sister rose celine tauschek
August 25, 1925 – July 5, 2008
Had she been alive to hear the many good things her gathered family, friends and sisters in community were saying about her at the time of her death, she probably would have slipped out of the chapel, embarrassed by their words. Gentle, quiet, unassuming and a caring Sister of St. Joseph, in her life she deflected deserved praise and gave thanks to God instead.
Born in New Franken, Wis., on August 25, 1925, she was baptized the very same day in St. Kilian Church there. Her parents, Peter and Mary Schott Tauschek, wanted her to share their faith from day one. There were five other children in the family…a family filled with love and caring. It was in that setting that Marie Ann’s vocation was nourished.
On September 15, 1943, Marie Ann left the North to head for St. Louis. It took some time getting used to the humidity and heat, but she was willing to do whatever had to be done in order to receive the habit and name S. Rose Celine on March 19, 1943.
In August 1946, Sr. Rose began her ministry of teaching. Her first mission was at Holy Rosary School in St. Louis. Working with the primary students under her care and developing a special relationship with their parents who valued her as an excellent teacher gave her great joy. To the disappointment of many, she left Holy Rosary in 1952 to begin teaching at St. Louis Cathedral School.
She moved from being a primary teacher to a junior high teacher over the next several years. In 1959, she accepted the challenge of administration, finding herself leading the faculty and students of St. Anthony’s Grade School in St. Louis. It wasn’t until June 1970, when she was sent to Shawano, Wis., that she was finally assigned to a school outside of St. Louis. For the next seven years she served as the administrator at Sacred Heart School. For one additional year she served in the same capacity at Bishop Baraga Central Grade School in Marquette, Michigan.
Once she reached the state of Michigan, she blossomed. There she found a whole new ministry that was so life-giving for her and for those she served.
In July 1978 the U. P. Catholic said of her: “We have another blessed lady who serves the needs of a different kind. S. Rose Celine came to help minister to the sick and the elderly after St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hancock was handed over to the board. The Order (Sisters of St. Joseph) wanted to have some presence of the Sisters in the area. Sister began her special ministry after reading a study pointing to the needs that were not being met for the elderly in the Copper Country. She has been busy ever since. Much of her time is devoted to visiting the many nursing facilities and homes for the elderly.”
S. Rose was also active with the Portage Lake Hospice program, but visiting in the homes of the elderly was her special gift. “People have many hours of loneliness and just need someone to be there sometimes,” said Sr. Rose. “Sometimes they just need to see a new face.” She was honored in 1983 with the Distinguished Human Services Award from the Copper Country Council of Service Agencies because of her devotion to improving the quality of life for the poor and physically impaired and reaching them with kindness and spirituality, according to Ted Richie, the Vice President of the Council at that time.
When asked how she felt about receiving this honor, she commented: “Although I appreciate the sincerity of the people who gave me this honor, I must say I was really embarrassed. I believe I am doing just what all CSJs have done and are doing: meeting the needs of the times. I believe that I am where I am, the Sisters of St. Joseph are where they are and that this presence is important …more important than my words. To let the light shine so that the Father will be glorified is the goal of all of us.”
The way she lived her life proclaimed that she believed these words with her whole heart and soul. She ministers now as she accepts from Jesus the crown of glory that is definitely hers. May she rest in God’s peace forever.
By S. Kathleen Karbowski