Sister Maria Clarella
May 24, 2013
Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany
Date and Place of Birth: October 25, 1935 Gröbnig (Upper Silesia), Germany
Date and Place of Profess: August 15, 1958 Coesfeld
Date and Place of Death: May 24, 2013 Vechta, Marienhain
Date and Place of Funeral: May 28, 2013 Vechta, Marienhain
“How good is the good God”! (Julie Billiart)
Hopefully, Sister Maria Clarella has now seen HIM, in whom she has believed all her life and on whom she has based her whole life: HIM, our good God in his infinite love.
Sr. M. Clarella, Hildegard Bernard, was born in Gröbing in Upper Silesia on October 25 in 1935 as the daughter of the businessman Paul Bernard and his wife Hedwig. According to her own words she and her two brothers spent a happy childhood there until 1945. Because of the war her mother and the three children had to leave their home town; their father had to stay behind as a soldier. In September 1945, the father died in captivity and from then on the family lived in a refugee camp. That time had a decisive influence on the life of Sr. M. Clarella.
In 1946, the family was deported and came to Bissel in the Oldenburger Land. There Hildegard attended the basic primary and secondary school. After that, in 1951, she went to the Sisters of Notre Dame to learn housekeeping. For one year she then ran the household for a family in Dortmund and in 1955, she decided to enter our congregation.
After her first profession in Coesfeld in 1958, Sr. M. Clarella first did housework in different communities of the province. Since her special interest in administration became obvious, she completed a correspondence course in business. Thus prepared she worked in administration for several years; in Marienhain, e.g., she worked in the local treasurer’s department from 1973 to 1989.
Sr. M. Clarella spent the following years in Wilhelmshaven and finally in Meppen, where she could commit herself anew to cooking, her favorite activity. The kitchen was her realm and she loved cooking, preparing delicious meals, thus enthusiastically spoiling others. Among them were especially the priests in Wilhelmshaven, who had lunch with the sisters. A lot of other people, too, had the opportunity of knowing and appreciating this great skill of hers.
Sr. M. Clarella always showed great interest in the people around her. She liked to listen to them and she shared their lives. The good contacts with her relatives and friends until today make this obvious.
Sr. M. Clarella has been seriously ill for quite some time. Four weeks ago, after her last stay in the hospital, she was transferred to the infirmary in Vechta. She became weaker and weaker and on the morning of May 24, she gave her life back into the hands of our good God. We are sure that she has found her eternal home.