Browsing The Northern Cross

Obituaries - February 2016

Sister Mary Martin Beringer, 93, teacher, honored for her child care ministry

Sister Mary Martin (Bernice) Beringer, OSB, of St. Scholastica Monastery, age 93, died Oct. 28, 2015.

She was born April 19, 1922, in Perham, to Martin and Regina (Silbernagel), the youngest of five children. She attended Perham High School. After she entered the Duluth Benedictines Sept. 8, 1939, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Scholastica. She made her monastic profession on July 11, 1941.

Sister Mary Martin’s teaching ministries included St. James Children’s Home in Duluth, Holy Name School in Wayzata, St. John’s School in Duluth and St. Timothy’s School in Chicago, where she taught and served as the school principal.

After her teaching career, she served as a child care worker and group mother at St. James Children’s Home (later renamed Woodland Hills).

In 1975 she was asked to serve as the director of temporalities at St. Scholastica Monastery. She continued in this ministry for 19 years. During this time and for many years later she continued to be an active volunteer and supporter of the programs at Woodland Hills.

In 2001 Woodland Hills inaugurated the Beringer Guiding Light Award, honoring Sister Mary Martin for being a guiding light for so many at Woodland Hills. The Beringer Guiding Light Award is presented annually to several deserving individuals who have positively impacted the work at Woodland Hills.

Sister Mary Martin was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Ambrose; and her sisters, Lorene Wegscheid, Luella Wegscheid and Kathryn Wegscheid. Besides the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, including her niece, Sister Luella Wegscheid, she is survived by many loving nieces and nephews and many wonderful friends.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held Nov. 7. Burial was in Gethsemane Cemetery.

Father Paul John Larson, 64, parish priest and veteran of ministry to native peoples

Father Paul John Larson, age 64, died Jan. 19, at Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.

Father Larson was born April 28, 1951, in Duluth, to Paul and Rosemary (Rodgers) Larson. He attended Hibbing schools and graduated from Hibbing High School in 1969.

He attended college at St. John’s University in Collegeville, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in government in 1973. He was employed in the track department on the Burlington Northern Railroad from 1970-77.

He worked there throughout his college and post-graduate career. In 1974, he began first theology at St. John’s and was ordained to the diaconate in 1977. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Paul Anderson at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing June 22, 1979.

Since 1983 Father Larson had been involved in Indian Ministry until the present. He received certification in Native American Ministry from the Sioux Spiritual Center.

In his many years of faithful service, Father Paul served at St. Anthony, Ely; St. Charles, Cass Lake; St. Anne, Bena; St. Benedict, Duluth; Mary Immaculate, Coleraine; St. Paul, Warba; St. Mary, Marble; St. Joseph, Taconite; St. Mary Star of the Sea, Duluth; St. Peter, Duluth; Our Lady of Mercy, Duluth; St. Mary, Deer River; St. Augustine, Cohasset; St. Joseph, Ball Club; Sacred Heart, Federal Dam; Holy Family, McGregor and Our Lady of Fatima, McGrath.

Father Larson enjoyed taking groups into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for studies in nature as well as spirituality. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and harvester of wild rice, and at one time he also trapped beaver.

Father Paul found that intertwining the natural phenomena as well as the church’s style of spirituality seemed to help young people to become more involved with their communities of faith. He always felt blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from his Native friends and share in their connectedness to the Great Spirit and all the gifts that God the Great Sprit continues to shower on us.

Father Larson is survived by his sister, Judy Larson, Side Lake; a nephew, Nathan Hartje, Denver; a niece, Hilary Hartje, St. Louis; and his cousins: Beatrice Rodgers, Greenbelt, Md.; Barbara (Mark) Plys, Hibbing; William (Barb) Rodgers, Phoenix; Patsy (Jerry) Vicari, St. Cloud and Mary Kay (Stanley) Venne, Minneapolis.

He was preceded in death by his parents Paul Larson in 1972 and Rosemary Helen (Rodgers) Larson in 2002.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 25, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Hibbing. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery, Duluth. Memorials may be made to the Diocese of Duluth Indian Ministry.