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

Sister Maria Virginia 

Sister Maria Virginia                      ND 5691                        PDF Download

Ursula Sandmann

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:              February 07, 1940   Vreden
Date and Place of Profession:   April 20, 1965           Rheinbach
Date and Place of Death:            July 20, 2023            Nottuln, Hospital
Date and Place of Funeral:         July 27, 2023            Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

“Teach me, Lord, to do your will.”  Ps 143:10

This verse from psalm 143 accompanied Sister Maria Virginia for many years. Whenever she faced changes in her eventful life, she asked God for his will and let herself be guided by him.

Ursula Sandmann was the daughter of the electro-master Franz Sandmann and his wife Paula, née Wesselmann. She was the oldest of six siblings. From Easter 1946, she attended the basic primary and secondary school. Her many practical skills opened a wide field of activities for her. After her graduation in 1954, she worked in different divisions of a Dutch textile company for several years. Then she had the possibility to expand her domestic skills in a parish household. After that she worked in a sewing shop until she entered. Since she was twelve, Ursula belonged to a catholic parish youth group accompanied by the Sisters of Notre Dame. During this time, the wish matured in her to become a nun herself.

In 1962, she entered our Congregation in Coesfeld and at her investment, she received the name Sister Maria Virginia. As a devotee of Mary, she was particularly pleased about this. Already one year after her investment, Sister Maria Virginia was asked to strengthen the novitiate in the newly founded province of Rheinbach. She recognized the will of God in this request and said yes willingly but at the same time with a heavy heart. Here she first trained in shorthand and typing and completed a formation as an office clerk. Her first job was in the salary department of the orthopaedic clinic in Engers. From 1971, Sister Maria Virginia worked in the school administration and in the school office of the congregation’s own grammar school St. Lioba in Bad Nauheim.

For a long time, she cherished the wish to be allowed to return to her hometown because she never felt at home in a foreign environment and suffered greatly as a result. Perhaps the reason for her frequently dismissive and incomprehensible behaviour towards others, which lasted until the end of her life, lies in this endured pain. This not only made her friends. Sister Maria Virginia asked her superiors to be transferred back to the province of Coesfeld, which was granted to her in 1993. She was grateful and happy to be nearer her hometown again. For several years, she worked in the administration and in the library of the vocational college of the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 2002 Sister M. Virginia moved to the Liebfrauenschule in Büren. Here she was involved in the establishment of the school library, the administration of which she took over, whereby she attached great importance to order and overview.

After the closure of the sisters‘ convent in Büren, Sister Maria Virginia moved to Kloster Annenthal in  Coesfeld in 2016. After more and more health problems arose, she came to the seniors‘ center in 2020. After a spinal surgery, she was dependent on a wheelchair and could only leave her room with assistance. Feeling very weak, she asked to be taken to hospital. Here she could only be given relief for the last days of her life. On 20 July 2023, she calmly went home to God. In the gospel of the day of her death it says, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Sister M. Virginia has now accepted this invitation of Jesus and can rest with Him according to this promise.

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