Sister Rosemary (Norbert Ann) Kluesner
“Shout for joy to Yahweh, all virtuous persons!” (Psalm 33:1)
“I cannot picture Sister Rosemary actually shouting for joy or singing or playing to acclaim God. But I do envision Sister Rosemary, in her heart, acclaiming God’s providential love for herself and for all people. I saw Sister Rosemary as a quiet, self-possessed, retiring person who I believe was very close to God,” said Sister Mary Pat Peacock in her commentary for Sister Rosemary Kluesner, who died July 3.
Rosemary was born Aug. 20, 1928, in Jasper, Ind., to John and Caroline (Humbert) Kluesner. She was one of six children. Rosemary attended St. Joseph Grade School in Jasper and graduated from Providence Juniorate at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. She entered the Congregation Jan. 9, 1946, receiving the religious name Sister Norbert Ann. She entered five years after her sister, Sister Charles Louise Kluesner (RIP), entered the Congregation.
Sister Rosemary professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1948, and 1953, respectively. Sister Rosemary earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University.
Sister Rosemary’s first classroom was at St. Angela in Chicago in 1948. In Chicago, she also taught at St. Mark. She spent four years at St. Joseph, Hawthorne, Calif. The majority of her teaching years were spent in Indiana at St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes; St. Charles, Bloomington; St. Joseph and Precious Blood, Jasper; and St. John the Baptist, Newburgh.
“Some of the sisters who lived and ministered with Sister Rosemary told me that she was an excellent teacher, and as a teacher and principal she was so kind and understanding to the children, teachers and parents. It was as though she followed Saint Mother Theodore’s admonition, ‘Love the children first and then teach them,’” said Sister Mary Pat.
“After Sister Rosemary’s grade school ministry, she took time to prepare herself for her new work by pursuing CPE training. She was director of Simeon House in Terre Haute, Ind., from 1985 to 1990, working with senior citizens, who dearly loved her. From 1990 to 1998, she ministered to the sick and elderly through Catholic Charities and St. Patrick’s Parish, Terre Haute,” continued Sister Mary Pat.
“In 1998 Sister Rosemary was living in Providence Hall and one of her duties was sacristan in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Sister ironed the purificators and other linens to perfection. And do you remember seeing the bowl of hosts that was brought to the altar at the offertory of the Mass? The beautiful arrangement — it must have taken her a very long time to have them placed so carefully, even artistically,” shared Sister Mary Pat.
“One of Sister Rosemary’s diversions while living in Providence Hall was working three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles. Believe me, those can be a real challenge. I suppose that went well with her perfectionist temperament.
“During her last months and certainly before, Sister Rosemary was happy to see everyone. Her smiles and her hugs were a part of her greeting; her appearance was quite important to her, but more important was her attention to her sisters. If someone seemed agitated, Sister Rosemary would pat her hand and tell her it will be all right. Her sweet concern was evident to the end of her life,” said Sister Mary Pat.
“Now that Sister Rosemary is with God, the tightness and tension that she seemed to have at times is gone and now she really can shout for joy to Yahweh, and she can play with all her skill as she acclaims God,” concluded Sister Mary Pat.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Rosemary was celebrated July 11, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by one brother, Charles, of Lakewood, N.J.
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