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"Like a child in its mother arms"

"Like a child in its mother arms" - (26-11-2012)

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On November 20, 2012, Sister Mary Pauline Kramek, OSB went peacefully to God after a brief illness. Her pleasant disposition and ever-grateful spirit never left her, even when she was in much pain, and her youthful enthusiasm and simplicity of heart did not diminish with age. Her conversation in her last days was not about pain, but about her heart-felt appreciation for the loving care and goodness she was experiencing.         

Angeline Therese Kramek was born of Polish parents on March 20, 1921, in Hamtramck, Michigan, and baptized a week later in St. Florian Church in Hamtramck. Her father, Felix Joseph Kramek, was born in Wies, Hira, Poland and her mother, Catherine Kuziola, in Dabbre, Poland. Angeline had three older brothers and one younger brother. When she was eight, the family moved from Hamtramck to Detroit, where she went to school. Sr. Pauline wanted to be a Sister as long as she could remember, and considered joining the Notre Dame Sisters who taught her in school. 

One day Angeline found a copy of Tabernacle and Purgatory in the back of church and read it from beginning to end. When she saw a picture of four postulants kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel at Clyde, Missouri, she decided that was where she wanted to go. Her mother told her she was too young to go so far, and her father asked, “Where in the world is Clyde, Missouri?” Her brother got a map and drew a line from Detroit to Clyde, and her father said “we can try it.” In 1935 they traveled for three or four weeks to Clyde, stopping along the way. 

Before making that trip with her parents Angeline had already made up her mind, and planned to stay at Clyde. She and another young Academy girl then had to go to the Abbey for four years to continue their studies for a high school diploma. The first two years they were aspirants, not yet postulants. 

Angeline became a postulant August 3, 1937, and was invested as a novice April 30, 1938. On the day of her first Profession of Vows, August 26, 1939, she became Sister Mary Pauline, and made her Perpetual Vows on August 26, 1944. She lived in all the monasteries of our Congregation: Clyde, Mundelein, Kansas City, San Diego, Tucson, and at Our Lady of Rickenback Health Care Center.

For her, every place was a “Blessing.” After one day in kitchen as a new postulant, it became obvious that her talent was elsewhere. Sister Mary Veronica became a special friend and invited her to help in the sewing room. Sister Pauline loved sewing, and being in the Church Work Department at Clyde, and later in San Diego, proved to be her talent and her special joy. When the San Diego monastery was closing and its Church Work Department was being moved to our Tucson monastery in 1992, a picture of Sister Pauline appeared on the front page of The Southern Cross diocesan paper, with an article entitled “Forty Years Later, Farewell.” Sister Pauline also served as portress and as the sacristan in all our monasteries.

To send a memorial in honor of Sister Pauline, please visit the BSPA Planned Giving site or mail it to the Clyde Monastery at 31970 State Highway P, Clyde, MO, 64432.