Sister Judith Henigin, OSB
Born – April 18, 1940
Baptized – May 5, 1940
First Professed – July 11, 1960
Perpetual Profession – July 11, 1966
Entered Eternal Life – January 31, 2021
Sister Judith Henigin, O.S.B., a member of Queen of Angels Monastery, died in the early morning, at 7:00 a.m., January 31, 2021, in the Salem Health Hospital, Salem, Oregon, at the age of 80. Previously to this time in the hospital, she was a resident of the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center, in Mount Angel, for a number of months, due to significant health issues. May she rest in the loving arms of God.
A private vigil took place in the monastery chapel, 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, February 4 and a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 5, 2021, with immediate family only, followed by her burial in the monastery cemetery.
Sister Judith Henigin, born in 1940 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is one of ten children of the late John and Regina Henigin. Her family moved to Oregon in 1950 and she attended several Catholic schools in the Portland area before attending Mt. Angel Academy during her senior of high school. She credits Holy Names Sister John Maureen Backenstos as an early and major influence in her decision to pursue religious life.
Sister Judith entered the Benedictine community in 1958 and professed vows in 1960, taking the name of Sister Andrew. She later returned to her baptismal name. She graduated from Mt. Angel College with a degree in education, and taught at parochial schools in Shaw, Woodburn, Mt. Angel, Oregon City, Portland and Albany. Later, she trained to become a Montessori preschool teacher, and spent more than a decade working at Montessori schools in Portland.
After her retirement from active ministry and before ill health prevented her, Sister Judith worked at Queen of Angels Monastery, assisting her community in a variety of ways. She served as a driver for sisters needing to go to appointments, assisted in the monastery infirmary, library, switchboard, and volunteered at St. Joseph Shelter.
For a number of years, Sister Judith was in the community’s infirmary until she became a resident of the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center for more skilled care. She suffered cheerfully through years of severe physical health problems.
Sister Judith is remembered for being an avid reader, for her creativity, hospitality to guests, caring, and thoughtfulness. She is known for her generous, cheerful spirit, in the face of physical limitations. She made beautiful quilts for family members and friends. She had a knack for saving things, useful at the moment or for future use. She would forage the monastery orchards and gardens to glean fruits and vegetables for canning. In her later years, she would often get stuck in her motorized wheelchair in soft lawns/gardens as she toured the monastery. On one adventure, she found a seedling from the Dawn Sequoia tree in the backyard of the Shalom building and had it replanted in a safe place on the grounds to be carefully tended by the grounds staff. She seemed always to have a project at hand that energized her and used her talents.
Sister Judith is preceded in death by her parents, John and Regina Henigin; her brothers, John and Paul; and sisters, Joan, Mary Louise, Regina Marie, Suzanne, Janet, and Joyce. She is survived by her brother, Patrick, adopted sister Evette Romero and adopted brothers Mark and Eric Romero, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and her monastic community, the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel.
At her Golden Jubilee, Sister Judith expressed gratitude to her community for supporting her throughout her 50 years as a Benedictine sister, and said, "The peace, joy and love that was promised to me when I entered the community has been fulfilled."
Memorial gifts may be made to the retirement fund of the Benedictine Sisters, 840 S. Main St., Mt. Angel, OR, 97362.