Orgins of St. Benedict's Monastery (convent). Mother Benedicta (Sybilla) Riepp was born in Waal, Bavaria in 1825. Having entered St. Walburg Convent in Bavaria, she made her profession of vows there at the age of 21. Six years later, she was one of the first volunteers to go to America to teach the children of the German immigrants. She was appointed the superior of that first group and is, therefore, regarded as the foundress of the Bavarian branch of Benedictine Sisters in America. Though of slight and delicate build and barely able to meet the challenges of frontier life in Pennsylvania, Mother Benedicta was strong in her determination to follow the German immigrants to the farther mid-western frontier which later became the state of Minnesota. Her legacy to the American foundations was her steadfast effort to achieve autonomy for her sisters in America. Because he took responsibility for the sisters' coming to the New World, Abbot Boniface Wimmer, OSB, felt he had jurisdiction over them and often determined internal affairs of the convents, including accepting candidates and appointing superiors. Mother Benedicta returned to Europe to have their cause for autonomy presented to Rome. Eventually her efforts succeeded, but broken in health, she returned to America--to St. Cloud, Minnesota--where she died of tuberculosis at the age of 33. She is buried in the cemetery at St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph. General translation of Mother Benedicta's vow formula at St. Walburg Convent, Bavaria: I, Sister Maria Ana Benedicta, promise before God and his Saints, Stability, and Conversion of my morals, Obedience, Poverty and Chastity according to the Rule of Saint Benedict and the Statutes of this Monastery, which was constructed in honor of Saint Walburga, Virgin, in the presence of Reverend Mother (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives; McDonald, pages 8, 14-19, 49).