A funeral Mass for Sister Pauline Komrska, CSJ, was celebrated Feb. 4 at Nazareth Living Center in south St. Louis County. Sister Pauline died Jan. 28 at Nazareth. She was 93 years old and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 72 years.
Born in St. Louis to Albert and Anna (Malecek) Komrska as Dorothy Frances Clare, she was one of four siblings. The family attended St. Wenceslaus Church, and the children went to grade school there. The family experienced hard times during the Depression, with her father, a pipefitter, out of a job for over 14 months. She attended Rosati-Kain High School and helped pay for her tuition by working at a Western Union as a teletype operator. After graduation, she continued to work there and attended Saint Louis University.
One summer, she went to visit her sister in California and attended the parish church, St. Joseph. It was there that she felt God was calling her to spend her life serving Him. She visited several religious communities, deciding on the Sisters of St. Joseph, after being touched by the sister who spoke to her over the phone. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Feb. 11, 1947, and made final profession Aug. 15, 1952.
Sister Pauline earned a bachelor’s degree in math from Fontbonne College in 1958 and a master’s degree in English from Saint Louis University in 1967. She taught at schools in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis she taught at St. Mary Magdalen in St. Louis (1949-51), St. Patrick in University City (1951-55), St. Mary in Bridgeton (1955-58), and St. Thomas Aquinas High School (1968-84).
In the 1980s and 1990s, she was a religious education director and later a children’s catechetical coordinator at several places in California. She also volunteered on an Indian reservation in the summers.
In 2003, she returned to St. Louis, where she served as an Oasis tutor at St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Sappington. She also was a secretary for White House Retreat Center in St. Louis and a library assistant at St. Joseph’s Academy. In 2016, she retired, and in 2019, she moved to Nazareth and served in a ministry of prayer and presence.
Sister Pauline is survived by two brothers, Fritz Komrska of St. Louis, and Brother Paul Komrska, SM, of Peru. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery.