Sister Madonna Fink, 87, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL), died on July 20, 2019 in Ross Hall at the SCL Mother House.
Sister Madonna Fink, 87, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL), died on July 20, 2019 in Ross Hall at the SCL Mother House. Sister Madonna devoted her life to a ministry of education as a teacher and librarian. She found special joy interacting with student athletes at the University of Saint Mary.
Madonna was born on May 25, 1932 in Sidney, Montana. She was the only child of Nora Mary Cahill and Lawrence Fink. She attended a one-room grade school with her cousins, her closest childhood friends. Madonna went to high school at Ursuline Academy in Great Falls, Montana. She enrolled in Saint Mary College, Leavenworth, with plans to major in Latin and become a teacher. Following her sophomore year, she responded to her vocational call and entered the SCL Community in 1952. She made vows on Aug. 22, 1954 as Sister Mary Laurita, and later returned to her baptismal name.
Sister taught grade school for a few years. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree in Latin and French at Saint Mary’s, she taught Latin in high schools in Kansas City, Missouri; Topeka, Kansas; Leavenworth; and Billings, Montana. During summers, Sister Madonna worked to earn a master’s in Latin through Creighton University, Omaha. As enrollment declined in Latin classes, the Community sent her to work toward a master’s in library science at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. She served one year as a librarian at Butte Central, Butte, Montana. In August 1978, Sister became the reference librarian at Saint Mary College, a position she held until fall 2009 when she began volunteering in the library.
Through her years at the college, Sister Madonna assumed an additional role that endeared her to students, their families and the athletic department. She attended every home sporting event/game that she could and led teams in pre-game prayers. She baked cookies and gave them to student athletes for away games. Sister copied newspaper articles about athletes so they could share them with their families. A self-identified non-athlete, Sister Madonna was among the inaugural inductees into the Saint Mary College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. A few years later, the University of Saint Mary named its basketball court in her honor. She accepted this recognition with her characteristic humility.
In addition to sports, Sister Madonna loved nature and enjoyed bird watching. She remained grateful that she was drawn to the holy ground of the SCL Community and the University of Saint Mary. Sister took up residence at the Mother House in 2011 and transitioned to Ross Hall in 2015.
Her parents preceded Sister Madonna in death. Survivors include her cousins and her SCL Community.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 29, 2019 in Ross Chapel, SCL Mother House, Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Interment will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048. Arrangements by R.L. Leintz Funeral Home, Leavenworth.