I love you, God, and thanks for the good things you have done for me!
Sister Louise Olberding was born into eternal life on Sept. 10, 2016, at 9:40 a.m. She died peacefully surrounded by sisters and caregivers. She will be remembered for her vivacious spirit and ministries in education and healthcare.
Sister Louise was born in Nebraska on June 10, 1929. The family later moved to Emmett, Idaho. She wanted to be a nun from a young age and “lead people to Jesus.”
Sisters from St. Gertrude’s taught summer catechism in Emmett and sometimes boarded at the Olberding home. From their influence, she decided she wanted to be a sister. Her parents sent her to boarding school for two years, hoping she would change her mind about entering religious life. However, on her 17th birthday, she walked up the steep front steps of the Monastery of St. Gertrude and entered the novitiate.
Sister Louise began teaching soon after her first monastic profession in 1949. She attended Gonzaga University and St. Louis University, earning degrees in medical technology and hospital administration. She ministered at nursing homes in Mt. Angel, Oregon. Later, at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, she discovered her gift for pastoral care which she shared for 30 years with patients and staff.
In 2000, she moved back to the Monastery of St. Gertrude for health reasons. She offered a basic formula for deepening one’s relationship with God: “Strike up a conversation with God regarding your concerns. Ask for his help. Learn to say, ‘I love you, God, and thanks for the good things you have done for me!’”
Sister Louise is survived by many nieces and nephews and her monastic community. A rosary vigil service was held on Tuesday, Sept. 20, and the Mass of Christian Burial will be today, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m. Memorial gifts in Sister Louise’s honor can be made to the Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, Idaho, 83522.