This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Louise Walz, OSB

Louise (Louisa) Walz, OSB
December 19, 1864 - January 22, 1944

Mother Louise (Louisa) Walz was born in Baden, Germany, on December 19, 1864, the daughter of Ferdinand Walz and Ursula Haller. At the age of 8 she came to the United States with her parents. She entered St. Benedict's Monastery on October 18, 1884, and pronounced her perpetual vows on July 11, 1880. Prior to her election as prioress in 1919 she served the community as teacher, assistant novice mistress, and as subprioress from 1902-1919. During her three terms as prioress (1919-37) she continued the brick and mortar expansion policy of her predecessor, Mother Cecilia Kapsner. St. Walburg's Hall was built as a dormitory and art needlework department; the Scholasticate was erected to accommodate the large number of candidates; and the St. Cloud Hospital was completed in 1928. Due to the debt incurred by the latter building just before the Great Depression, Mother Louise had to use all of her resourcefulness to keep the community afloat financially.

Among her many duties was service as the President of the College of St. Benedict. Although she herself had only an eighth grade education, the college received accreditation during her term. She knew how to get and rely on a competent lay advisors in her many daring ventures as prioress. It was also during her term that the community was called upon to carry the light of Christianity across the Pacific to the Far East. In response to this call a Chinese mission was accepted, and in 1930 six sisters left to open a women's college at the Catholic University of Peking.

In the area of spirituality and liturgy, she will be forever gratefully remembered for bringing the community back to its monastic roots by restoring the Divine Office as the community prayer. Under Abbot Boniface Wimmer’s rule in their early years in America, the Sisters prayed the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and some of the early prioresses had introduced other devotional prayers. The community, however, had maintained a strong desire for the Office of the Church as it was handed down in the Benedictine monastic tradition. It was Mother Louise’s kind but firm adherence to monastic values that led the community into the liturgical revival that was being promoted by the Liturgy Movement led by Virgil Michel, OSB. Not only was the community’s liturgical life strengthened, but as the Sisters went to teach in the various schools, they helped promote a revival of liturgy in the parishes.

Mother Louise died on January 22, 1944, but the legacy this strong woman is still felt by her community.

Tribute prepared by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, Minnesota.