as treasurer that the Sisters of St. Joseph bought into Social Security. She was farsighted enough to know that this would reap great benefits for the province.

After five years, S. Mona returned to Fontbonne College. She served on the administrative staff and devoted time to writing articles for publication in various business education journals. Many benefited from her business acumen and wrote to her asking advice about setting up language or shorthand labs.

She moved to various locations and served in different capacities in her later years. From 1979-1985 she lived at the House of Prayer in Ferguson, Mo., where she liked to pray and share with others. Because of her pleasant disposition and her desire to be of service, she willingly became the assistant administrator at St. Anthony's Convent in St. Louis when asked to do so. Three years later in 1988 she was appointed coordinator for the Frontenac community at St. Joseph's Academy. While at SJA, she spent hours each day transcribing oral history tapes, a federation project. She was very diligent in looking up unfamiliar names and places. All of this was a great service to the federation. She was a true community woman, cheerful and especially devoted to attending Mass each day. Prayerful, she participated in a daily rosary for peace after 9/11 with her sisters at the academy.

S. Mona Marie was close to her family as well and loved her yearly visit to Indiana. At other times her nephews would travel through St. Louis on fishing trips and stop to see her at St. Joseph's Academy. She delighted in having the sisters meet her family members.

In October of 2004, at the age of 93, S. Mona Marie moved to Nazareth, where she deepened her relationship with God. As she had done in the past, she made everyone comfortable in her presence. After suffering a stroke, S. Mona's life became one of inner, patient acceptance. While the stroke impaired her speech, her smile and twinkling eyes let you know her sense of humor had not diminished. Appropriately, S. Mona Marie went to her God on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now she is joined with the God she so lovingly served her whole life. May she rest in peace.

S. Rita Louise Huebner
S. Kathleen Karbowski


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