Five sisters marked important anniversaries this year as women religious. These jubilarians represent St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith and the Carmelite Monastery in Little Rock.
SISTER ADRIAN WEWERS
Sister Adrian Wewers, OSB, was born in Morrison Bluff Nov. 25, 1928, to William and Anna Lensing Wewers. After her mother’s death in childbirth, her father married Stephanie Seiter, with whom he had nine children.
On Sept. 5, 1945, she entered St. Scholastica Convent in Fort Smith and became a novice on June 24, 1946. She made her profession of perpetual vows on June 24, 1952. She received her degree in elementary education from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, Kan. Sister Adrian taught primary grades in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas for the next 40 years. She ended her teaching career by teaching preschool for two years in the daycare at St. Joseph Home in North Little Rock. In 1997, Sister Adrian came to live at St. Scholastica Monastery where she drove sisters to their appointments or helped wherever needed.
SISTER LEONA SELIG
Sister Leona Marie Selig, OSB, was born in Tichnor to Frederick and Alpha Selig. In 1948, she moved to Fort Smith to attend St. Scholastica Academy. In 1950, after her sophomore year, she entered the monastery. After she made vows in 1953, Sister Leona spent eight years at St. Joseph Orphanage in North Little Rock, managing the dining room and then five years assisting in the diet kitchen at the monastery. Then, she worked as a nurse’s aide for Medi Home, now Chapel Ridge Nursing & Rehab. For another 20 years, she assisted in the infirmary at St. Scholastica. She is known for her many years of care and service as a Benedictine sister.
SISTER MARIA GORETTI DEANGELI
Sister Maria Goretti DeAngeli was born on Dec. 27, 1934, in Lake Village to Angelo and Lois DeAngeli. In 1949, she entered the monastery of St. Scholastica and became a novice on June 24, 1951. In June 1953, she made her first profession.
Sister Maria Goretti served as housekeeper and teacher on different missions until 1969 when she attended college in Ada, Okla. Sister Maria then worked in religious education in Crosset and Russellville. She attended Loyola University in Chicago for a degree in pastoral studies. From 1981 to 1989, Sister Maria Goretti was subprioress and later formation director. Beginning in 1989 she worked for 13 years in Helena in parish ministry. She returned in 2002 to St. Scholastica Monastery and served as prioress from 2009 to 2019. As prioress, she oversaw the construction of the new monastery. Sister Maria is presently formation director, manager of the dining room, choir director and herb gardener.
SISTER ELISE FORST
Sister Elise Forst was born in Prairie View on May 28, 1943. She attended St. Scholastica Academy as an aspirant and entered the monastery in 1960. After making a temporary profession in 1963, she taught elementary grades in Stuttgart and in Paris. Sister Elise made her perpetual profession in 1968 and graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., in 1969. She taught for two years at St. Edward School in Little Rock, then earned a master’s degree in school psychology from State College of Arkansas in Conway. She worked as an educational examiner in the Fort Smith Public Schools for three years before serving within the community in various ministries, including renewal coordinator, subprioress, formation director, prioress and development director. She is serving in the mission advancement office and as director of temporary professions.
SISTER PETRA MASEK
Sister Mary Petra Masek, OCD, was born in California and had aspirations of becoming a medical researcher after military service. During her senior year and the following summer, she visited a Carmelite monastery after work in Long Beach, Calif. It was on one of these visits that she realized this was where she was supposed to be.
She entered in September 1962 as a lay sister. Her assignments included ordering kitchen and monastery provisions, answering the phone and door, running a printing press, some art work, sewing, formator and spiritual direction. She served on the Association Committee for the Nuns’ legislation for the Constitutions requested by Rome for Carmelites. Her first vows were made Oct. 7, 1964. Before final vows in 1967, the prioress received permission from Rome to transfer Sister Petra to choir nun. When the Carmel had to close, Sister Petra was offered to relocate to the Carmelite Monastery in Little Rock.
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