A memorial Mass for Sister Audrey Olson, CSJ, was celebrated July 1 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel in St. Louis. Sister Audrey died June 15 at Nazareth Living Center. She was 90 and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 72 years.
Born in Peoria, Ill., on July 1, 1928, Sister Audrey entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1946, and made her final profession on Aug. 15, 1952. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Loretto Heights College in 1958, a master’s degree in modern European history from Saint Louis University in 1963 and a doctorate in American history from the University of Kansas in 1970.
Sister Audrey taught at St. Teresa of Avila in St. Louis (1949-51), St. James in Denver, Colo. (1951-60), Little Flower in Mobile, Ala. (1960-61), St. Margaret of Scotland in St. Louis (1961-63), Sacred Heart Central High School in Indianapolis (1963-65), and Avila College in Kansas City, Mo. (1965-66, 1970-76).
In 1973, she was named social justice coordinator for the province, serving at St. Joseph Provincial House in St. Louis. She was involved in alternative investments, and later was arrested for demonstrating against the Vietnam War and nuclear build-up. She was part of the “Clayton Nine,” serving probation for a year. She later served as justice and peace coordinator in the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., and LaCrosse, Wis.
In 1990, she was asked to serve as director of the community’s Associate Program, which is for lay people who want to live the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph without becoming a vowed member. Sister Audrey served in that role for six years, organizing, mentoring and stabilizing the program.
From 1996-2002, she was coordinator of community life at Nazareth Living Center. In 2002, she retired, becoming an archival volunteer at St. Joseph Provincial House. She later was an archival aide and part-time transcriber for the archives. In 2014, she moved to Nazareth Living Center, where she served in a ministry of prayer and presence.
She is survived by a sister, Anne Yarwood of Fountain Hill, Ariz. A prayer service and green burial took place July 1 at Resurrection Cemetery.