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Beloved alumna and trustee emerita Margaret L. Kvasnicka dies

Margaret L. “Maggie” Kvasnicka, CSJ
Margaret L. “Maggie” Kvasnicka, CSJ
Photo courtesy of CSJ archives

Margaret L. “Maggie” Kvasnicka, CSJ, a 1961 alumna and trustee emerita, died Saturday, February 28. She was 76 years old.

“Over the years of my presidency, Maggie has been a wise counselor, trusted advisor and avid cheerleader for all the work we undertake at St. Kate's. I cannot recall a single major event here where Maggie was not present or cheering us on from next door,” said President Andrea Lee, IHM, in a message to St. Catherine students, faculty and staff. “All of us fortunate to know and work with Margaret Kvasnicka, CSJ, mourn her death.”

A 1956 graduate of LeSeuer High School, Sister Maggie entered the CSJ community that fall. She graduated from St. Catherine University in 1961 with a degree in Elementary Education. In 1972, Sister Maggie received a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, and in 1978 received a Master of Arts in Spirituality from the University of San Francisco.

In 1995, she established Sarah’s…An Oasis for Women, as a CSJ ministry and served as its director 2002–10. Sister Maggie was highly active in the CSJ community as a leader, spiritual director, and in transition counseling. She was also a member of the planning group for Wisdom Ways and involved in the activities of Carondelet Center.

As a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Province Leadership Team 1994–99, Sister Maggie was their liaison to the St. Catherine Board of Trustees. She served on the Presidential Search Committee when Sister Andrea was hired.

She was elected to the University’s board in 2003. During her elected terms, Sister Maggie co-chaired the Committee on Trusteeship and Governance and served as a member of the Executive Committee, the Sponsorship Council and the Council on Strategy and the Future.

Perhaps Sister Maggie’s most important legacy as a trustee is as a member of the 2007–09 Governance Task Force. This select committee was charged with designing the future for St. Catherine and its relationship with the CSJs. Sister Maggie was a major architect of the Covenant, adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2009 — a document often emulated by Catholic colleges and universities throughout the United States. She was elected Trustee Emerita this past weekend.

For 20 years, Sister Maggie worked as director of religious education and in adult education in local parishes and was the first Executive Director for the Archdiocesan Commission on Women. She also served as Coordinator of Ritual and Liturgy Services for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Maggie was a founding member of the Women’s Ordination Conference and a member of the National Association of Women Religious (NAWR) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). Her influence and inspired leadership among women religious nationally and within the Sisters of St. Joseph community strengthened both.

The visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 4, from 9:30 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in the Provincial House Chapel on the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet property adjacent to the University’s St. Paul campus.

March 3, 2015 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Alumnae/i, Catholic Identity, Education, Leadership, Social Justice