Sister Maria Konrade

KonradeSm_w300SISTER MARIA KONRADE           ND 3386                  ⇒PDF Download

Sophie GROß

Maria Regina Province Coesfeld / Germany

Date and Place of Birth: May 15, 1912 Pillnach / Bavaria, Germany
Date and Place of Profession: March 25, 1936 Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death: October 08, 2013 Mülhausen
Date and Place of Funeral: October 11, 2013 Mülhausen

Sister Maria Konrade, Sophie Groß, was the youngest of the five children of the farmer Franz Xaver and his wife Therese. She attended the basic primary and secondary school for seven years and continued for one year – as it was then usual in her native country – at the formation school where the students were only taught on Sundays so that they could help on their parental farms on weekdays. Sister Maria Konrade described her childhood as a happy time in the bosom of her family, but she also mentioned the hard and poor life on a farm in the mountains of the Upper Palatinate.

Realizing that Sophie loved studying, a priest saw to it that she was sent to the school for aspirants in Mülhausen in 1926 where she was prepared by private tuition for the so-called Obertertia at the high school for young women. After graduating, she went to college to become a kindergarten teacher. She passed her exam in 1933. On September 6 of the same year, Sophie entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mülhausen.

For 41 years, Sister Maria Konrade worked as a nursery-school teacher in different nursery-schools in Westphalia, in the Ruhr Area, and on the Lower Rhine. Sometimes she was the superior of the respective community at the same time. In 1977, she stopped working with the children and did different services in the community or looked after guests. It was a special gift for her that she could return to her beloved Bavaria from 1981 to 1988 to help in the guesthouse St. Josef in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where she loved climbing the mountains of the Alps in her free time. She spent the last 18 years of her long life in Haus Salus in Mülhausen, enjoying her retirement. Now, at the advanced age of 101 years, God has called her into his eternal peace.

Sister Maria Konrade was a happy and communicative person. We loved listening to her when she talked about her first years in Mülhausen where everything was new to her: the flat countryside, the language of the Lower Rhine area, the strange food, and many other things. She did not understand the people, others did not understand her and, on top of that, she was homesick for the mountains and for her family. But her strong will and her joy of life gained the upper hand. Moreover, she knew already at an early age that she wanted to become a Sister of Notre Dame.

Children, parents and colleagues loved her because of her straight forwardness, her understanding and her cheerful nature. She consequently pursued her plans and her way for the benefit of the people entrusted to her. Even at her advanced age, Sister Maria Konrade showed great interest in the events of public life, in the surroundings of Haus Salus, the convent and the school. She maintained close contact to her relatives. When she was no longer able to write herself, she found some co-sisters who did this service for her.

She planned the celebration of her 100th birthday and invited the guests. She could hardly wait for the day to come, enjoying the great number of well-wishers and the many extra joys, especially the visit of a grand-niece with her son who had come all the way from Bavaria. Another highlight of the day was a waltz with her doctor, Dr. Retzer, who whirled her around in her wheelchair, dancing a waltz with her in the cafeteria. For a long time she enjoyed remembering this feast by showing the pictures and having the congratulatory messages read to her. Until a few days ago, she was taken outside when the weather allowed it and she realized every little change in nature.

We thank God for our co-sister Maria Konrade, who was richly blessed by God and who readily shared her gifts of faith, steadfastness, attentiveness and good humor.