DAVENPORT — Sister Cecelia Vandeberg (Mary Cecelia), CHM, 101, died Oct. 26 at the Humility of Mary Center.
She was born to Leona Mary Ann Benoit and John Godfrey Vandeberg in Epping, North Dakota, on June 26, 1918. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary and received the name Cecelia and her religious habit. She resided at Sacred Heart Convent, Great Falls, Montana, where she made temporary vows in 1939 and perpetual vows in 1942.
She studied at several music institutes and received a bachelor of music degree from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan. She began her music ministry at St. Anne Cathedral in Great Falls, where she played the organ, conducted girls’ choirs and taught music at St. Mary High School and grade school. She taught piano lessons at Sacred Heart Convent, Great Falls.
Sister Vandeberg also taught music at St. Pius X School in Rock Island, Illinois; St. Leo School in Lewistown, Montana; and Saints Peter & Paul School in Great Falls.
She lived with her mother for eight years, caring for her at home and then at a care center. At the same time, she attended Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Great Falls, where she played the organ and conducted adult choirs. She taught music at the school there, and was also a fifth-grade teacher.
In 1986, the Diocese of Great Fall hired her to bring Communion to Catholic patients at Benefis East Hospital. She served in this ministry for 26 years. On July 2, 2012, she moved into the Humility of Mary Center, Davenport, where she engaged primarily in a ministry of prayer. She continued to visit long-term care facilities until shortly before her death.
Her funeral was held Nov. 5 at Humility of Mary Center’s Magnificat Chapel. After cremation, a service and interment will be held in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Great Falls.
Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.