MOUNT ANGEL — Benedictine Sister Alberta Dieker was surrounded by family and her religious community Feb. 12 as she renewed her monastic profession. It was a rite she first performed in 1942.
“Sister Alberta is a walking encyclopedia and an amazing conversationalist,” says a tribute from her religious sisters. “If you want an interesting, informative visit with someone who has seen almost a century of history and loves life, our community would name Sister Alberta as the one to visit.”
Sister Alberta, 96, was born to Albert and Anna (Berg) Dieker. She was raised in Fleming, Colorado, and moved with her family to Mount Angel in 1938 at the age of 18. She enrolled in Mount Angel Normal School the following year, where she met the Benedictine Sisters. She entered Queen of Angels Monastery in 1939. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Silverton and Mount Angel. She earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from St. Louis University and a doctorate in European history from the University of Oregon.
Sister Alberta is the author of “A Tree Rooted in Faith: A history of Queen of Angels Monastery,” which was published in 2007. She taught history and other subjects for 46 years at Mount Angel College, Mount Angel Seminary and Eastern Oregon College in La Grande. She also served in leadership positions, including president of Mount Angel College, prioress of her community 1983-87, president and founding member of the Oregon Catholic Historical Society and executive secretary of the American Benedictine Academy for six years.
Sister Alberta received the 2006 Bishop Francis Leipzig Award for contributing to the study of Catholic history in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007 she received a papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, for her contributions to the Archdiocese of Portland.
Sister Alberta has long enjoyed birdwatching, poetry, historical novels, pinochle, knitting and crocheting. She often knits sweaters that she gives as gifts. When she lived in La Grande, she enjoyed cross- country skiing, hiking and backpacking.