Sister Maria Aloysia – Our Inspiring Foundress

Sister Maria Aloysia – Our Inspiring Foundress
Sister Maria Aloysia was born as Hilligonde Wolbring in 1828 and died on May 6, 1889. She founded the Sisters of Notre Dame in Coesfeld, Germany, in 1850 and is an important figure in the history of the congregation.

Today we celebrate the 125th anniversary of her death in 1889 with a collection of memories written by other sisters with Sister Maria Aloysia in mind. We hope her spirit will inspire you incarnate the love of our good and provident God.

“During the first years at Mt. St. Mary’s there were, naturally, many difficulties to surmount. Sister M. Aloysia viewed all these inconveniences in the light of faith, weighing their worth in the light of eternity.”

“During the cold winter months she would go to the very large dormitory each evening to assure herself that they were all protected sufficiently from the cold…Silently she went from bed to bed observing the breathing to ascertain if all were well before she retired to snatch a few hours of well deserved rest.”

“Life in an institution , because it is precisely regulated, generally runs along smoothly and uniformly day after day. And there it was also that way, but there were also happy diversions. It might be a walk in the woods with a jolly picnic, or the celebration of Sister M. Aloysia’s name day. Above all, there was Christmas! At the beginning of Advent, each child wrote a letter to the Christ Child telling Him his great or little wishes. This was an opportunity for Sister M. Aloysia to open her kind motherly heart and hands. And somehow her ingenious love would find a way to fulfill all the petitions.”

“Sister M. Aloysia’s esteem for the Blessed Sacrament was like a golden thread woven through her entire life, a thread which was never broken; rather it became more closely intertwined during the years of her cloistral [religious] life.”

“For her sisters, Sister M. Aloysia always had a kindly glance and a friendly word of encouragement. Honest with herself and others, she knew how to separate the person from the deed. The virtuous practice of true sisterly charity found support in her naturally optimistic disposition, which enabled her to empathize with the old and young alike, and so live in peace and harmony with all.”