Little Falls, Minnesota............Sister Mary Fabian (Pelagia) Schneider, 105, died on November 11, 2020, at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls, Minn.
Pelagia was born on July 10, 1915, near Swanville, Minn. She was soon known as “Polly” by her siblings. She was the fifth of 12 children born to the late John and Helen (Kuklock) Schneider. Polly, following her older sibling Sister Mary Eugenia, was accepted as a Franciscan Sister on August 10, 1934 and received the name, Sister Mary Fabian. She was a Franciscan Sister for 86 years.
Sister Fabian was a gentle, hospitable and gracious woman and sister, and she exhibited these gifts throughout her many years of ministry. She had a very deep prayer life and was always mindful of God’s love for her. When she celebrated her 75th Jubilee she summed up her life by saying: “God who is mighty has done great things for me.” Some of Sister Fabian’s favorite pastimes included listening to classical music, embroidery and baking for the sisters with whom she lived. In her younger years she enjoyed chauffeuring sisters.
Sister Fabian’s ministries were carried out by caring for the elderly at St. Otto’s Home. A big surprise came to her when she was asked to go on night duty at the St. Cloud Orphanage! At the same time the “Foley Catechetical Plan” was being introduced into the diocese. Sister Fabian wholeheartedly put herself into this new endeavor as she ministered in nine different parishes in the diocese. Along with her friend, Sister Jeremia Trutwin, she was asked to serve as a cook and housekeeper for Bishop Bartholome. This was an awesome and intrepid task and it included preparing meals for visiting bishops and clergy. Both Sisters Fabian and Jeremiah served in this capacity for 16 years, giving their best out of love and service.
Beginning in 1982, Sister Fabian ministered as a receptionist at St. Francis Convent. She did this for 32 years. At this time she lived at Flensburg helping as a religion teacher, choir member enjoying the singing of Polish hymns, a visitor to shut-ins and assisted her sisters with the household tasks. Because of ill health, Sister Fabian retired to St. Francis Convent in January of 2014.
Sister Fabian was preceded in death by siblings Angeline Boros, Stanley, Florence Schlumpberger, Sister Mary Eugenia, OSF, Bernard, Aloise, Alphonse, Gerard, Peter, Edward and Arlyce. Survivors include nieces, nephews and her Franciscan Community.
A private burial service was held on November 13, 2020. A memorial mass will be held at a later date with family and friends. Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.
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