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

Sister Maria Leonetta  

Sister Maria Leonetta               ND 4209                PDF Download

Gertrud Gillissen

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:              August 03, 1923          Duisburg-Meiderich
Date and Place of Profession:   April 09, 1947               Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:            January 03, 2023        Coesfeld, Kloster Annenthal
Date and Place of Burial:            January 10, 2023        Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

My God and my all!

Trusting in God’s goodness and hoping in the resurrection, our Sister Maria Leonetta, after a long illness endured with great patience, gave her life back into the hands of the Creator.

Gertrud Gillissen experienced a carefree childhood with her 4 siblings, during which her interest in religious questions was laid.

After elementary school in her hometown, she attended a three-year vocational school for home economics in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. During this time, her desire to become an educator matured. During the first years of the war, she took advantage of the opportunity to acquire qualifications as a kindergarten teacher at the children’s home of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. Later, after a year’s training in Recklinghausen, she was able to obtain state recognition as a kindergarten teacher.

During her work in the children’s home, Gertrud also came to know the Sisters of Notre Dame better and decided to enter in Ahlen on August 15, 1944.

After her first profession, Sister Maria Leonetta ministered in various places for more than 50 years, especially in educational and social institutions in the Oldenburg Münsterland. Her work with children with special needs in the St. Vincenzhaus in Cloppenburg was particularly important to her. Her interest in pedagogical questions was very great. In Vechta she was asked to take over the management of a newly established Montessori children’s house owned by the local parish. In order to do justice to the work in this institution, she acquired the Montessori diploma for educators through a special advanced training by the Montessori-Association. She managed to establish a good climate of trust and also to introduce the parents to the Montessori method, which had been unknown to them until then.

Sister Maria Leonetta possessed a natural pedagogical authority. Both the children and the staff felt accepted and comfortable in her presence.

In addition, she was repeatedly entrusted with the task of the local superior. She approached the sisters with openness, kindness, and interest.

In 2000, Sr. Maria Leonetta began her well-deserved retirement. Now she used her time for the visiting service in the parish of Vechta. Her great sense of beauty was evident in the creation of appealing calligraphic texts. Due to her declining strength, she moved to the care unit for sisters in the Marienhain convent in Vechta in 2009.

In September 2017, she was transferred to the nursing unit in Kloster Annenthal in Coesfeld. Experiencing her declining strength, she gratefully accepted any help. Serenely she faced her death. We are convinced that the Lord fulfilled her longing to be with Him in the 100th year of her life.

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