A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Cordula Wekenborg, SSND, was celebrated Dec. 29 at Theresa Center chapel in St. Louis. Sister Cordula died Dec. 22. She was 89 years old.
Born in St. Louis on June 14, 1932, she was the second of five children born to Cordula (Venneman) and John Wekenborg. At the age of five, she began her education at St. Aloysius School, where she was taught by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The family lived across the street from St. Aloysius Convent, and she would help the sisters in the sacristy and with their shopping, and spent many evenings with them.
During her senior year at Rosati-Kain High School, she would visit the chapel daily and ask Our Lady to show her God’s plans for her and to give her the grace to cooperate. One day, the co-principal, Sister Cyprian Marquart, asked her if she would like to go to Sancta Maria in Ripa.
She entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on Aug. 31, 1950. As a second year candidate, she was missioned to Blessed Sacrament in Hannibal, Missouri, to teach third and fourth grades and to be the musician for the parish. She was received into the novitiate on July 29, 1952, and given the name Mary Cordula, in honor of her mother. She professed first vows on July 31, 1953 and final vows on July 31, 1959. She also served at St. Martin of Tours in Lemay, St. Joseph in Manchester, and Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Louis.
In 1956, Sister Cordula began 16 years of ministry in California as a teacher and musician. In 1966, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.
Returning to the area, Sister Cordula taught at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and St. Anthony in Effingham, Illinois. She came to Sancta Maria in Ripa in 2007, and she was involved in numerous community service projects, especially in the Resource Development Department, and in making sleeping mats out of plastic bags for people who are homeless.
In 2012, she was missioned to Veronica House at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, and transferred to Anna House in March 2021.
Sister Cordula is survived by a brother, Charles Wekenborg of St. Louis; and a sister, Marydel Brewer of Owensboro, Kentucky. Burial was in the Sancta Maria in Ripa cemetery.