Sister Maria Elisabetha

Sister Maria Elisabetha               ND 5806                PDF Download

(formerly Sister Maria Evânea)

Elisabetha ANHALT

Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Date and Place of Birth:              July 1, 1939                      São Carlos, SC
Date and Place of Profession:     February 11, 1965            Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:            December 22, 2022         Não Me Toque, RS
Date and Place of Burial:             December 22, 2022         Santa Cruz Cemetery, Passo Fundo, RS

The Gospel of Mark recounts the story of the blind man, Bartimaeus, sitting by the roadside. Learning that Jesus was passing, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and asked his disciples to bring the blind man to him. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see!” (Mk 10:47ss)  This sensitivity and readiness to see, to hear, and to help were characteristic of Sister Maria Elisabetha´s religious life and ministry.

Elisabetha was the second among the nine children born to Adam and Maria Eva Anhalt both of whom were from Russia. She began her studies at Nossa Senhora da Salete School, in Maravilha, SC. Because her goal was to work in the health care field, at the age of 21, Elisabetha enrolled in a Nursing Assistant course and later interned at the São Vicente de Paulo Hospital, in Passo Fundo. Living with other young women and feeling attracted to religious life, she entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of Notre Dame on February 12, 1963, in Passo Fundo.

Sister Maria Elisabetha dedicated her entire life to caring for people. For 45 years she shared her gifts ministering in different hospitals as local superior, nurse, coordinator, and supervisor of nursing. In addition, Sister also served in various schools and, for some time, was a missionary in Tarauacá, Acre. Since her Silver Jubilee, the verse of Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” was her strength, even in the most difficult moments of her life.

Sister Maria Elisabetha was extremely sensitive to people´s needs. She had the gift of being present, of saying the right word in a difficult situation, and of always being ready to take whatever action was needed. In her free time, Sister took pleasure in sowing, planting, transplanting, and harvesting vegetables and fruits and sharing them with the community, always taking care that nothing was wasted. She was faithful and zealous in her prayer life and was a cheerful and relaxed presence in the community. Sister was skilled in handy work, especially crocheting, and was willing to help or teach anyone who wanted to learn.

Since 2013, Sister Maria Elisabetha had been part of the Casa Betânia community, where she joined the Pastoral Care Ministry, visiting patients in the hospital and in their homes. As her strength and health declined, Sister’s ministry became restricted to her religious community, where she was a presence as well as a prayer companion to other sisters.

On December 8th, Sister was not feeling well, so she was admitted to the hospital in Passo Fundo. After undergoing several medical exams, Sister Maria Elisabetha was diagnosed with advanced Parkinson´s in addition to other health issues. After a few days in the hospital, she was discharged and returned to her community. However, her health worsened and, on December 22, Sister Maria Elisabetha made her final surrender to God, to whom she had dedicated her entire life in the service of her sick and needy brothers and sisters. May she now enjoy eternal rest in the loving embrace of the good God.