Funeral Mass was held Saturday, October 17, 2020, at Nativity Catholic Church in Fargo for Sr. Petronilla, who passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at the Eventide in Fargo. Burial was at Holy Cross North Cemetery in Fargo.

Loyola Mary Metzger was born September 27, 1919, in Hannah, the second of eleven children born to Severius and Lucy (Perius) Metzger. She attended country schools during her elementary years and high school in Wales, St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon, and Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo, from which she graduated. In 1938, she entered the Presentation Sisters. At her reception as a novice she was given the name Sister Mary Petronilla. In 1944, she made her final profession of vows. Sister Petronilla graduated from North Dakota Agricultural College with a bachelor’s degree in education; from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. with a master’s degree in administration, and from Seattle University, Seattle, Wash. with a master’s degree in religious education. Later she received a certificate in theology from Regis College in Toronto, Ontario. She did a year’s internship in Spiritual Direction at The Cenacle Retreat House in Wayzata, Minn. Sister Petronilla taught at St. Anthony’s School, St. Mary’s School and Shanley High School in Fargo, and was principal at St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon until the school was closed. She was adult religious education coordinator in the Langdon area, in the Grand Forks Diocesan Office and at Blessed Sacrament Parish in West Fargo. In 1985 she began her work at Presentation Prayer Center where she served until 2013, albeit she continued to see individuals for spiritual direction until a few months before her death. In 1987 she developed the Pastoral Care Department at Riverview Place, Fargo, and was active there for ten years. During some of this time, she also did chaplaincy work at Villa Maria in Fargo. In 1976, Sister Petronilla was elected president of the congregation and held that position for six years. Previous to that she had held the positions of Director of Aspirants, Mistress of Novices, and Administrative Council Member. During her term as president, she was a governing board member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and an officer of the North American Conference of Presentation Sisters. Sister Petronilla loved spending time in nature, was an avid reader, and enjoyed music.

She is survived by the members of her religious community; her sisters Marilyn Gapp (Art) and Josephine Bittner (Ken); many nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law: Alice, Lorraine, and MaryAnn Metzger.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings: Silverius, Nestor, Emeric, Arnold, Roy, Ray, Geraldine and Maurice.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo. To sign the online guestbook, please visit their website at

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