Here’s a Doll to add to Your Collection!!!

"Here’s a Doll to add to Your Collection!!!" Hebron Herald, 4 October 1995, 5.

What’s black and white and comes with her own spectacles?

There’s only one answer to that question – it’s a 15 inch high porcelain doll, dressed in a Benedictine habit that many doll collectors feel will one day become very valuable.

It’s a doll “you just want to add to your collection” – each has a porcelain face that is different and unique and she is “all nun” from the top of her coif to the bottom of the little square heels on her shoes.

The shoes, leather with black ties, eyelets and square heels, are made by a professional doll maker from Bottineau, ND. Her stockings are hand sewn from knit material and her habit, of black cotton, is hand sewn in Minot by Rose Aberle.

Perhaps the part of the ensemble that is the most challenging to construct is the white coif, a close-fitting cap that covers her head. The coifs are individually molded by Sister Eileen Dietz of the Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton. She makes the headpiece on an original coif machine at the Monastery. White linen material is laundered and when still damp, inserted into the “pleater” on the machine. Each pleat is individually formed by Sister Eileen – the entire procedure only taking this skilled woman’s hands about 15 minutes to complete. The coif is then braided on the back of the doll’s head, keeping with the tradition – braided from top to bottom, similar to being pinned.

A heavily stretched linen band then goes over the top of the coif and a veil is pinned to the band and beginning the coif.

The veil, domino, band, scapular, habit, sincture, sleevelets and coif all date back to the middle ages for a nun’s garb evolved from the way women dressed during that era.

But there is even more!

Not only do you get the numbered and patented doll, you also receive an official notarized ‘Adoption Certificate.’ You have an opportunity to select your own Benedictine Sister to adopt – and receive a history of her life, printed in script, on cream-colored parchment paper.

The dolls and their official documents can be yours through an “Adopt-A-Nun” program. Forty-six sisters call the Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton ‘home,’ and it is their goal to have each of it members adopted – thus far thirty persons have ‘adopted’ eighteen Sisters.

Nita Kontos Roberts of Minot originated the Adopt-A-Nun program. Her goal? To find a project that would financially benefit the Sisters in their retirement. Many of the Monastery’s sisters taught school at St. Leo’s High School in Minot, where Nita received her diploma. She now serves as president of the St. Leo’s High School Alumni Association.

The “Adopt-A-Nun” program is an opportunity for individuals to make a $1,000.00 tax-deductible gift or pledge to the retirement fund for the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery. As Mrs. Roberts reports, “The Sisters worked many years with no personal salary, so no retirement fund is available to them. We hope that this project will help assist them in their retirement and it is one way that we can give something back in return for the quality education that they gave to us.”

For more information about the Adopt-A-Nun program, contact Sr. Rita Rauschendorfer at 1-701-974-2121 or Nita Roberts, chairperson of the St. Leo’s alumni Association at

Reprinted with permission of The Hebron Herald.

Sister Eileen Dietz is busy constructing an authentic coif on an original coif machine at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Richardton. Because of her many year of experience, Sister Eileen can complete one coif in about fifteen minutes.
This doll can be yours through the “Adopt-A-Nun” program.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller