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Sister Veronica Sokolosky Obituary

Sr. Mary Veronica (Cecilia) Sokolosky died peacefully at St. Joseph Monastery on July 25, 2020.  She was born November 16, 1928 in Yukon, OK to Josephine (Botch) Sokolosky and George P. Sokolosky, was baptized at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church and raised on the family farm in Yukon. She was already a teacher when she entered the Benedictine Sisters at St. Joseph Monastery in Guthrie on September 1, 1954 and professed her vows on June 30, 1956. She received a B.A. in English and Latin from Benedictine Heights College in Guthrie, OK in 1957. She earned Master’s Degree in Counselling from Western State College in Gunnison, CO in 1976.

Sr. Veronica was an excellent teacher of English and Latin at schools in Guthrie, McAlester, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In 1978 she moved to Shawnee, OK to serve as an English professor at St. Gregory’s College and remained there in various positions until June 2008 when she returned home to the Tulsa. She spent many summers teaching Vacation Bible Schools in small parishes in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

In her Benedictine community, Sr. Veronica was recognized not only as a wonderful teacher, but also as a trusted advisor. She served over 27 years as a member of the Monastic Council advising three separate prioresses. Sr. Veronica was the monastery treasurer for eight years and served at a Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for Renewal for the Federation of St. Scholastica. She was an avid reader, a wonderful cook and always ready to plan a celebration.

Sr. Veronica was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, George Sokolosky, Robert Sokolosky, Gene Sokolosky, and Frank Sokolosky and her sisters Mary Lois Sokolosky and Margaret Churchman and her great nephew Jadon Conger. She is survived by her Benedictine community and her sister, Ruth Acre, and several nieces and nephews. The Benedictine Sisters are grateful for the loving care Sr. Veronica received from the monastery health care staff. Donations in her memory may be made to the monastery health care center. A vigil service for Sr. Veronica was held on Monday July 27, 2020 at Marian Chapel at St. Joseph Monastery.

Her Testimony

Testimony Sister Veronica Sokolosky

I heard the first whisper in the 4th grade.  “Please listen to the 1st and 2nd graders reading lesson and help them with their sums.”

The whisper came from Mrs. Pazourek the only teacher  In that little country schoolhouse that housed 28 students, grades 1-8, where she taught every discipline in every grade.   That whisper began my call to a teaching career .  Throughout my eight years in Emerald Valley School I was privileged to tutor so many students and to experience the talents of so many gifted teachers.

My highschool years came along filled with football and basketball games,  class parties, homecoming parades, hayrides, and, of course, group sessions studying Latin, geometry and chemistry. A handsome senior from a neighboring school entered my life too.  After graduation he signed up for a 3-year stint in the Air Force and I decided to head to college.

At this time I heard the whisper again.  Fr Gerard Nathe, a Benedictine priest from St Gregory’s Abbey in Shawnee OK, was our substitute pastor for the summer.  He was also teaching at Benedictine Heights College in Guthrie OK, a small Catholic women’s college.  He  suggested to my parents that BHC would be the best place for me to prepare for a teaching career, so I enrolled.

From my first day there I was enamoured by those Benedictine Sisters who were such dynamic teachers. I had never experienced such knowledgeable women in history, math, logic, British Literature, Latin and Gregorian Chant who could impart their knowledge day after day with such wisdom and humor.

And then a third whisper came.  My handsome senior returned from Japan where he had served his 3 years in the Air Force and said to me one evening, “Well, we might as well get married.”  And from somewhere came my reply, “I don’t know whether I want to marry you or enter the convent.”  After a few strong words, he left and I never saw him again.

I began teaching with the Mercy sisters in OK City that fall at Sacred Heart School where I stayed 4 years. Every day I seemed to hear a whisper about the convent.  I left Sacred Heart and went with Fr Gerard to St Patrick’s Mission in Anadarko OK, a boarding school for Indian children, grades 1-12. There I taught with the Benedictine monks and Franciscan Sisters.  Every year the whisper grew louder and finally after 5 years of teaching, knowing I could no longer ignore that longing for God in my heart, I joined those dynamic Benedictine Sisters and for 62 years I’ve shared their wisdom and humor.

– Sister Veronica Sokolosky, OSB

Sister Veronica Sokolosky