Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Maria Adelhardia

Sister Maria Adelhardia                  ND 4730                PDF Download

Mathilde Unkenholz

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                 14 May 1932                 Plantlünne/Emsland
Date and Place of Profession:      03 September 1956     Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:              11 April 2019                 Mülhausen, Haus Salus
Date and Place of Funeral:           16 April 2019                 Mülhausen, Convent Cemetery

Sister M. Adelhardia was the second oldest child born to Wilhelm Josef and Anna Unkenholz. Together with her four siblings, she enjoyed a carefree childhood and youth in the security of her parental home. After completing basic elementary and secondary school in 1946, she stayed at home to work in her parents‘ business and to help with the housework.

Then she spent a year at the students‘ home of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Bonn to improve her housekeeping skills which she had learnt from her mother. When working with the sisters, she realized her vocation to religious life and in August 1953, she began her religious formation with the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mülhausen.

After completing secondary school in Mülhausen in 1958, she passed a special exam in home economics and then she attended the college for kindergarten teachers in Oedt, which she completed successfully in 1960.

In 1971, she received a diploma in extracurricular pedagogy and in 1974, she obtained the Missio Canonica which allowed her to teach religion at schools up to class 10.

Sister Maria Adelhardia was always eager to update her knowledge by attending training courses and working groups.

In charge of groups in the boarding schools in Mülhausen and Rheinbach and as religion teacher at the Liebfrauenschule Mülhausen and at St. Joseph Gymnasium in Rheinbach, she generously used her manifold talents with great joy and love among the students entrusted to her. Leisure times at boarding schools were stimulated by her creativity and humor and by her love that inspired confidence. Parents, teachers and staff appreciated her competent and target-oriented collaboration for the good of the children and youth.

In 1998, when the boarding school in Rheinbach was closed, Sr. Maria Adelhardia came to Bonn, Haus Maria Einsiedeln, where she worked until 2011. She quickly settled in, assisted in the canteen and visited the home residents in their rooms and the sick in the hospital. Her capacity for empathy, her communicative talent, her ability to listen and her loving care helped her in this ministry.

Her deep rootedness in faith and her own health restrictions helped her to accompany the seriously or terminally ill and to offer them and their families support and consolation. She also used her manifold talents to prepare the liturgy and to enrich community life.

As she grew older, the consequences of a serious accident and increasing cardiovascular disorders required more care and nursing so that in 2012 she was transferred to Haus Salus, where she gratefully accepted the help of the sisters and nurses. She was strengthened and consoled by deep faith. With joy and gratitude, she remained closely connected to her co-sisters, family, friends, former students, and to all who visited and supported her.

We thank her for all the good she has done, and we ask God to receive her into His eternal joy.

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