Sister Bernhardine Maria 

Sister  Bernhardine  Maria                ND 5606                  PDF Download

previously Sister Maria Auxilium

Bernhardine Sträter

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                 March 10, 1934            Benteler
Date and Place of Profession:      August 12, 1960           Coesfeld
Date and Place of Death:              September 11, 2023    Coesfeld, Kloster Annenthal
Date and Place of Funeral:           September 19, 2023    Coesfeld, Convent Cemetery

Bernhardine was the seventh of the nine children born to the farmer Kaspar Sträter and his wife Bernhardine in Benteler, County Beckum. At Easter 1940, she was enrolled at the local Catholic basic primary and secondary school. In 1948, she received her graduation certificate. After that she worked on the farm of her parents for two years. From 1950-1957 she was employed to help in the kitchen and household in three different families. In each family she also had to take care of several children. Her pedagogical talent was already evident here. Bernhardine also worked as a trainee cook at the boarding school of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Ahlen for one year to deepen her knowledge in home economics.

On October 24, 1957, Bernhardine entered in Coesfeld and at her investment she received the name Sister Maria Auxilium. Since this name was difficult to pronounce for children, she later took her baptismal name again. After her first profession in 1960, she was responsible for a group of 18 girls aged 5-12 at the children’s home St. Antoniusstift in Damme for three years and after that for a group of boys aged 5-9 for almost two years. After her final profession in Rome in 1965, she assisted at the boarding school of the Liebfrauenschule in Vechta and took the remedial class in Marienhain, Vechta, to gain a higher school qualification. In 1966/67, she attended the seminar for educators in children’s homes, a higher technical school for social work, in Dortmund. From 1970 – 1991 Sister Bernardine Maria ministered in the groups in St. Antoniusstift in Damme. Besides her ministry she has always cultivated the relationship with her family.

After retiring from her pedagogical ministry, she welcomed the guests in Haus Meeresstern on the island of Wangerooge and looked after them with great dedication until 2008. In addition to this, she took care of mountains of laundry.

When the Sisters ended their ministry on Wangerooge, Sr. Bernhardine Maria took over domestic tasks in a small community of elderly Sisters in Meppen.

In 2015, she moved to Vechta to spend her retirement there. On her 87th birthday she came to Coesfeld, to the senior sisters’ center in Kloster Annenthal. The last phase of her life was marked by illness; Sister was grateful for any kind of support.

“God is greater than our heart and He knows everything“, as it says in Scripture. He will welcome Sister Bernhardine Maria into His eternal peace.