“May Christ bring us all together to everlasting life.”- Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 72
Sister LaVerne Hudalla was born July 19, 1932 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Dorothy (Cavegn) and Leo Hudalla. She was the fifth of seven children. Most of her early education was with the School Sisters of Notre Dame (Sacred Heart, St. Paul; St. Matthew’s, St. Paul, MN; and Good Counsel Academy, Mankato, MN) where her oldest sister, Dolores (Sister Claudette, SSND) joined.
Sister LaVerne attended the Diocesan Teachers' College in St. Paul where she took classes with Sisters of several religious communities. She was called to join the Benedictine Sisters of St. Paul's Priory. Upon entering the novitiate, she received the name of Sister John. She attended St. Catherine's College for one year before her first teaching assignment at St. Anne's in Minneapolis (1953-1963) where she taught grades 5-7 and completed her B.A. degree in elementary education by taking Saturday and summer courses. Sister LaVerne was assigned to teach 7th graders in Montgomery, Minnesota (1963-1965). She served as Principal at Assumption in Richfield (1965-68), a school of 1000 students, and then taught 7th graders at Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Paul (1968-1970). From 1970-75 she was assigned as Principal at Sacred Heart, Robbinsdale, MN. On June 8, 1974, her sister Dorothy Barrett, her husband Bill and three of their 13 children were killed in an accident on their way to visit their oldest daughter, Pat Wolff, who had just given birth to her first child in Rapid City, SD. The personal, emotional trauma and the grieving of a large family had a powerful effect on her life.
In 1975, she served as a Pastoral Minister at Christ the King Parish in Minneapolis. There, she began a welcoming process for new members based on the Rite of Christian Initiation. Sister LaVerne took on a new challenge as library technician at Northwestern College of Chiropractic (later Northwestern Health Sciences University) from 1987-2009. She became the Director of First Monastic Profession from 2003-2009. In 2011, she was asked to serve as Affiliate Director and Director of First Monastic Profession.
Sister LaVerne was instrumental in arranging for the sale of the former Monastery to Tubman. She retired to the present Monastery in 2009 where she served on a variety of committees. She volunteered to help the children living at CommonBond’s Century Trails townhomes. Working with the children had been a retirement "dream" for her. An Ornithology class at St. Catherine's College had initiated her love of "birding," a lifetime joy. She enjoyed walking, biking, reading, and traveling. Thanks to her oldest niece, Pat Wolff, she was able to travel abroad to the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark and Russia. Family was important to her.
She is survived by her sisters, Sister Claudette, SSND, Mankato, MN and Marlene (Jim: deceased 2011) Yarusso, her sister-in-law Mary (Gene), and her Benedictine Sisters at St. Paul’s Monastery, Benedictine Associates and Oblates. Her sister, Dorothy, her brother-in-law Bill Barrett, and their children, Michelle, Dorothy, and Colleen died in 1974. Her brothers Leo (Beverly and Rosemary) died in 2002 and Robert (Betty) died in 2015. Her brother, Gene, died in 2018. Sister LaVerne brought much joy and laughter to all of us and she will never be forgotten. May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her.
Visitation: Friday, August 23, 4:00-6:30 p.m. Vigil at 6:30 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, August 24, 10:00 a.m.
Visitation: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Community of St. Paul’s Monastery Sisters, Oblates and Benedictine Associates
Sister Catherine Nehotte, OSB, Prioress
St. Paul, Minnesota
Federation of St. Benedict