Sister Mary Cordula

I was born and raised in a little village near Cloppenburg, Germany in the diocese of Münster. I was the second youngest in a family of eight children. As a baby I was once near the point of death, and all hope was given up, but God had other plans in store for me. At an early age I felt drawn to the religious life but was not sure how to answer God's call. Not knowing about cloistered religious, my attention was drawn to active religious. As I grew older two strong desires were constantly before me: a love of our Eucharistic Lord and a love for our Blessed Mother. My first inkling of a contemplative vocation came when I was 21 and one of my classmates entered the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters in Bad Driburg.

Like my sisters I spent a year learning cooking and housekeeping. During this time I prayed to our Blessed Mother to help me in my search for God's will regarding a religious vocation. Afterwards I spent a year at home with my family. Then one day, while paging through the Stadt Gottes (the mission magazine of the Divine Word Missionaries), everything became clear when my eyes fell upon a photo of two Sisters kneeling in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance. I could not withdraw my gaze for a long time. I t seemed to me that the Holy Spirit was calling for an immediate response. This is what I so longed for. After speaking with my priestly uncle I was completely at peace. No further search was necessary. When I visited my classmate again at the Blessed Trinity Convent in Bad Driburg, I was confirmed in my desire to enter there.

It was a sacrifice for my dear parents to permit me to leave the family since I was the first one to break the closely-knit home ties. But God's will was their will and they made no objection whatever and helped me to prepare for my entrance. At the age of 23, on June 5, 1952 (the feast of the great apostle and martyr of Germany, St. Boniface), I entered the cloister. My parents and my sisters accompanied me and later told me that they were proud that God had chosen one of our family to become a religious.

The prayerful and quiet atmosphere of my new home satisfied my every longing. I was blissfully happy for three weeks (as only a postulant can be) when a severe case of homesickness set in. My wise superior refused to give me the train fare home! Before long the homesickness vanished and I have been thanking God ever since for his gift of a contemplative vocation. At the completion of the postulancy I received the rose-colored habit, white scapular and veil, and the name of Sister Mary Cordula in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. My two-year novitiate was spent at our motherhouse in Steyl, Holland. It was a privilege to spend this time at the birthplace of our Congregation.

A week after my first profession of vows I received my first appointment for the United States. In January 1956 I left my dear homeland to travel to our Convent of Divine Love in Philadelphia. After a little more than two years, I was appointed one of the pioneers to begin an adoration chapel and convent in Austin, Texas. I remained there for eleven years and was employed in the kitchen, laundry, ironing, and host baking assignments. Again, in 1969, I followed the Lord's call to leave everything and come here to Mount Grace Convent. For my Silver Jubilee in 1980, two of my sisters were able to come from Germany to Saint Louis.

For over fifty years now God has given me the strength to accept the sacrifices that his call to the religious life entails, and given me the joy of carrying the cross that goes with this choice. My response to God's call has led me into this religious community and to an encounter with others who have also heard this call and seek to respond to it.

Return to Top