Sister Elizabeth Sohler

I was born in North Plains, Oregon, and attended a nearby one-room public school with about 15 students. Our parish, St. Edward’s in North Plains, was a mission of St. Mary’s Home for Boys; and each Sunday a priest came, bringing two Sisters of St. Mary to teach catechism after Mass. The Sisters also conducted a summer school at the parish for two weeks.

I was twelve years old when our family moved to Verboort, where I expected to attend a Catholic school. But that year the seventh and eighth grades became part of the public high school in Verboort.  So I went to St. Mary of the Valley as a boarder in order to attend a Catholic high school.

I have always known the Sisters of St. Mary, as I had relatives in the community. Mother Genevieve was my great-aunt. My sister, Angeline, had entered the convent seven years before me. Also, Sister Agnes O’Rourke was often invited to make her annual home visit with us in recognition of her service to Verboort families during the 1918 flu epidemic.

I never thought of becoming a Sister until my junior year. I entered the community in December the following year. As a Sister, I taught music and primary grades in our schools, and then worked in the business office at Maryville for 27 years. Having retired, I now live at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.

A photo album from Sister Elizabeth Sohler’s life and ministry is available on the SSMO Campus Flickr site.