Sister Maria Bernhild  

Sister Maria Bernhild                   ND 5115                      PDF Download

Theresia Schüttert (called Bronnert)

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld / Germany

Date and Place of Birth:                  18 March 1932         Tungerloh-Pröbsting, Ct. Coesfeld
Date and Place of Profession:        25 March 1958         Coesfeld
Date and Place of Death:                09 July 2021             Mülhausen, Haus Salus
Date and Place of Funeral:             16 July 2021             Mülhausen, Convent cemetery

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good”.

“This is the verse from psalm 107 under which Sister Maria Bernhild had placed the celebration of her golden jubilee in 2008. A look at her life shows how justified this choice is, because it was a life in obedience to God’s call and borne by his love, and it was lived in the protective framework of a religious community; it experienced fulfilment in the commitment to the good of others.” That is what the newspaper of Gescher said on 5 April 2008. The co-sisters and all those whom Sister M. Bernhild met on her journey through life will confirm this.

On the day she died, it said in the day’s reading from the Old Testament, ”Now let me die…”, said Jacob. In her last days of life, Sister Maria Bernhild also repeatedly said that she was ready for “Jesus to take her home”.

Theresia, called Thea, was the eighth of the eleven children born to the Bronnerts. She and her siblings experienced love and security in their parental home that was marked by the Christian faith.

After completing school, Thea helped on the parental farm. Attending the Rural Women’s School in Vechta-Marienhain, she came into closer contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame. She followed her older sister Ida (Sr. M. Tarcisia) and in 1955, she entered our congregation at the Liebfrauenburg in Coesfeld.

After her profession, she was put in charge of the kitchen in different houses of the German province. For the longest time – 26 years – she ran the kitchen at Liebfrauenhaus, (later Haus Venusberg) in Bonn. Looking back, Sr. M. Bernhild said that she had always loved to take care of the physical well-being of people, trying to surprise them with culinary delights.

Since 2014, Sr. M. Bernhild had lived in Haus Salus in Grefrath-Mülhausen. She expressed her wishes for the final phase of her life as follows, “I want to spend my twilight years here in great inner peace, offering God all my love. I want to bear the discomforts of old age in faith, sacrificing them for the great concerns of the Church and the world”. Living together with Sr. M. Bernhild, we have experienced that she realized these wishes in her everyday life. She loved participating in community life and the leisure activities of the social service. She arranged and celebrated her personal feast days in a small circle.

Until the end, she remained deeply connected to her family and friends, who could trust in her intercessory prayer and interest.

When the medical treatment options for the consequences of a stroke suffered were exhausted, we wanted to take Sr. M. Bernhild home. This met her own urgent request, she reacted with joy and gratitude.

In the evening of 9 July, God accepted her repeated conscious “yes”. As she had followed her older sister Ida into our congregation, Sr. M. Bernhild now also followed her into her eternal home. In faith we know Sister in God’s hands with all her family members who had gone before her.