Remembering Sister Anne Krall, OSB
“If I fly to the heavens, you are there . . . " Psalm 139:8a
Our dear Sister Anne Krall, OSB died peacefully on Thursday, January 5, 2017. She passed into the loving arms of God. Born in Colorado, she felt called to enter the Benedictines in her mid-20s. She was accepted at the monastery in Chicago and then ministered at schools in both Colorado and Illinois throughout her years. She also served at Camp San Benito. Her incredible kindness and cheerful disposition will be part of her legacy. We invite you to learn more about Sister Anne in the following biography written by Sister Benita Coffey, OSB.:
Anna Rose Krall was born in Pueblo, Colorado, on December 4, 1928, one of the younger of the thirteen children of Joseph and Angela Pele Krall. She herself in later years, writing about her family, said she had “four lovely sisters and eight wonderful brothers.”
Baptized at St. Mary Help of Christians Church on December 30, 1928, Anna Rose attended the parish school where the Benedictine Sisters were teachers. After graduating from Central High she worked several years at the Minnequa Bank and was very active in her parish particularly in its music program.
In the spring of 1954, she began to consider the possibility that she might become a religious. In her personal notes she wrote that never before that time had she ever thought about this option, that the new interest came as a surprise to her. After speaking with the Sisters at her parish and doing careful discernment, she left for Chicago at the end of that summer and entered the St. Scholastica Monastery on September 12, 1954. She became one of the twenty women of St. Mary’s parish who over the years joined the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago.
After seven months of postulancy, Anna was received as a novice on April 23, 1955 and given the name Sister Barbara. She professed triennial vows on April 28 of the following year and made her perpetual commitment on August 16, 1959. Her Silver Jubilee was celebrated in 1981 and Golden Jubilee in 2006. The summer of 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of her profession.
Sister Barbara studied at Mundelein College in Chicago and was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree there. Afterward she obtained State Certification. In the early years of her teaching career she served primarily as a first grade teacher at parochial schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago: Queen of All Saints, St. Joseph, and St. Hilary. In 1964, she was assigned to work in Colorado where she taught at St. Michael in Delta, then at St. Leander in Pueblo, before joining the faculty at St. Scholastica Academy in Cañon City as a middle school teacher.
Just as so many Sisters had by the early 1970s, she chose to be known by the name she had been given at Baptism. In 1974 Sister Anne began a new ministry as a Coordinator of Religious Education. She first served in that capacity at her home parish, St. Mary until 1977. Then she moved to St. Joseph Parish in Salida, Colorado, where for two years she was not only Director of Religious Education but also the first grade teacher. To enrich her background in this new work, Sister Anne took advantage of Pueblo Diocesan meetings and participated in the Southwest Liturgical Conference in Denver as well.
For Sister Anne, as was common practice for Chicago Benedictines in years when they were in Colorado, the summers were always busy. “Vacation School Programs” were provided for many towns where there were no parochial schools and only limited opportunity for religious education. Over the years she served at St. Anne in Pueblo, and in Gunnison, Montrose, Olathe, Silverton and Ouray.
Camp San Benito, sponsored by Saint Scholastica Academy in Cañon City was another summer ministry. Sister Anne often ministered at the camp and at times was its director. Her energy, sense of organization, willingness to work hard, and cheerful disposition were benefits for the camp staff and for the girls from around the country who came for a summer away in the mountains.
After almost two decades of service in Colorado, Sister Anne was asked to become again a first grade teacher, this time back in Chicago at St. Symphorosa Parish. Having completed eight years there, she was given the opportunity of a position in Colorado again, this time to assist once more at SSA in Cañon City.
Sister Anne’s adaptability was recognized once more in this assignment which would be her last until she retired. For one year, 1989-1990, she was Director of the Early Learning Center there. During the other years her tasks varied depending on needs. She did a lot of driving to airports and for shopping and doctors’ appointments. For a time she was responsible for overseeing student spending and handling their requests for money from their accounts. She did weekend dorm duty and occasional substitution for counselors during the week. Hers was the task of supervising work study students with their assigned chores, and often she was not only watching, but doing the dishes. Clearly flexibility was needed and Sister Anne had that.
Though Sister Anne listed herself as “retired” in 1992 she is remembered as remaining active and helpful at SSA until the school closed in 2001. The following years were spent visiting homebound retirees, even including some members of her own family who resided in Pueblo.
In 2011 Sister Anne returned to the monastery in Chicago. Though not able any longer to undertake any specific physical task, the gifts she continued to offer to community were her example of faithfulness to community prayer and common life and her consistent cheerfulness. Always she was friendly and upbeat, and her readiness to laugh was apparent. With a little prompting, she would whistle, sometimes even yodel, always finishing with a bit of gentle laughter.
Over the years since 1981, she mourned the deaths of her brothers Edward, Frank, Raymond and Joseph, and more recently her sisters, Tillie Veylupek, Frances Skoff, and Angela Meglan.
She will be buried In All Saints cemetery, Des Plaines, Illinois. She is mourned by her siblings, Albert, John, Martha, Bernie and Bill Krall, nieces and nephews, and the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago.