Connecting through the Years


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Sister Angela Marie Salazar from the Chardon Province is one of the young religious participating in the Vatican event in Rome. While at the Motherhouse the participants have been sharing some of their respective cultures through songs during the liturgy.

Angela, being the only participant from the U.S. was thinking of ways she could contribute. She is an accomplished violinist, having studied the violin in college and now serving as a music therapist. A violin was found in the choir loft and shared with Angela. The violin is marked “Friedrich Bangerius, Master Violinist. Budapest, Hungary 1785”. Inside the case was this note, “This violin belongs to the Motherhouse. It was used by Sr. Maria Bonaventura.” Angela together with Sister Elizabeth Wood, the archivist from Chardon who was still in Rome helping in the archives, looked up more on Mother Maria Bonaventura (Antonie Feldmann) ND 1036 and found Mother Mary Vera’s 45 page obituary of Mother Bonaventura. They noted the following, “Antonchen (Little Antonie) inherited a very precious violin which had been in the family for over 200 years. She acquired considerable skill in playing the violin.”

Mother Maria Bonaventura was the first “Mother Vicar” in the Congregation under Reverend Mother Mary Antonie and Reverend Mother Mary Vera as well as the first sister to be buried in the Motherhouse mausoleum in 1958. Mother Maria Bonaventura served the Congregation as Mother Vicar in some of its most critical years – during Reverend Mother Antonie’s exile in Brazil and World War II with its aftermath.

As one reads her life, it becomes very clear that Mother Maria Bonaventura gave her all to God and to the Congregation. She played the strings that compose her life as she did the strings on her violin, with skill, grace, and love. Her story plays on in the lives of the next generation of Sister of Notre Dame.

On the morning of September 15, 2015, Mother Maria Bonaventura’s violin once more “sang” in the Motherhouse. During the liturgy the violin of 1785 was played by a sister from the U.S. accompanied by a sister from Korea. Sister Maria Bonaventura was smiling as we were once more connected to one another through music.