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Benedictine Sister Henry Marie Zimmermann dies at 89

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Benedictine Sister Henry Marie Zimmermann, who served in Arlington, Bristow and the Richmond diocese, died Oct. 24 at St. Benedict Monastery in Bristow. She was 89.   

Born on March 25, 1931, in Richmond, to Henry Andrew and Thelma Edith (Seay) Zimmermann, she was christened Anne Elizabeth at St. Benedict Church. She attended St. Benedict School and graduated from St. Gertrude High School in Richmond in 1948. She entered St. Benedict Monastery Sept. 8, 1948, professed first vows in 1951 and perpetual vows April 8, 1954.

Sister Henry Marie was a deeply faithful religious woman, who set an example of prayerfulness, hospitality, kindness and generosity in the Benedictine tradition. She only hoped that she would be remembered as one who “loved her God and it showed.” To this, all who knew her can testify, her sisters said. A walker and swimmer, Sister Henry Marie had rarely been sick before getting leukemia. 

Her first mission was back to her childhood school, St. Benedict. Subsequently she served at St. Rose of Lima in Hampton, Sacred Heart in Richmond, Linton Hall in Bristow, St. John Vianney Seminary in Richmond, St. Charles in Arlington and St. Gertrude in Richmond. She held the monastic charges of subprioress, secretary, treasurer, business office manager, monastic council member and delegate to the Federation of Saint Scholastica. 

Sister Henry Marie was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters Agnes Zimmermann Redford and Josephine Zimmermann. She is survived by the 27 members of her Benedictine community; a brother, Andrew Zimmermann, a Benedictine monk of St. Meinrad’s Archabbey, in Indiana; nieces Lynn Reynolds and Joanne Sherlock, nephew Andrew Redford and many great and twice-great nieces and nephews. 

A public celebration of Sister Henry Marie’s life will take place at St. Benedict Monastery at a future date, due to the current health restrictions. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020