Sister Maria Hildegardis

Sister Maria Hildegardis                   ND 4241                      PDF Download

Mechtild Ingensiep

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany

Date and Place of Birth:              26 October 1928      Kempen / Lower Rhine
Date and Place of Profession:     09 April 1953           Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:             02 June 2021           Mülhausen, Haus Salus
Date and Place of Funeral:          11 June 2021            Mülhausen, Convent Cemetery

“Lord, our Lord, how present you are and so unspeakably close to us.“

Sister Maria Hildegardis strongly believed in this verse, which gave her strength throughout her life.

Mechtild spent her childhood together with her three siblings in nearby Grefrath, where her father was principal of the basic elementary and secondary school. She felt closely connected to her family and she prayed for their intentions all her life.

When our Liebfrauenschule in Mülhausen was reopened after the war, she was among the first students in October 1945 and in 1949, she graduated from there.

As early as 1950 she entered our congregation in Mülhausen. After her first profession, she was sent as an educator to the boarding schools in Mülhausen and Ratingen. Sister was a dedicated educator and later a committed teacher at the basic elementary and secondary school in Rheinbach. She gave up her beloved ministry at the basic elementary and secondary school to teach at our girls’ grammar school St. Joseph (Rheinbach) because there was a shortage of teachers.

In 1976, Sr. M. Hildegardis became ill and was sent to Bad Peterstal for a longer time. There she stayed at the convent of the Vincentian Sisters of Freiburg. About this apparently important time she writes the following, “The school and the young people, who I have loved so dearly and to whom I have dedicated my life up to now, are becoming more and more distant. – Encountering the sick and their needs, I felt new strength and such a firm confidence and joy that I became convinced that my future ministry was here, among the sick.” Sometime later she wrote, “In 1978, my experiences in Bad Peterstal gave me the courage to embark on this path with the permission of my superiors. I returned to my province and on 1st May 1978 (…), and I started my ministry as a chaplain at the university hospitals in Bonn-Venusberg.“ Due to illness, she also had to give up this beloved ministry and in 1995, after short stays in Kempen and Ratingen, she came to Haus Salus. During her first years there, she was still able to spiritually accompany her co-sisters.

Due to organizational circumstances, we celebrated the liturgy of Corpus Christi already the day before. In his homily, Father Quadflieg connected the mystery of this feast with the strophes of the song nr. 414 from our prayer book. In the first stanza it says, “Lord, our Lord, how present you are / and so unspeakably close to us. / You are always caring for us, / in your goodness you shelter us.”

After Holy Mass, Father Quadflieg gave Sr. M. Hildegardis the anointing of the sick. Her niece, who had been informed about the deterioration of Sister’s health, came immediately; she was grateful that she could be present when her aunt went home to God.

Believing in God’s provident care, Sr. M. Hildegardis often expressed her readiness to abandon herself completely to God. She was grateful for visits and assistance; she repeatedly said that she felt “very well looked after in Haus Salus”.

We believe that her life is now completed in God’s loving embrace.