Sister Maria Donatila    

Sister Maria Donatila                    ND 4190                      PDF Download

Bárbara Lurdes HECK

Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Date and Place of Birth:           November 12, 1927   Tapera, RS
Date and Place of Profession: February 12, 1948     Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:         June 14, 2022             Casa Betânia, Não Me Toque
Date and Place of Burial:         June 15, 2022             Santa Cruz Cemetery, Passo Fundo, RS

Bárbara Lurdes Heck was the second youngest among the nine children of Jorge Heck Filho and Maria Paulina Heck, farmers. Responding to God´s call and in search of her life’s ideal, this talented and creative young woman entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of Notre Dame on February 21, 1946, receiving the name Sister Maria Donatila. After completing her basic education at Colégio Notre Dame, Passo Fundo, she carried out her apostolate in the area of education in various locations, being most appreciated as an outstanding teacher of reading and writing.

After completing the nursing assistant course as well as other professional courses in 1961, Sister Maria Donatila worked in the clinical analysis laboratory at the Hospital de Caridade, Não Me Toque, for 16 years. She always said that to be able to perform the role of technical assistant and to sign the laboratorial tests, she had to do a great deal of studying and take theoretical and practical exams before an examining board in Santa Maria, where she was praised and achieved a successful result.

In 1978, Sister joined the nursing team in the hospital in Chapada and later, in Iraí. In 1998, when the Province ended the ministry at the Hospital in Iraí, Sister Maria Donatila began an unusual apostolate. Because the Province owned a hotel in the city of Iraí, she assumed responsibility for organizing the baths and hydromassage for the guests who came to the city to benefit from its thermal mineral water. A talented artist, Sister took advantage of her free time to paint on fabric and porcelain, thereby making items that were sold for the benefit of the missions. Sister Maria Donatila’s simple, warm, and cheerful manner made her loved by all.

In 2015, Sister joined the Notre Dame Menino Jesus School community, Passo Fundo. Always assiduous, silent, and joyful, she gave witness as a fulfilled woman religious. When her health began to wane in 2018, she moved to Casa Betânia in Não Me Toque. Sister cultivated a close relationship with some of her family members and made sure that family gatherings frequently took place. Her hearing difficulty was a great cross for Sister. Due to her deafness, a co-sister had to mediate phone calls, which made in person visits even more appreciated.

Lately, Sister Maria Donatila’s health had begun to deteriorate. Affected by pneumonia, Sister needed specialized treatment but her condition continued to weaken. On June 14, in the presence of the sisters and caregivers and surrounded by their affection, she peacefully returned to the Father.

May Sister Maria Donatila be welcomed into eternity by the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she was devoted, and may she continue to paint the new life of grace, with the colors of God. Rest in peace!