Sister Ignatia (Helen) Rosenbaum, OSF, died at 7:55 a.m. on Monday, November 12, 2018, at Clare House.
Helen Agnes was born on a farm in Ossian, Iowa, to John and Louisa (Bucheit) Rosenbaum on July 31, 1928. They were a family of five children living on the farm. They helped with the chores as best they could no matter how old or young they were. When Helen was eight years old her mother, Louisa, died. Her dad became mother and father for the children. He saw to it that the religious practices begun by both parents continued.
All the children attended DeSales Catholic School. After graduation each one spent a year or two helping with the farm chores before they ventured out on their own. After Helen had worked at home for two and a half years, her dad told her she could begin her life’s work when she turned 21. Helen told him that she wanted to see if maybe she had a vocation to religious life. It was August 25, 1949, that Helen entered Mount St. Francis in Dubuque. The following year, on August 12, 1950, Helen was given the name Sister Mary Ignatia. After completion of novitiate training, which was quite different from family life on the farm, and quite an adjustment for her, she began her ministry as a homemaker.
Sister Ignatia’s first mission was at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. The atmosphere from a quiet life at the Motherhouse to a college full of vibrant ladies eager for an education was quite a change for her. After completing her stay at Briar Cliff, Sister Ignatia continued her ministry at Holy Trinity and Holy Ghost, both in Dubuque, and St. Anthony Home, in Sioux City. Sister then traveled by train to St. Joseph’s Parish in Crescent City, California, before returning to Dubuque and completing her ministry at Holy Family Hall and Immaculate Conception Convent. It was here that Sister Devota Rensch taught her to care for the large raspberry patch and black walnuts. After living and working at Mount St. Francis House for several years, Sister moved to Clare House in 2014.
Sister is survived by her sisters Florence (Donald) Gapinski and Ione Hartley, nieces and nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared over 68 years of her life.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Harold (LuVerne); her sister, Gertrude (Carl) Kuhn; and her brother-in-law, Art Hartley.