Sister Maria Prudentia

Sister Maria Prudentia              ND 4711                      PDF Download

Gertrud Denter

Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld/Germany

Date and Place of Birth:              18 May 1921    Freusburg/Sieg, Germany
Date and Place of Profession:    13 April 1955    Mülhausen
Date and Place of Death:            02 June 2020    Mülhausen, Haus Salus
Date and Place of Funeral:         08 June 2020    Mülhausen, Convent Cemetery

Sister Maria Prudentia was the seventh of the nine children born to Franz and Emilie Denter. Together with her brothers and sisters, she grew up in a small village at the foot of the Westerwald. She writes, “My parents were poor, my father worked as a miner in an ore mine and besides that the family had a small farm.”

When Gertrud was 7 years old, her father died of an occupational disease so that the family needed every helping hand to survive. Gertrud attended the local basic primary and secondary school. Since she was very talented, she received a scholarship at a private high school for girls where she acquired the intermediate school leaving certificate. Any further school education was not possible because of the family situation as well as the political situation. The family could not afford to pay the school fees nor the travel costs. Gertrud completed a training as an assistant pharmacist and worked in this profession until she entered.

Despite the war and national socialism, she was active in the forbidden catholic youth movement and in the church. In Engers, she came to know the Sisters of Notre Dame and her desire to enter our Congregation grew constantly. However, only at the age of 30 could she realize her wish, after her siblings were able to earn their livelihoods and support the family, which the war and war captivity had made difficult.

On 12th May 1952, she began her religious formation at the then provincial center in Mülhausen. Her superiors quickly recognized her business skills and her interest in administration, which was combined with great maturity and friendliness towards others. Beside her administrative work in different affiliations, she constantly extended her knowledge by reading a lot and by accepting advice and professional help.

In this way she gained comprehensive economic knowledge without any studies. Beside her ministry in administration, she was local superior in Haus Maria Helferin in Nettetal-Leuth for ten years.

From 1981 to 2001, she was provincial treasurer and conducted the economic affairs of the Maria Regina Province Mülhausen with great care, competence, and friendliness. She was always careful to ensure the well-being of the Sisters and to promote the ministries entrusted to the Congregation. Courageous construction projects and renovations but also closures and handovers of houses to other organizations because of decreasing vocations and ageing Sisters marked her daily work. She sought advice and help from competent economists and promoted the ongoing formation of her co-sisters and employees so that she had the support of a well-trained team. She herself was a good teacher.

From 1992 to 2002, she was a member of the provincial government, where she could contribute her good knowledge of human nature and her experiences in administrative affairs.

Sister Maria Prudentia was prayerful, loving, ready to help, and humorous. She drew the strength for her planning work and decisions from silent conversation with God and from life in the community, which she loved and which she actively contributed to build. We remember especially and with great joy her theater performances in the community.

At the age of 90, she decided to move to Haus Salus. She quickly settled in and was thankful for every help. Now she had time and leisure to watch nature. A co-sister faithfully took her daily for a drive in in the garden her wheelchair. She had close contacts to her family and was happy about visits, phone calls, and letters. During the last months, her physical strength declined, but with her strong will she managed to joyfully celebrate her iron jubilee on Easter Monday as well as her 99th birthday.

In the afternoon of 2nd June 2020, God called his faithful administrator to offer her eternal joy after a long and fulfilled life. We will remember Sr. M. Prudentia with joyful gratitude, hoping that she will intercede for us in Heaven.