Three St. Gertrude Sisters to celebrate golden jubilee
The public is invited to attend the 50th Anniversary of Monastic Profession for Sisters Ida Mae Fuchs, Clarissa Goeckner and Bernadette Stang on August 16, 2008 at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho. Celebrations will be held in the monastery chapel at 1:30 PM. For more information, directions or to arrange accommodations please send e-mail to or call 208-962-3224. All are welcome.
In reflecting back on 50 years of service to the local community, to Idaho and to the Church, the Sisters shared a few thoughts for publication. (For photos and the complete stories on the Sister’s Jubilees please visit
Sister Ida Mae Fuchs
“When I made my first monastic profession on June 11, 1958, I was given the name Sister Mary Martha, which fit me Sr. Ida Mae Fuchswell since I was doing domestic work at the time. Later I ministered to the elderly, caring for the homebound. I received my CNA and also took a cooking class in order to increase my skills. Over the years I served in Lewiston, Nampa, Cottonwood, Blackfoot and Boise.
Ministering in Blackfoot was one of the high points of my life. While I was there, I cooked for Fr. Xavier, who was from India. This gave me the new opportunity to prepare Indian cuisine.  I continued to visit the homebound and I was also able to lead a prayer group at the state hospital.
I now minister in the prayer and spirituality ministry at the Monastery. I enjoy meeting retreatants and I am deeply affirmed by praying for their needs.
I am grateful to my community for their support and love over these many years. I am especially grateful to God for Sister Lucille Nachtsheim who accompanied me 50 years ago from DeSmet to Cottonwood. I wouldn’t have made it without her moral support.“  
Sister Clarissa Goeckner
Sr. Clarissa Goeckner“As I prepare to celebrate 50 years of monastic profession, I am grateful for the abundance of these years. They have been rich in relationships, educational opportunities, and invitations to service; they have also been filled with support, encouragement and challenges of all kinds. 
I made my first profession on June 11, 1958. I have served all but ten of my fifty years in the Diocese of Boise teaching elementary grades at St. Anthony’s School in Pocatello and junior high students at Sacred Heart School in Boise, Sts. Peter and Paul’s School in Grangeville and St. Mary’s School in Boise. I also served as principal at St. Mary’s in Boise from 1968-1979.
From 1993-2004, I worked for the diocese as Coordinator for Children’s/Family Catechesis and as Director of Education for the Diocese of Boise from 2004-05.
There have been many highpoints over the years. Spending Holy Week in Jerusalem in 1976 was certainly one of them as was studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel during the summer of 1981. The summer I taught in a ghetto school in Hartford, Connecticut was a life changing experience.
Our community will begin celebrating 100 years of presence and service in Idaho in August. As I look to the future, my hope is that the Idaho Benedictines will continue to be gift to the diocese and all they/we serve by generously sharing our values of healing hospitality, grateful simplicity and creative peace making.”
Sister Bernadette Stang
“On June 11, 1958, the day of my Profession, I received the name Sister Mary Grace. For me, Grace meant being touched Sr. Bernadette Stangby God, being gifted. So began my ministry for the Church in Idaho teaching in Catholic schools in Boise, Lewiston, Ferdinand, Pocatello and Genesee.
In 1968 I was asked to be Religious Education Coordinator when the diocese opened the Catholic Education Office. Following this I moved into pastoral ministry in Burley and Blackfoot until a call came from the Sisters in Bogota, Colombia to join them at the school of Santa Maria. This tremendous experience prepared me for the next step in my life. On returning to the States I was asked to join our Formation and Vocation ministry at St. Gertrude’s. My next ministry involved setting up an after-school tutoring program at Farmway Village migrant camp near Caldwell. After eleven years, I was called home to the monastery to join the Spirituality and Retreat Ministry team at Spirit Center.  
In reflecting on these fifty Golden years, my heart overflows with gratitude for the call to walk with the Sisters of the Monastery of St. Gertrude and for the people of Idaho, who are examples of living faith. Because of their support I am here today to celebrate fifty years of religious life.”
From left Sisters Bernadette Stang, Ida Mae Fuchs and Clarissa Goeckner at their first monastic profession on June 11, 1958.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


Classified Ads

503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
Template Design by: