St. Paul police say a horrible accident killed an 85-year-old nun as she crossed the street near Highland Park on Monday.
Her fellow sisters at the convent say Sister Mary Beneva Schulte wouldn't want a big fuss to be made over her death, describing her as a quiet and sensitive woman who dedicated her life to helping others.
Schulte was spry at 85, and she walked a few miles through Highland Park each morning -- until Monday, when she was struck by a truck wile crossing at Cretin Avenue. She died a short time later at Regions Hospital.
Before retiring four years ago, Schulte had a storied career as a member of the sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, a working order of nuns near the campus of St. Catherine. She was a teacher at more than a dozen Catholic schools, teaching underprivileged children and helping immigrants learn a second language.
Helping people at the margins of society is very much in the spirit of the Carondelet Order, which was the first order to arrive in Minnesota back in 1851. The order is credited with starting St. Joseph's school and caring for the sick inside a log cabin during the cholera epidemic. That cabin eventually became St. Joseph's Hospital.
There are about 250 nuns left, but their numbers are shrinking. Losing Schulte is especially hard for their family.
Investigators say there is no sign that the driver was drunk or speeding at the time of the crash, and the sisters say their thoughts and prayers are with the driver despite their loss. He has not been cited.
Police say Schulte was not in the crosswalk when she was struck.