Little Falls, Minnesota............ Sister Donna Ebner, age 92, died on June 20, 2023, at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls, Minn.
Donna Elizabeth Ebner was born on February 18, 1931, in Elk River, Minn., the fourth of six children born to Eric and Bernadette (Stenglein) Ebner. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota, on August 12, 1949, and received the name Sister Mary Hugh. She later reverted to her baptismal name. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1951, and final vows on August 12, 1954. She was a Franciscan Sister for 73 years.
Sister Donna graduated from St. Francis High School in 1949. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, and furthered her education with studies at Dayton University, Dayton, Ohio; Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Ind.; College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph; and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
She ministered as an elementary teacher and principal in Catholic schools in St. Cloud, Morris, Fergus Falls, Osakis and Little Falls. She also shared her musical ability as organist. On leaving teaching, she ministered in the Community Relations Department of the Franciscan Sisters for 36 years. She dutifully held the positions of communications director, executive secretary and publications specialist. At this time, she also taught literacy classes.
Sister Donna was a loyal and faith-filled woman who put her full energy into her work and prayer. She believed that to “pray always” was to be consciously aware of the mystery of God’s presence in all of life and to respond to it with joy and compassion. Known as a person with a mind for detail, order and harmony, she had a great talent for organizing. Over the years, Sister Donna was a faithful blood donor; it was her way of helping others in need. She was recognized by the American Red Cross when she donated her 100th unit.
Sister Donna was preceded in death by her siblings Rev. Frank, Eugene and Leon. Survivors include siblings Sister Bernice, OSF, Little Falls, and Gilbert (Kathy), Richville, nieces and nephews and her Franciscan Community.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Francis Convent on Monday, June 26, at 11 a.m. Friends may call at St. Francis Convent on Sunday, June 25, from 4-8 p.m., with a Franciscan prayer service at 7 p.m.; and from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Monday at 11 a.m. Mass will be livestreamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiyFvZ53PAfd1apBC88kEuQ. Arrangements are by Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service, Little Falls.
Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.
Emblom Brenny Funeral Service is Cherishing the Memory and Celebrating the Life of Sister Donna.