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

Sister Maria Karoline

Karoline_w300Sister Maria Karoline            ND 5609               ⇒PDF Download
Maria Schaap

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld / Germany

Date and Place of Birth:               April 18, 1936          Vinnen, County Meppen, Germany
Date and Place of Profession:    August 12, 1960     Coesfeld, Liebfrauenburg
Date and Place of Death:             June 12, 2014         Coesfeld, St.-Vincenz-Hospital
Date and Place of Funeral:          June 18, 2014         Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

Sister Maria Karoline, Maria Schaap, grew up with two brothers and three sisters in her parental home in Vinnen, County Meppen. After finishing the basic local primary and secondary school, she stayed for two more years with her parents, the blacksmith Heinrich Schaap and his wife Karoline because of health problems. After helping a family in Aschendorf with the housekeeping, she moved to Marienstift in Gescher “in order to learn with the sisters how to cook”, as she herself writes. Obviously, her wish to become a religious matured there; because in her curriculum vitae she finishes the report about her time in Gescher by saying, “Now I am determined to wholly dedicate my life to God“.

In 1957, Maria entered the novitiate in our provincial center in Coesfeld. At her investment, she received the name Sister Maria Karoline, which was the name of her mother, who died in 1955.

As a young girl, Sr. M. Karoline had already health problems and during her years as a religious she also suffered several times from serious illnesses. In spite of that she maintained her positive approach to life as well as her good humor so that she could create a cheerful atmosphere and easily establish contacts. During the time of her formation – she took an exam in dressmaking and she was trained in geriatric care – she contributed to a friendly and cheerful atmosphere in our community and among her colleagues. She treated both the elderly and the students in a friendly and warm-hearted way. During her quite frequent hospital stays she easily won the sympathy of the other patients and of those who took care of her.

As a loving gardener, she carefully looked after the many flowers in her room. With the same care Sr. Karoline, who was also a trained sacristan, looked for many years after the altar and the flowers in St. Martini Church in Münster. With skillful hands she made little decorations or useful things – in general in favor of the missions –, helped with problems regarding clothes and was always ready to give advice whenever she was asked.

In spite of her increasing impediments, she participated with great interest in our community prayers and in our faith sharing. Her faithful and trusting optimism helped her to overcome increasing discouragement and impatience.

Her relationship to her family was very important to her. She loved meeting them, accompanied them with great interest and often told us about them.

It was not easy for Sister M. Karoline to say yes to her last surgery. Perhaps she vaguely anticipated that she would not come round from the anesthetic. The notice of her sudden death was a great shock for us. It is not easy for us to be so abruptly separated from her although we know that her life is now transformed. Let us place her close to God’s heart and be thankful for her life among us.

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