Brother Michael Mandernach

This article was posted on: March 25, 2024

Brother Michael Mandernach, age 94, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin, died peacefully at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on March 17, 2024, with his family by his side.

He was born to Peter and Catherine (Lieser) Mandernach on March 30, 1929, near St. Martin, Minnesota.

After he worked on the family farm for five years, he joined the newly-established community of the Brothers of St. Pius X in 1952 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  With others he helped form the spirit of St. Pius X, “Restore All Things in Christ.” Later houses were established at De Soto and Colby, Wisconsin.

He served the community as secretary, farm manager, mentor to new members and Brother Director.

After serving in many parishes as a catechist and director of religious education, Bishop John Paul appointed Brother Michael as pastoral associate on July 9, 1985, at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Spring Valley and St. Luke in Boyceville.  Later Bishop Paul appointed him pastoral associate at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Cazenovia; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Keyesville; and Sacred Heart Parish, Lone Rock.  In retirement he returned to live in Sacred Heart Parish, Spring Valley.  His knowledge, compassion and personality helped him serve many active roles in these parishes.

After attending many theology and scripture workshops he received his Master of Divinity Degree at St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota.  He was asked by then-Bishop (Cardinal) Burke to write the history of the Brothers of Pius X in 2014.  With the help of Richard Berendes and Rose Peterson, he authored the book Together as Brothers.

Brother Michael’s love of his faith community to Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Luke parishes was acknowledged by both congregations naming their gathering halls after him.

He was preceded in death by his parents along with his brothers Joseph and his wife Monica (Buerman); Brother Robert, OSC; and Albert; sisters Laverne, Teresa and her husband Albert (Dingmann); a baby sister; and brother-in-law Jim Smith.

He is survived by his sisters Sister Leonore, OSB; Sister Margaret, OSB; Sister Mary, OSB; Lillian Smith; and his brothers Cyril and John (Dianne) along with many nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, March 25, 2024, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, at 11:00 AM, with visitation two hours prior to the Mass.  Lunch will follow the Mass in the Brother Michael Center.

Visitation will also be held at St. Martin Catholic Church in St. Martin, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, from 11:00 AM to noon, with a prayer service at 11:30 AM and burial at the St. Martin Parish Cemetery.  Lunch will follow the service.

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