O God, my God, for You I long at break of day. My soul thirsts for You. My body longs for You. Psalm 63
Sister Valine Kachelmier, OSB, was born into eternal life at 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2017. She was 89 years old and had been a Benedictine sister for 71 years. Sister Valine (formerly Sister Amata) will be remembered for her service in education and her rich, creative life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude that included candle-making, tending a Mary garden, and abundant prayer.
Sister Valine was born to Alois and Cecilia Kachelmier on Aug. 11, 1928, and grew up in Nezperce, Idaho, along with two brothers and four sisters. She heard the call to religious life at an early age. “I felt drawn to the things of God and a desire for a deep relationship with God from the beginning.” From her early years in grade school at St. Anthony’s, she would pray in the nearby Catholic Church after school when most of the children had gone home to play. Devoting herself to scripture, young Valine soon memorized every prayer in her catechism book.
She entered St. Gertrude’s the summer after 8th grade. After battling homesickness for three years, the Monastery became the place where her “desire to be near God and the things of God was satisfied.” She was professed as Sister Amata (Latin, meaning “you must love”) on March 25, 1946.
The same year she began teaching in Greencreek, Idaho, launching a teaching career that took her to Grangeville, Nampa, Saint Maries, Cottonwood, Boise, Pocatello and Rupert, Idaho. She taught for 37 years and served as principal many of those years.
Following her years as an educator, Sister Valine trained in occupational therapy. In 1992 she was called back to the Monastery where she did OT with sisters in the infirmary, made candles, cared for the Grotto, and worked in the flower gardens. “I was delighted to return home. I deeply love the beauty and quiet atmosphere surrounding St. Gertrude’s with its daily rhythm of prayer, work, and study. My heart overflows with deep gratitude for all the blessings and graces that I have been given. I often pray with the psalmist: ‘O God, my God, for You I long at break of day. My soul thirsts for You. My body longs for You.’”
Sister Valine is survived by her sisters, Eleanor Langdon and Clarice Riggs; as well as nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends — and her Benedictine sisters.
The Rosary Vigil will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. in the chapel at the Monastery. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow.
Memorial gifts in Sister Valine’s honor can be made to the Monastery of St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID, 83522.
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