Sister Maria Herlinde

Sister Maria Herlinde                       ND 4729                          PDF Download

Maria Anna Kniest

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:              22 January 1931          Kervendonk
Date and Place of Profession:   03 September 1956     Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:            26 February 2024        Mülhausen
Date and Place of Funeral:         01 March 2024             Mülhausen, Convent Cemetery

“The lord is my shepherd; I shall not want“. (Ps 23:1)

Marianne Kniest was the second youngest child born to Heinrich and Maria Kniest. She had 8 siblings; they have all passed away. Her father was a farmer. In March 1931, the family moved to Raden, county Güstrow, Mecklenburg, to build a new existence. The elder sister told us that their parents were so busy with this new beginning that there was hardly any time for special attention to the children. The youngest sister Hedwig was born in their new home. Hedwig joined the Sisters of St. Clement. Sister Maria Herlinde maintained a special relationship with her and often spent her holidays with her.

Marianne attended basic primary and secondary school in Güstrow, but because of the turmoil of war she had no school-leaving certificate; she caught up on it later. Until 1950, she worked on the parental farm before returning to the Rhineland with one of her sisters. She did the housework for a cousin who had 2 children. The aunt of that cousin was our Sr. Maria Ernesta, whom Marianne met at the Liebfrauenschule in Köln. Sister writes about that time, “Here I first got to know religious sisters whom I had only seen from afar. This paved the way for the future“.

Sister served in many houses of our then province of Mülhausen: in the kitchen, in education, in nursing, in the sewing room. We remember Sister M. Herlinde for her tireless commitment, no matter the task. She did not spare herself even when her strength waned, and physical limitations increased. She suffered greatly from her increasing hearing loss and the decline of her mental abilities. We had experienced her as a “walking encyclopaedia “.

In 2013, she moved to House Salus. Though being still very active, she allowed herself an extended midday rest and the daily walk was important to her.

When her elder sister Liesbeth, Mrs.Brügger, moved to House Salus, it was a matter of course for Sr. M. Herlinde to be there for her sister, and she enjoyed spending her free time with her. When Mrs. Brügger became in need of care because of a fall after her 100th birthday, Sister took care of her as far as possible until her death.

When Sister M. Herlinde broke her right forearm in a fall, she had to be hospitalised. A major cardiac insufficiency was diagnosed during the examinations, which made a pacemaker necessary. In addition, she developed pneumonia and severe swallowing difficulties.

After the necessary medical measures had been carried out, Sister was discharged from hospital on February 26. Back in House Salus, she seemed contented and satisfied, so that her sudden death came as a surprise.

In the evening prayer of that day it says, “Behold. The bridegroom is coming. Go out to meet him!” Sister M. Herlinde has followed this call. The good shepherd has led her home to the eternal banquet.