Sisters' Stories

Sister Diane Liston, OSB Obituary

As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, my God!  
Psalm 42:1

Sister Diane Liston, born of 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 KS. 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 and this four-year Scripture program became her main ministry for the next 29 years. She designed the program to bring the Word of God alive for her students. 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, being in nature through 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.

Sister Diane spent her last years in the Dooley Center memory care residence at Mt. St. Scholastica Monastery. She said, “Being at Mt. St. Scholastica brings her life full circle.”  She is preceded in death by her parents Harry and Anna Liston. She will be missed by her brother, Jim and her sister-in-law, Betty and numerous nieces and nephews. 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.

Sister Josie Sanchez, OSB Obituary

 

“I will sing forever of your love.” Ps 89:1

Sister Josie Sanchez died peacefully on October 28, 2020.  There is so much to tell about Sister Josie, her joy for life, her lifelong love for music, her playfulness, her creativity expressed in fun skits which she composed and directed, her life as a teacher and her life ministering to people in poverty.  Sister Josie lived her life to the fullest.

Born on March 1, 1935 in Monte Vista, Colorado to Jose Pulidor Sanchez and Senida Sandoval Sanchez, Sister Josie was baptized Maria Richardita Fedelina.  As the oldest, Josie took on many responsibilities caring for her siblings.  She would say, “We didn’t have much, but we always had each other.” Sister Josie’s call from God to become a sister was influenced by one of her teachers who helped her with translating English to Spanish for her parents.

In high school, Josie came to know the Benedictine sisters of Mt. St. Scholastica.  One of the sisters asked her if she wanted to be a sister- she said, “Yes, but I don’t want to teach.”  God had other ideas.  Josie entered Mt. St. Scholastica in 1953 and made her final monastic profession in 1958.  She taught Kindergarten through middle school children, was a school principle and teacher for disabled students in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado for the next forty years. 

Teaching was a great joy for Sister Josie; so much so that after earning her BA in Elementary Education from Regis College, Denver, she completed a MA in Learning Disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.  She taught in the Huerfano in Walsenburg, CO as a special needs teacher for eight years.

At the center of Sister Josie’s life was her love for God and her commitment to the Benedictine way of life.  She became one of the charter members of Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs in 1965.  She served the community as Assistant Prioress from 1991-1995 and then moved to Alamosa, CO for a new ministry, coordinating Christian Community Services.

This new ministry involved bringing church service groups from all over the country to do repairs and painting on the homes of the poor.  Bringing young adults and teens together with the poor in her area was a ministry of compassion for Sister Josie.  She recalled a Buddhist saying, “A generous heart, gentle speech and a life of service and compassion renews humanity.”

In her later years, Sister Josie was the director of Benet Pines Retreat Center in the Black Forest.  She also taught in Grand junction for a while as a religion teacher for migrant families.  She was again translating English to Spanish on behalf of the parents and prepared the children to receive the sacraments. Her life had come full circle.

Music was a passion for Sister Josie; she cantered at the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharistic celebrations, sang in choirs, in Benet Hill Academy’s Dad and Daughter shows and other community celebrations.  One of her favorite songs was Eris Tu which she sang at a community celebration only a few months ago.  

Sister Josie is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Tommy Sanchez and her sister Ruth Garcia.  She is survived by her sister Theresa Sanchez, brothers Richard Sanchez and Ted Sanchez and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Sister Josie was a woman steeped in life and love.  Her deep love for God carried her through life’s difficulties and filled her with joyful song.  Sharing that joy through music was her gift to all who knew her.  If there are any words that can capture Sister Josie’s life, they would be, “Still singing a joyful song, now in the choirs of heaven.”  She will be greatly missed by her community and her family that she loved so deeply.

 

 

Please select a sister from the list below to discover her story

Sister Rose Ann Barmann, OSB

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Sister Anne Madeleine Brost, OSB

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Sister Clare Carr, OSB

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Sister Ana Cloughly, OSB

“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” - PSALM 46:10 Sister Ana Cloughly, a native of Long Island, New York, came to Colorado Springs in 1992. In 1993 she became acquainted with Benet Hill by participating in the Scripture Program with Sister Diane Liston, graduating in...

Sister Elizabeth Cogan, OSB

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Sister Kathleen Cogan, OSB

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Sister Phyllis Echterling, OSB

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Sister Mary Glenn, OSB

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Sister Lucile Hartmann, OSB

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Sister Joseph Marie Jacobsen, OSB

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Sister Deb Kuhl, OSB

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Sister Diane Liston, OSB

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Sister Susan Matarrese, OSB

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Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB

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Sister Therese O’Grady, OSB

“IF YOU MAKE MY WORD YOUR HOME, YOU WILL INDEED BE MY DISCIPLE; YOU WILL LEARN THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE.” - JOHN 8:31-32 The scripture from the Gospel of John has guided Sister Therese O’Grady’s heart and helps her remember that her call to become a...

Sister Naomi Rosenberger, OSB

“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” - PSALM 46 Besides the above scripture passage, Sister Naomi Rosenberger experiences God’s voice as “a whisper” in her heart (l Kings 19), leading her to live out the Gospel. These two passages have challenged her throughout her...

Sister Evangeline Salazar, OSB

“I HAVE COME SO THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE.” - JOHN: 10:10 It has been said: “Life is a cycle. We return to the place where we began.” That certainly has been true for me. I grew up with five brothers and two sisters, speaking Spanish and sharing all that we had. We grew...

Sister Josie Sanchez, OSB

“I WILL SING FOREVER OF YOUR LOVE… IS A BIBLE VERSE WITH SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE AS I REFLECT ON 60 YEARS OF VOWED LIFE. I CARRY A SONG OF THANKSGIVING IN MY HEART.” Sister Josie is the oldest of six children born to John and Senida Sanchez in Monte Vista, Colorado. Her...

Sister Mary Colleen Schwarz, OSB

“ONE LIFE WILL SOON BE PAST. ONLY WHAT IS DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST.” - PHILIPPIANS 1:21 This passage from scripture was written on a plaque Mary Colleen received from her mother Aletha. “I am amazed how this scripture has unfolded in my life,” Mary Colleen says....

Sister Anne Stedman, OSB

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Sister Marie Therese Summers, OSB

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Sister Mary John Thomas, OSB

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Sister Mary Jane Vigil, OSB

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Sister Helen Zecha, OSB

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