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

Sister Maria Hedwiga

Sister Maria Hedwiga              ND 4216              PDF Download

Maria Osterholt

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld/Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                 05 May 1923        Heiden-Nordick, County Borken
Date and Place of Profession:       08 April 1948       Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:               11 July 2019         Coesfeld, Kloster Annenthal
Date and Place of Funeral:            17 July 2019        Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

“The joy in God is our strength”.

Sister Maria Hedwiga, Maria Osterholt, was the second of seven children. Together with her siblings she grew up on her parental farm. The family was marked by deep faith.

From 1929 – 1937, Maria attended the basic primary and secondary school in Reken. After leaving school, she first helped in her parental household. At the age of 16, she worked for four years on a farm in Nord-Velen where she did the housework and took care of the children.

At the age of 20, Maria became an apprentice cook with our sisters at Marienstift in Gescher. At that time, she became aware of her vocation to religious life and asked for admission to the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

She entered on September 8th, 1945, in Mülhausen on the Lower Rhine.

After her religious formation, Sr. M. Hedwiga did the housework in a community in Cologne for a short time and then she ministered in Rome for 42 years – at the generalate and at Villa Maria Regina, our guest house at that time.

At the generalate, she was in charge of the laundry. For 27 years, she worked there with great commitment, faithfulness, care and attention. Apart from this great task, she was always ready to help wherever help was needed. She served her community with joy and with love.

At Villa Maria Regina, she was also in charge of the laundry and of one guest floor.

Since Sr. M. Hedwiga had acquired the qualification to train women in housekeeping in Paderborn in 1977, she helped many young women who had come from Germany for one year to get a solid basic formation. Because of her joyful character, her openness, her friendliness, and sociability, she quickly won the hearts of the young women entrusted to her as well as those of co-workers and guests. She radiated something of the motto which was important for her life and her faith: “The joy in God is our strength”.

In 1991, Sr. M. Hedwiga said goodbye to Rome but the inner connection remained. However, at Annenthal she also felt quite at home. The fact that she was in charge of the refectory certainly helped her to settle in. She completed this task with great dedication as long as her strength allowed it. Because of her openness and joyfulness she was able to assist and encourage her co-sisters.

Sr. M. Hedwiga was deeply grateful. She was grateful for her life, for her family with whom she had always felt connected, and for her community, her home at Kloster Annenthal, and for all the assistance and support which she received.

This attitude of gratitude allowed her to let go of her life and to get ready for her last great joy, namely to return home to God.

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