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

Sister Maria Wilhelmis

Sister Maria Wilhelmis                   ND  5137                      PDF Download
Erna Maria  Menschick

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                November 01, 1936     Merseburg, County Saale
Date and Place of Profession:     March 20, 1959             Coesfeld
Date and Place of Death:              October 25, 2016          Vechta, Marienhain, Salus
Date and Place of Funeral:           October 29, 2016          Vechta, Convent Cemetery

wilhelmisJesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly“.  Jn. 10:10

Erna Maria Menschick was born in Merseburg, County Saale, three years before the Second World War broke out. She had two younger siblings. Her father died when Erna Maria was nine years old, a hard loss which marked her whole life. Political influences – Russian occupation and GDR – made the family flee to the west in 1950. They found accommodation and a new “home” in Oldenburg. Erna Maria‘s mother taught for many years at our former Liebfrauenschule. The family was faced with another severe loss: In 1958, her nineteen-year-old brother died in an accident in the former GDR.

Erna Maria attended our former Liebfrauenschule in Vechta, where she passed her Abitur on February 28, 1956. She got to know our sisters in Oldenburg as well as in Vechta and she also felt called to become a sister of Notre Dame. She entered three months after her graduation and at her investment in February 1957 she received the name Sr. M. Wilhelmis – her father as well as her brother were called Wilhelm.

At the university in Münster Sr. M. Wilhelmis studied mathematics and biology. Her studies were interrupted by the tertiate. She completed her internship in Wilhelmshaven. From 1969 – 2002 she taught at the Liebfrauenschule in Vechta. Besides, she was a member of the school’s management team for 37 years, for 34 years she was in charge of the school timetable and the teacher substitution schedules. After her retirement she gave private tuition until 2013 and she was glad whenever a student got a better mark. She spent her last years in Vechta-Marienhain.

Sr. M. Wilhelmis was a teacher through and through. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge and expertise and was ready to help wherever help was needed.

She loved accompanying a befriended couple to Lake Dümmer where they enjoyed nature. Even after moving to Marienhain, she maintained close contacts to her colleagues.

The 30-day retreat which she made in 1989 was a very precious experience for her. She loved sharing her spiritual journey and her experiences especially during the first years after the retreat. This sharing was beneficial for whoever participated.

She kept in close contact with her family. For many years, she spent her vacation with her mother in the beautiful Sauerland and later with her sister in Tübingen.

Sr. M. Wilhelmis‘s life was marked by Jesus‘ promise: I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Even when her strength decreased, she participated in life as best she could. Finally she could return peacefully to our life-giving God and we believe that she now experiences fullness of life in Him.

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