Sister Rosalia Fink, 87, died on October 22, 2019 at Villa Saint Vincent, Crookston.
Caroline Catherine Fink was born in Britton, SD, of Julius and Emelia Fink. She was known as Carrie to her family. She attended Saint Michael’s School and Mahnomen High School.
Caroline and her sister, Joan, entered the Sisters of Saint Benedict in 1948. When they became novices and received the Benedictine habit, Caroline received the name Sister Rosalia, and Joan was named Sister Clarissa. They made their first monastic profession on July 4, 1949, and their final profession on July 11, 1953.
Sister Rosalia received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the College of Saint Theresa in Winona, MN, and another bachelor’s degree in business education from Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Sister Rosalia’s first teaching assignment was at Sacred Heart Grade School in East Grand Forks. She also taught elementary grades at the Cathedral in Crookston; Saint Jude’s in Mahtomedi, Saint Bernard’s in Thief River Falls, Saint Michael’s in Mahnomen, Saint Thomas in Asherton, TX, Saint Vincent’s in Osseo and secondary education in Asherton, TX, where she was the principal of the public high school, and Sacred Heart High School in East Grand Forks. In addition to teaching typing, accounting and business law for 14 years, she directed the cheerleaders and pom-pom girls. She rode over a hundred pep buses to out-of-town games in addition to attending all the home games. Sister Rosalia was known as an excellent educator, and she received a certificate as one of the outstanding educators of America in 1970.
After Sister Rosalia left Sacred Heart High School, she became the office manager for the business department at Mount Saint Benedict. In 1990, Sister Rosalia joined the staff of the Community Action Council of South Texas in Rio Grande City. While at CACST, she worked with almost 500 employees to help oversee care for the abused.
Sister Rosalia returned to Mount Saint Benedict in 2006, where she worked with the Community Supported Garden for three years.
Sister Rosalia felt called to return to Rio Grande City to establish a shelter for abused women. She was assisted by Sister Jeannine Spain. People from the locality formed a committee and named the project the South Texas Empowerment of Women Center.
From the beginning, the District Attorney tried to help by giving them property that had been confiscated from the drug cartel. The night before they were to begin cleaning the buildings, a small building was set afire, and the location was deemed too unsafe to occupy, so Sister Rosalia was back to square one. Another donor gave three acres for the shelter. Some people thought that transitional housing should be built first but Sister Rosalia saw the need for providing shelter for abused women and children. More than 90 people were served in the first year. Upon completion of the shelter the transitional housing unit was begun.
After the shelter opened its doors in 2016, and Sister Rosalia felt confident of its future, she returned to Mount Saint Benedict.
Sister Rosalia is preceded in death by her parents Julius and Emelia Fink, brothers Joseph and Peter, and sisters Barbara (Kersting) and Sister Clarissa. She is survived by many nieces and nephews and the members of her monastic community.
Reception of the body of Sister Rosalia will be on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. with visitation from 5:30 until a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 28, 2019. All services will be at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, 620 Summit Ave. Crookston, MN 56716. Interment will be in the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery.
Gifts in memory of Sister Rosalia may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation.