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

Sister Maria Renata

Sister Maria Renata               ND  4205                PDF Download
Josepha Niehaus

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                October 02, 1922       Molbergen-Ermke, County Cloppenburg
Date and Place of Profession:     October 15, 1946       Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:              March 27, 2017          Coesfeld, Kloster Annenthal
Date and Place of Funeral            April 04, 2017             Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

“All for the glory of God” (according to Ignatius of Loyola)

Josepha Niehaus was born in South Oldenburg, the second of seven children in her family. Sister Maria Renata survived all her siblings. Two of her brothers were killed in the Second World War.

Josepha and her siblings grew up on a farm. Her family was important to her. She maintained close contacts with her relatives all her life. Nieces and nephews along with their children visited her regularly, even in her old age.

On March 7, 1944, Josepha asked for admittance into the novitiate of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mülhausen/Lower Rhine. After the novitiate, she was missioned to various houses of the congregation where she worked in the house and in the garden.

From 1962 – 1990, she lived and worked in Marl. With great dedication she completed all the regular tasks in St. George Parish, including that of sexton. On great feast days, her flower decorations were especially appreciated. She worked harmoniously with the priests, the altar servers, and the members of the parish.

A newspaper article on the occasion of her 65th birthday shows how greatly she was appreciated: “Sister Maria Renata is a significant person in our parish. For over thirty years she has been completing many different tasks. We cannot imagine our parish without her. Her main task is that of a sexton in our church. Furthermore, she takes Holy Communion to sick and elderly people, does the shopping for people who have difficulty in walking, visits the lonely and the sick, and assists with the house-to-house collections undertaken by Caritas.“

Even after 1990, when the community in Marl was closed and Sister Maria Renata moved to Kloster Annenthal in Coesfeld, her contacts to the parish of St. George continued.

Sister Maria Renata highly appreciated her co-sisters in Kloster Annenthal. She was interested in everything that was going on in the community. For many years, she faithfully accompanied Sister Maria Walteris, with whom she had lived in Marl for many years, by assisting her with great love.

Sister Maria Renata had artistic abilities which she had time to develop in her retirement. She loved doing water color paintings, batik, and work with glass. She made many colorful vigil lights, many of which were sold for the missions. Thus she brought “light” into the lives of many children.

Her final weeks were not easy for Sister Maria Renata. She was longing for her mother. This became obvious by her repeatedly calling “Mama.”  Did that perhaps also express her longing for heaven?

During this difficult and painful phase, Sister Maria Renata was accompanied with empathy and affection. May she now find the fullness of life in God, for whose glory she lived and worked and who has called her by her name.

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