COLORADO SPRINGS. Benedictine Sister Diane Liston died Nov. 21 in Atchison, Kansas. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.
Sister Diane was born Oct. 12, 1932 to Harry and Anna Liston in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She attended high school at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison and entered the monastery there two weeks after graduation and made her final monastic profession in 1955.
When Sister Diane first entered monastic life, she wasn’t particularly interested in teaching, but it soon became clear that teaching would become one of her greatest passions. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Mt. St. Scholastica College. Music was one of Sister Diane’s greatest gifts and she used that gift to teach music in grade schools throughout Kansas, Missouri and Colorado.
Sister Diane was a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery, and once she moved to Colorado Springs, she taught at Sacred Heart Parish and she helped begin the elementary school for Holy Trinity Parish. She taught religion and music and directed the chorus at Benet Hill Academy as well as found time to earn her master’s degree in theology from St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. Soon after her graduation, Sister Diane became the Novice Director for Benet Hill Monastery.
During the 1970s and 80s many things changed for Benet Hill. Benet Hill Academy closed and there were new ministries on the horizon. Sister Diane developed a new ministry of Scripture Studies and this four-year Scripture program became her main ministry for the next 29 years. She designed the program to bring the Word of God alive for her students. Hundreds of students graduated in Colorado Springs, Parker, Castle Rock and Elizabeth, Colorado. Sister Diane also spent twelve years ministering to people in prisons and local jails teaching Scripture and Centering Prayer.
As a Benedictine, Sister Diane’s life was steeped in prayer. She reminded her students that God could be found everywhere and she practiced what she preached. God was her greatest love and she sought to be with her God in many ways: through liturgical prayer, praying with the Word of God, being in nature through biking, cross country skiing, and hiking to the summit of numerous ‘14ers’ in beautiful Colorado. She also enjoyed reading, creative knitting and crocheting, and attended countless conferences on music. Music touched Sister Diane’s heart in ways little else could.
Sister Diane spent her last years in the Dooley Center memory care residence at Mt. St. Scholastica Monastery. She said, “Being at Mt. St. Scholastica brings her life full circle.” She is preceded in death by her parents Harry and Anna Liston. She will be missed by her brother, Jim and her sister-in-law, Betty and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be remembered fondly by her sisters of Benet Hill and her many friends and students, whom she deeply loved and who loved her.