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

Sister Ottilia Maria 

Sister Ottilia Maria               ND 4431                  PDF Download

Ottilia Maria BRISCH

Nossa Senhora Aparecida Province, Canoas, RS – Brazil

Date and Place of Birth: July 04, 1930 Montenegro, RS
Date and Place of Profession: February 10, 1949 Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death: February 21, 2020 Recanto Aparecida, Canoas, RS
Date and Place of Funeral: February 22, 2020 Convent Cemetery, Canoas, RS

“Let the little children come to me.” Matt 19:14

Sister Ottilia Maria, after a long preparation for the Lord´s last call, left this world on February 21, 2020. Ottilia Maria was born on July 4th, 1930 in Montenegro, RS. Three days after her birth she was baptized, from then on being a participant in the community of faith, the Church. Her parents, João Baptista and Maria Joanna Barbara Brisch formed a large family. Ottilia Maria was the seventh among the 15 children, but sadly, she is the twelfth child in the family who has returned to the Father´s House.

In 1947 she became a novice in the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Passo Fundo. After concluding the novitiate, she made her religious profession and started her mission to incarnate the love of our good and provident God, devoting her life to education.

The 71 years of her religious life were dedicated to education and to the care of children.  In Matt. 19:14, Jesus says: “Let the little children come to me.”  This verse resonates with the life of Sister Ottilia Maria who, for 34 years, served in the education ministry teaching the little ones, developing literacy skills, nurturing Christian values and a great love for Jesus and Mary. 

The education ministry continued at the Lar da Criança Madre Júlia, in Taquara, which exposed her to a new reality in the wide universe of child care. It was a ministry that required maternal knowledge and skills, love and care for abandoned children, children without a home and, without a family. Sister Ottilia Maria, with a mother’s love, devoted nights without sleep in the care of the little ones entrusted to the Sisters. For 29 years, together with the other sisters of her community, she ensured that the children from very hostile environments, had a friendly setting for human and social development. In addition to the basic care, she educated them in Christian principles and values helping them become integrated into society. Today, many of those who had lived at Lar da Criança Madre Júlia are influential people in society and good parents, grateful for the education they received. 

Sister Ottilia Maria incarnated the Notre Dame charism in her life, that is, goodness and trust in the providence of God. Love for the Eucharistic and devotion to Mother Mary were strong elements of her spiritual life. She had a special care for the young sisters, mentoring them so as not to be discouraged when having to face everyday difficulties. She was always an active presence in community life, prayers and gatherings. Simplicity, kindness, goodwill and the care for life were her characteristics. She cultivated strong family bonds, enjoying visiting her relatives and also receiving their visit. 

In January 2019, Sister Ottilia Maria joined the Recanto Aparecida community, being a dear and loved presence among the sisters and staff. In November/December of the same year, her physical infirmity became visible due to the manifestation of a cancer that weakened her. Aware of her illness, she prepared herself well for the last and complete surrender to the Father. Day after day, she let go of personal belongings and entrusted herself to God. She used to say: “Soon I will be with Him”. The last few weeks were of intense suffering, but she remained conscious and reconciled, waiting for her moment. 

Goodbye, dear Sister, may your example of caring for life, loving our young sisters and candidates, be the seed for new vocations for the Kingdom. 

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