Sr. Joseph Dukart
“I love people and I love fishing,” Sr. Joseph stated to summarize her story. Perhaps these two facts about her show a great deal of the character of Sr. Joseph. She loves people and seeks to serve them. She loves God, the source and goal of all those she loves. And she loves fishing. Not only fishing, but she also enjoys card games and had fun playing softball with her sisters. She receives her life in the spirit of gratitude.
Born on May 10, 1932 in Dickinson, “Minnie” Dukart was born not at a hospital, but at home through the help of someone who was “not really a midwife, but a neighbor lady.” She was the third youngest of nine siblings and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School. The grade school was run by the Benedictine sisters she would later join due to their attractive witness. “Their example,” she recalls, “was enough to inspire us.”
One of the Benedictine sisters, Sr. Norma, had a significant impact on Minnie. It was particularly through her that Minnie’s vocation was cultivated. She is thankful to St. Therese the Little Flower, who was a heavenly intercessor in her vocational journey. Sr. Joseph also has kept Msgr. Aberle’s words seared in her mind, who one day told Minnie, “Someday, you’re gonna be a sister.” This was when she was in the 8th grade.
And he was right. Minnie joined the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Priory (now monastery) She spent many years serving as an LPN at St. Alexius Hospital (now CHI St. Alexius Health), and at Garrison Hospital for around 20 years. She also worked in the Health Center of the then-called Annunciation Priory, giving care to the infirmed or elderly sisters.
In her past years and to this day, she deeply appreciates living in community with her sisters. She has an infectious joy and mischievous sense of humor. Throughout the years, the faithfulness of God has been her steady refuge. As she explained, “He’s there all the time you need Him.”