Sister Maria Eberta

Eberta_2SISTER MARIA EBERTA              ND 3625                 ⇒ PDF Download
Josefine Dorenkamp

Our Lady of Aparecida Province, Canoas, RS – Brazil

Date and Place of Birth: April 23, 1915 Vechta, Oldenburg, Germany
Date and Place of Profession: January 18, 1939 Mülhausen, Germany
Date and Place of Death: July 3, 2013 Recanto Aparecida, Canoas, RS
Date and Place of Burial: July 4, 2013 Convent Cemetery, Canoas, RS

“He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering”. Psalm 62,6

Gifted with a kind heart and a missionary spirit, Sister M. Eberta searched for a greater meaning in her life through consecration to God and in the service of her brothers and sisters. Her serenity and self-giving reflected the nurturing of her spirituality in a simple and happy way, living our charism of God´s goodness and provident care.
Josefine Dorenkamp was the 6th child of Heinrich and Maria Roelker Dorenkamp who were farmers. The numerous and faithful family was blessed with three religious vocations among the twelve children. Along with her deceased sisters, Sister Maria Severa and Sister M. Bilhildis, she consecrated herself to God in the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

When she entered the novitiate in 1937 in Mülhausen, Germany, she received the name Sister M. Eberta. After her first profession she joined the 23rd group of German missionaries who, in the year of 1939, arrived in Brazil. Far away from her homeland, having before her the challenge of learning a new language and getting used to the new culture of the country, Sister M. Eberta occupied herself in the organization of the activities of Hospital Bernardina Salles de Barros in Júlio de Castilhos, which was still being built. Already in the first year, Sister worked in the nursing section of that hospital, imprinting on it her mark of goodness and kindness in attending and caring for the sick.
For many years, she worked as a nurse in different hospitals. Wherever she was, she distinguished herself by competence, dedication, responsibility, and excellent relationships. Her way of being and acting made her admired and respected by Sisters, staff, doctors, and patients. She dedicated herself with zeal to the pregnant women in their moment of delivery. Her calmness and experience gave confidence and serenity to the mothers.

Sister M. Eberta was a person with a transparent smile who radiated the tenderness of God. She showed kindness towards people in routine, complex and simple situations. In the role as local superior, which she held for many years in the Province, she was careful and attentive to the Sisters. Her happy and kind way created festive moments in the community and an atmosphere of lightness and well-wishing. Her touch of silence, a characteristic of her personality, marked her apostolic life and her living in community with the Sisters. In 1979, Sr. M. Eberta, as the first local superior of Recanto Aparecida house, welcomed the first elderly and sick Sisters. She remained at Recanto Aparecida for 33 years, doing with kindness and love the services of local superior, nursing, as well as little services in the community.

Sister M. Eberta had a great love for the Congregation. As a priority, she nurtured her life of prayer and showed interest in the vocations of the young, welcoming them always with her attention and a smile. In her last years at Recanto Aparecida, her strength diminishing by the burden of age, she dedicated herself to the bedridden Sisters, taking Holy Communion to them as Minister of the Eucharist. In 2006, she felt obliged to leave this service in order to take care of her health.

The kindness that she showered on those entrusted to her care was given back to her in her long period of suffering as a bedridden patient. All the Sisters and nurses cared for her with kindness. During her prolonged time of illness, she kept her attitude of kindness and gratitude.

As she lived, so silently she passed away. On the night of July 3rd, God called her to His kingdom of light and peace. We are grateful to Sister Maria Eberta for her witness of living faith, manifested in joyful simplicity and kindness. R.I.P.