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"We will miss you very much!"

The Dominican Sisters of Neustadt leave their Mission House St. Josef in Neustadt and find new home in Kist Senior Citizens' Residence

On Monday, January 9, 2023, things got serious. At 7:30 a.m. sharp, the two large moving vans rolled into the monastery courtyard. Employees of the moving company loaded the Sisters' furniture into the trucks. Two hours later, the movers set off in the direction of Kist Senior Citizens' Residence, the future new home of the Neustadt Dominican Sisters.

A last service in the chapel of the St. Josef convent

Meanwhile, at the St. Josef Mission House in Neustadt, the Sisters celebrated one last Mass together in their convent chapel. But the farewell to the convent came inexorably closer at 12:30 p.m. the bus started to take the Sisters to Kist.

Before that, there was still a lot to do. Sr. Marie-Lu loaded her car with her last belongings. Other cars of Sisters were also loaded, and Sr. Liboria's cross found a place there - lovingly and safely packed - on the back seat. Next to them came a stack of folders with all the important medical documents of the Sisters that the staff at the Kist Senior Citizens' Residence will need in the future. Conny Maier, the head of the nursing service, handed over the care of the Sisters to the specialized staff of the Kist Senior Citizens' Residence, where the Dominican Sisters have now found a home.

Care and nursing of the Sisters trustfully handed over to other hands

Everyone is involved in the move, nothing important must be forgotten - especially nothing that the Sisters need immediately in terms of medical care. In the corridor, the rollators are already ready for departure, neatly labeled with the names of the Sisters and partly also well packed with bags and sacks.

Next to them on a pile are chairs, a table, a washing machine, small shelves and a clothes horse - and lots of flowers. All this is stored in transported to Kist in the coming days. After that, the monastery will be empty for the time being. The housekeeping staff will clear the ship, and then their work in the monastery will be over. The administration of the Franconian Province of the Dominican Sisters will remain in Neustadt for the time being.

Meanwhile, Sr. Thelma and Sr. Antonia sit together in the dining room, sad to say goodbye but also joyful about the new things that await them in Kist. The two entered the Dominican Order together more than six decades ago in the Mission House of St. Joseph in Neustadt, where they also completed their novitiate. Then they parted ways, they say. "Now we are together again and spending our last time together," Sr. Thelma says joyfully, and Sr. Antonia nods.

"I looked forward every day to coming here to the convent."

For Andrea Pfeuffer, saying goodbye is very difficult. "The Sisters are very special people, they were very important to me I will miss them very much," tears run down her cheeks as she recounts. The Neustadt resident, who has worked at the convent since 2018, understands the step the Dominican Sisters have had to take, but she is very sad that the Sisters are now leaving. "I was happy every day when I came here to the convent."

For Conny Maier, too, everything still feels "very unreal" right now. At the moment, all the employees are still busy and have little time to think about the fact that the Sisters are no longer in the convent. "We will only really realize this when we come to the convent tomorrow and no one is there anymore," she says. "We will miss our Sisters very much."

Neustadters and Erlachers came to say goodbye in person

On Monday, Neustadters and Erlachers also came to say goodbye in person, to give their Sisters another big hug take. Many have tears in their eyes. "We will visit you in Kist," they promise, and they will certainly keep their promise.

But it is no longer like it used to be in Neustadt, when the Sisters occupied the first two pews in the time-honored abbey church. We will all miss them - not only at the service!

"Wonderfully protected by good powers,
we confidently await what may come.
God is with us in the evening and in the morning
and certainly on every new day."

 

Text and photos Martina Schneider