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

Sister Maria Berthilda  

Sister Maria Berthilda                              ND 4277                                PDF Download

Elisabeth Auguste Brokamp

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld / Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                11 November 1926      Osterdamme
Date and Place of Profession:      15 April 1952                 Ahlen
Date and Place of Death:              10 August 2023            Coesfeld
Date and Place of Funeral:           17 August 2023            Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

“God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything“. 1 Jo 3:20

Elisabeth Brokamp was the daughter of Heinrich Brokamp and his wife Maria, who were farmers. Elisabeth and her four siblings grew up in a rural environment. From 1933-1941, she attended the basic elementary and secondary school in Damme. After leaving school she helped in her parents‘ house, and two years later she moved to her uncle’s household. In 1944, her eldest brother Bernhard was killed in the war in Russia.

From 1947-1948, Elisabeth spent a year as a trainee cook at St. Antonius children’s home in Damme. Here she got to know the Sisters of Notre Dame; a year later she wrote to the local superior there, expressing her wish to become a sister. In 1949, she entered in Mülhausen and on 25 March 1952, she started her novitiate in Ahlen. After her religious formation Sr. M. Berthilda was responsible for the laundry in various houses in the Münsterland. From 1957-1965, she was active in the housework at St. Josefshain in Cloppenburg.

In 1966, Sr. M. Berthilda trained as a state-certified housekeeper in Paderborn. This was followed by an apprenticeship year in Cloppenburg. In a report to her teacher in Paderborn she describes her tasks and experiences in a detailed way: “Here in Cloppenburg we have a big school with about 900 students. … Attached to the school is a small boarding school with 60 students. My job is to manage all the home care in the residential and school rooms; besides that, I am responsible for our chapel. As a further task I was assigned the care of our house daughters. There are now eight. … I put one of the house daughters in charge of our group room, setting the tables and serving for four weeks at a time. It took some time until all of them understood that a neatly laid table contributes to the cosiness of life in community“.

From 1973-1994, Sr. M. Berthilda ministered in our children’s recreation home and guesthouse Meeresstern on the island of Wangerooge. In addition to the domestic tasks, she had to care for the guests in the dining room. After that she worked for several years in Damme, where sister was also responsible for the chapel. In 1997, Sr. M. Berthilda was transferred to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where she ministered as sacristan and enjoyed nature. In 2012, she returned to Vechta-Marienhain, where she became the substitute of the sacristan. At the beginning of 2021 she moved to Kloster Annenthal Seniors’ Center in Coesfeld. She no longer managed to find her way around our large house. She enjoyed taking part in the activities for the elderly and she gave a lot of pleasure through her joyful way of storytelling. We will miss her friendliness and humor.

As her strength diminished, she could trustfully abandon herself to God, who is greater than our heart, and who knows everything.

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