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Sister Mary Judine Bruch, BVM

Sister Mary Judine Bruch, BVM  died Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. She was 91.

Funeral services were Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Burial is in the Mount Carmel Cemetery.

She was born on Feb. 16, 1930, in Granite City, Ill., to Oliver and Mazie (Homyer) Bruch. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1947, from St. Joseph Parish, Granite City, Ill. She professed first vows on March 19, 1950, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1955.

Sister Mary Judine was an elementary teacher in Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; San Francisco; Omaha, Neb.; and Missoula, Mont.; and also served as principal in Omaha and Missoula. She ministered as a parish minister in Denver and a counselor in Wheat Ridge, Colo.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Lois Jean Bruch, Virginia Lee Gale, Louise Rees, and Theresa Gundlach; and brothers John Robert and Walter Bruch. She is survived by a sister-in-law Thelma Bruch, Granite City, Ill., nieces; nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 73 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or make an online gift.

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. How very fortunate and blessed to have had Sister Judine our Aunt Ursula in my life all these many years. She was the younger sister to my Mother, Virginia the oldest of the five (living) siblings. My first memories that I recall of her were in the early 1960’s when our family was living outside of Sacramento and would do family day car trips to see her in the San Francisco convent. My sister and I would have white knuckles while Dad drove those steep hills before finally arriving to their convent.
    It was always a big deal to have an Aunt as a nun in our Catholic family growing up and we always loved her visits over the years. She was such a spiritual and unique generous person of many talents. Back when my parents were having tough times she would always bring her positive soothing energy with a touch of humor to make life seem not so bleak. We were forever grateful for those many visits.
    She has been an outstanding artist throughout her years and has shared her paintings and artwork with many. Later on she would chuckle to my sister and I about having to downsize her collection before moving her belongings into the Sister’s of Charity. I will really miss that sweet laugh of hers.
    Many thank you’s to the Sisters of Charity for all their continued loving care towards her in her final years.
    Lovingly written from Susan Ehler, (Aunt Ursula’s niece living out West in Ariz.)

  2. Sister Judine made a big impression on me and my siblings, as children. She came to visit with other sisters who were always quiet and loving. The sisters came with games and ideas for us, knowing there were so many nieces and nephews. I have the first communion missals that she gave to my brother, Peter, who died at the age of 14, and to me. I cherish them both.
    I last saw Sister a very few years ago when I came to Mt. Carmel to visit when on a trip to Galena. I had a tour of the grounds and the cemetery. She was so proud to tell me the story of the order and pointed out many of the sisters and their stories. I asked if she wanted to take a drive and she was anxious to go on a little excursion. We were excited to go into the city and I didn’t know my way at all. And I know that Sister was nearly blind. She was able to direct me, “turn right here and left there and into the parking lot.” Right to the restaurant where we could order a drink and chat. That tickled me that she could direct us easily. I don’t think she really knew who I was, even at that point. She knew I was family. But we so enjoyed just talking and laughing and being out and about. She was a pretty and smart and engaging woman.

  3. Somehow a combination of gentleness and strength, a genuine force for good in the world, Sister Mary Judine Bruch, our Dear Aunt Ursula, brought peace and joy to all she encountered in this world. May she enjoy an eternity of her own peace and joy in The Next World–she deserves it!

  4. Sister Judine came to visit us on Cleveland and the rains came in torrents and her Volkswagen started floating in the street where the water was over the curbs. She was not upset; still had that unforgettable smile and calmness. She was so cool! I had not seen her in a long time but I thought of her quite often, feeling a quiet pride that she was in our family.
    Once when we went to visit Uncle Walter and Aunt Thelma, I was very young and I didn’t want to leave the car. I was simply afraid of older people. So cousin Johnny and my brother Mark came out and told me the barking dog down the street would come and bite me if I did not go into the house. So Aunt Ursula came out and took me into the house and cared for me.
    I too have a work of her art and I am so grateful. When I think of Sister I know there is hope.

  5. I met Judine over 35 years ago when I attended the Divorce Recovery course that she co-faciliated. Later I became a small group facilitator with those groups and began to know her through that.
    Years later, I saw her for counseling and I will be forever grateful for her consistent love, compassion and wisdom that took me through some really dark times. I think it is in large part because of Judine that I became a psychotherapist and it is absolutely because of her role modeling that I carry her with me in the way I work with my clients.
    Unconventional as it might be, we became friends and she gifted my life by her presence in countless ways. I was blessed to have have co-facilitated a weekend retreat on personal mission with Judine and another friend and am grateful to still have pictures and memories from that weekend. My family was honored to have Judine and that same friend give the dinner blessing at my youngest daughter’s wedding.
    Judine loved her painting and I feel so lucky to have some of her art in my home. When she was still seeing clients in her office, she had a brown bear sitting in the corner and sometimes I would borrow it when I went on retreat. She and I named it “Bear” and after she moved to the Mother House, she sent Bear to me and he is still with me.
    I will always remember Judine’s generosity of spirit, something she showed in a way that few other people have. Her love, compassion, and wisdom will continue to inform who I am as a therapist and who I am as a human being.
    My sincere condolences to Judine’s family and the BVMs. May her memory be a blessing.

  6. Sister Judine’s visits especially in the early years, ’50’s and 60’s, were always a treasure trove of ‘Bruch family’ history and memories. Aunts and uncles pontificating on religion, politics and history; and many cousins running around in the Gundlach house. My mom, Theresa, was the second youngest of the Bruch girls. Family reunions over the years were always more special when Aunt Ursula was back home.

    When my dad, Bob, was facing dark days Sister came to be with him bringing her unique healing touch that we all could see really lifted his spirit. She was always all about sharing her gifts in a way that related to each individual.

    I was fortunate to visit her at the BVM Motherhouse on a trip with mom, Aunt Thelma, Aunt Louise and cousin Judine probably around 2009(?). In getting to see her at her home with all of her sisters, there was no question that she would be cared for and loved for the rest of her journey.

    Aunt Ursula, we love you.

  7. My wonderful and loving aunt Ursula…your beautiful light is now shining with our Lord and friends and family that have gone before you…What a “GIFT” you were…so much insight…so much compasion…so much wonderful earthly talent…I cherish my time together with you…trading massages and Reiki sessions…we had wonderful conversations that I will cherish until WE meet again…”FEEL FREE TO CHECK IN FROM TIME TO TIME” JOHN BRUCH

  8. Thanks to Sister Judine, I know my multiplication tables forward and backward. I have silently blessed and thanked her numerous times over the years.

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