Sister Diane Liston, born to Harry and Anna Liston, October 13, 1932, died peacefully on November 21, 2020. She was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and was baptized, Patricia Ann. She was known to many as Patsy and attended elementary school at Holy Family and St. Peter’s in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She chose to attend high school at Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. Two weeks after graduation she entered the monastery of Mt. St. Scholastica and made her final monastic profession in 1955.
When Sister Diane first entered monastic life, she wasn’t particularly interested in teaching, but it soon became clear that teaching would become one of her greatest passions and she earned a BA in music education from Mt. St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas. Music was one of Sister Diane’s greatest gifts and she used that gift to teach music in grade schools throughout Kansas, Missouri and Colorado.
Sister Diane was a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery and once she moved to Colorado Springs, she taught at Sacred Heart Parish and she helped begin the elementary school for Holy Trinity Parish. She taught religion and music and directed the chorus at Benet Hill Academy as well as found time to earn her MA in Theology from St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. Soon after her graduation, Sister Diane became the Novice Director for Benet Hill Monastery.
During the 1970s and 80s many things changed for Benet Hill. Benet Hill Academy closed and there were new ministries on the horizon. Sister Diane developed a new ministry of Scripture Studies in the form of a four-year program designed to bring the Word of God alive for her students. She dedicated the next 29 years to this ministry. Hundreds of students graduated in Colorado Springs, Parker, Castle Rock and Elizabeth, Colorado. Sister Diane also spent twelve years ministering to people in prisons and local jails teaching Scripture and Centering Prayer.
As a Benedictine, Sister Diane’s life was steeped in prayer. She reminded her students that God could be found everywhere and she practiced what she preached. God was her greatest love and she sought to be with her God in many ways: through liturgical prayer, praying with the Word of God, biking, cross country skiing, and hiking to the summit of numerous ‘14ers’ in beautiful Colorado. She also enjoyed reading, creative knitting and crocheting, and attended countless conferences on music. Music touched Sister Diane’s heart in ways little else could.
She will be remembered fondly by her sisters of Benet Hill and her many friends and students, whom she deeply loved and who loved her.