Sister M. Gwendolin Koniar, OSF, died on October 14, 2018 at Our Lady of Grace Hall, an assisted living facility at the Motherhouse of the Sylvania Franciscans. Sister Gwendolin, the daughter of the late John and Ann Marie Koniar, came to the convent from St. Hedwig Parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1945. She made her first profession of religious vows in 1950 and her final vows in 1953.
Sister Gwendolin was well prepared for her ministry in the field of education with a B.A degree from the former Mary Manse College in Toledo, Ohio; an M.A. degree in Remedial Reading Instruction and an M.A. degree in Elementary School Administration from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. After 24 years of teaching in elementary schools in Toledo, Rossford, and Port Clinton, Ohio and in schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, she became a principal for 30 years in elementary schools in Ohio and Minnesota. Before retiring to the Motherhouse earlier this summer, Sister Gwendolin brightened the lives of many elders as receptionist and later as a volunteer at River Village East Eldercare in Minneapolis.
To know Sister Gwendolin was to know a dedicated, loving, compassionate and joyful woman full of energy and enthusiasm for the young and the old, for the Church, for her religious community, for her family and her many friends. She lived life with gusto and shared her philosophy of JOY (Jesus, Others, You) with everyone she met. Her dear friend in community, Sister Myra, described her as the Queen of Hospitality, a woman for others, a generous, prayerful person. Sister Gwendolin spent 68 years living her life as a follower of Jesus and St. Francis as she firmly believed that “Unless the Lord build the house, in vain do the builders labor.” (Psalm 127) May she rest in peace in the house of the Lord.