Sister Yolanda Mathenski, SNJM

(Wilfrida Mary)

January 1, 1926 – July 23, 2018

Sister Yolanda Mathenski, SNJM departed this life on July 23, 2018 at Marie Rose Center, Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Sister Yolanda had celebrated 92 years of life and 72 years of her religious profession.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at 11:00 AM at Chapel of the Holy Names, Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Burial will take place following the funeral at Holy Names Cemetery, Marylhurst, Oregon.

Sister Yolanda Mathenski, SNJM

Sister Wilfrida Mary

January 1, 1926 – July 23, 2018

Sister Yolanda Mathenski (Sister Wilfrida Mary), age 92, died at the Marie-Rose Center at Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst in Lake Oswego, July 23, 2018. A member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 71 years, her funeral was held on August 9, 2018, in the Chapel of the Holy Names. Burial followed at Holy Names Cemetery, Marylhurst.

Daughter of John and Mary Posywolski Mathenski, Yolanda grew up in Seattle, Washington. After graduating from The Immaculate in Seattle, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Names at Marylhurst in 1944.  She later received the religious name Sister Wilfrida Mary.

After completing her BA at Marylhurst College, she had a long career in education as a teacher in Holy Names schools, in Portland, The Dalles, Cottage Grove, St. Paul, Ontario, and Seattle and Spokane in Washington. She also served as principal in St. Paul.

For four years Sister Yolanda was a group mother at The Christie School at Marylhurst. In the 1960s, the Sisters hosted a reunion for women who had resided at Christie. One named Rusty came to find Sister Wilfrida Mary (Yolanda) who had been her group mother. Rusty, nicknamed for her red hair, had come to Christie as a 6-year old and said Sister was the first person she ever felt loved her. The Sisters reunited Sister Yolanda with Rusty and the tall redhead on greeting her swooped down and gave her a big hug and said “your love made all the difference.”

When Yolanda left the classroom, she devoted herself to ministry to Hispanic families in the Medford area. From 1984-1998, she worked in Sacred Heart Parish creating a Hispanic ministry program and when she decided to leave, she spent the year organizing and training volunteers to continue the program, which included a large education component. Sister Yolanda said that part of the program especially dear to her was helping immigrants become residents, assisting them with the paperwork that made it possible for them to become legal residents of the United States. In a letter published in the parish bulletin when she left, it was noted that Sister Yolanda has “served . . . in a faithful and loving way’.  … She has never taken much of a vacation because of her unselfish dedication to us.”

After retiring, she returned to Portland where she offered her services as a volunteer and tended her garden. In her final years, she was member of the retirement community at Mary’s Woods.

Sister Yolanda is survived by her sisters Regina Busch, Seattle, and Bernadette Hindman, Everett, Washington, nieces and nephews, and the members of her religious community. Remembrances may be made to Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 398, Marylhurst, OR 97036 or online at