Faculty emerita and alumna Mary Virginia Micka, CSJ, '43 died peacefully at age 96 on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at Carondelet Village.
She was born Carol Ann Micka in Hibbing, Minnesota on May 12, 1922. Those who knew Sr. Mary Virginia best describe her as a passionate educator, poet and artist, with a sly wit and a keen eye for the large implications of small, everyday events.
Sr. Mary Virginia entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet community in the fall of 1943, after earning a bachelor's degree in English from St. Catherine University. She also holds a master's degree in English from the University of Notre Dame. In the late 1940's Sr. Mary Virginia taught English, journalism, and religion at St. Margaret's Academy in Minneapolis. In 1950, she joined the faculty at St. Kate's and went on to teach for 42 years in the University's English department.
Here, she inspired countless students with insights into how great literary works speak to us of the human condition. Of her poetry she wrote, “Poetry for me is trying to hear what’s coming up from within. It is very much like the expression of prayer.”
In addition to her career as poet and artist, Sr. Mary Virginia was a dedicated member of the community, respected faculty member and generous donor to the University.
Her own writing prowess spanned more than 50 years, with several published collections of poetry including Three Bridges, In My Own Voice, and Half a Hundred. The fruits of retirement were also plentiful as, with brush in hand, she entered the art world and created pieces that were exhibited in many venues including both St. Catherine and St. Thomas University. Of note, at 82 years young, she presented a six-week exhibition featuring her watercolor paintings, charcoal drawings, and poetry.
Sr. Mary Virginia is preceded in death by her parents Edward Joseph and Anna Evelyn (Polasky) Micka. She is survived by sisters Elizabeth Micka Thouin and Marian Micka Pearson, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, August 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN with visitation at 10 a.m. preceding Mass. Burial at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, MN will follow luncheon at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul. All are welcome.