In gratitude I look back. My decision at that time to join the community of the Sisters of Mary at the age of 21 was probably one of my best decisions. I have never regretted it. This also gave me the grace to still experience the Father and Founder, Father Kentenich, in 1967 and to be received personally by him.
Said yes with joy
Already as a child my heart glowed for the mission and I often saved for the baptism of a “pagan child”. When, at the age of 40, I was asked if I was ready to go to Burundi/Central Africa, I said yes immediately and with joy.
Another childhood dream came true at the age of 60. Our community was asked whether it could release a sister for pastoral care and terminal care in the senior center. My superiors thought of me without knowing my secret wish.
Mary on pilgrimage with me
Now for 12 years I have been able to accompany the elderly on their last journey, often together with Mary in the sign of the Pilgrim Shrine. Again and again I experience how she watches over the sick and the dying. The accompanying book with prayers encourages the relatives to make the most of their time at the bedside. Father Kentenich helps me to find the right words and to help people in prayer. The daily Holy Mass and the prayer of the Rosary are very much appreciated by our elderly people. I bring daily Holy Communion to the sick according to their wishes. At Easter they receive not only an Easter bunny, but also a beautifully decorated holy water bottle.
His radiant face
Recently I visited a sick evangelical man. I asked if I should pray with him. He stretched out both hands towards me and said with a radiant face: “I am so looking forward to the Lord”. He died the same night. I could only thank him and still see his radiant face.
A woman who waited longer for the call home told me in disappointment: “Sorry, I’m still alive now”. I replied that we are happy as long as she is with us. Three days later she died completely relaxed.
I sang a Marian song to a seriously ill man who had few visitors. At the word “Maria helps” he took his last breath almost unnoticed.
Empathy and love
Yes, a wish to have children has come true. I am happy that others are also feeling what a beautiful and enriching task I have. A man has written to me:
“May the Lord God protect you, so that you will remain with us for a long time with your empathy and love for your fellow human beings.”