Meet Sister Rosaleen Dickes

My parents were very firm believers that everyone had a vocation, a call to serve God with the talents given to us and with our desire to carry out our individual call. For some reason, Mother and Father thought that Mount Marty High School was the place for me. My older siblings had gone to Holy Trinity (Cedar Catholic) High School in Hartington, Nebraska. Religious Sisters and Priests were always highly respected in my family and in the area where I grew up in Cedar County, Nebraska. The Franciscan Sisters from Milwaukee, Wisconsin were teachers at St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Fordyce, Nebraska where I went.

I always enjoyed being around the Sisters as a youngster. I attended Mount Marty High School, an all-girl Benedictine boarding school in Yankton, South Dakota. I spent the weekends on the farm helping with the work and enjoying time with friends. In my senior year, Mother Jerome spoke to our senior class about vocations and life as a Benedictine Sister. There was no doubt in her mind that some of us were being called to the Benedictine way of life. “Not me,” I thought to myself. Well, I was “hounded” with the words of Mother Jerome and other Benedictines that I came to know during my high school experience and found myself visiting Mother Jerome in April 1950 about maybe being called to be a Benedictine Sister.

Entrance papers were given to me along with details like talking to Mother, Father, and family. I experienced much encouragement and support. A few of my friends could not believe me and said, “We’ll see you in a couple of weeks, Norma Jean.”

Being a Sister at Sacred Heart Monastery has been and continues to be a very rewarding experience. Growing up in a large family was good preparation for me as I continue to answer God’s call in a variety of ways, each and every day at our monastery. My story is a story of celebrating life and sharing joy with others as we continue to serve one another and others along the way. I give thanks to God, my family, friends, and Community for the love and prayerful support that I have experienced over these past 65 years and look forward to what is still to come. That’s exciting and I’m grateful for all!



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