Sisters’ Words of Wisdom: Sister Susan Bourauel, OSB

Sisters' Words of Wisdom: Sister Susan Bourauel, OSB

The picture is a bit faded but the joyous and melodic overtures can be seen so well as the Bourauel sisters gather to sing and make great music. Circa 1954.

As a child, Sister Susan Bourauel, OSB, was a bit of a superstar in her hometown of Bruno, Saskatchewan, Canada. She and her five sisters played multiple instruments and sang as part of a musical group, performing at family and church events. Sister Susan’s mother and father, Susan and Peter, were also fine musicians and singers. The family all lent their talents to many special occasions in Bruno.

Sister Susan today is looking forward to the day that she can see her family again in person. It has been more than a year since she has seen any of them. With the closing of the border between the United States and Canada because of Coronavirus, travel is restricted. Her four living sisters all reside in various parts of Canada. Sister Susan’s advice during this time of seclusion and isolation is “to stay strong. This will end.” She is praying for everyone.

Now celebrating 67 years of monastic life, Sister Susan continues her deep love of music. She taught music for many years in grades K-8, including band, organ, piano, choir, and church music at St. Bonifacius, Fairfax, Chanhassen, Litchfield, Visitation, and St. Anne’s School in Minneapolis. She studied piano at the College of St. Catherine and later worked on a master’s degree in education from the College of St. Thomas (now, the University of St. Thomas). Her love for music carried over into her vowed religious life as she served as a liturgical musician at St. Paul’s Monastery for many years.

Today, Sister Susan is the Monastery’s archivist. This means that she saves and chronicles the history of the Monastery and its Sisters. It is in the archives that you will easily find the history of the Sisters, including many pictures of Sister Susan and her big family singing and playing music many years ago in Bruno and other places throughout the years. With precision and care, she tends to the living history that is in her hands for St. Paul’s Monastery, creating a special symphony of memories for all to see for years to come.

Thank you Sister Susan for preserving the memories and for bringing music to all our lives. “So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres” (1 Chronicles 15: 28 NRSVCE).

To view the full captions of the images below, click on the image and scroll through the photo gallery.