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Sr M. Theresita Wanitschek OP celebrated her 90th birthday

The jubilarian: Sr Theresita celebrated her 90th birthday

Sr Theresita with friends and family

Cheers: Among her fellow Sisters and former co-workers

Congratulations by a fellow resident who celebrated her 88th birthday on the same day

Sr Theresita and the mayor of Kist Volker Faulhaber

Sr Theresita with the congratulatory certificate of the municipality of Kist

Sr Theresita Wanitschek celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday, 3 April 2023, together with her fellow sisters, friends and family in the Senior Citizens Residence Kist. She has been living there with the community of sisters since the beginning of the year. The jubilarian is in good health and has already settled in well in Kist.

Friends from home came to celebrate her birthday

Two of Sr Theresita's cousins, as well as a friend and good acquaintance from her hometown in the Adler Mountains also attended the birthday party in the hall of the Senior Citizens Residence Kist. Of course, former staff members from Neustadt also came to Kist to congratulate the jubilarian and to spend a few enjoyable hours with her.

Mayor Volker Faulhaber conveyed the congratulations of the municipality of Kist

Already on the morning of her birthday the mayor of Kist Volker Faulhaber had conveyed the congratulations of the municipality to Sr. Theresita and had chatted with her and the sisters as new members of the community. Of course, some residents of the retirement home also visited the jubilarian to congratulate her personally.

The Sisters celebrated Holy Mass with Father Anselm Kraus

On Tuesday, 4 April 2023, the Sisters then celebrated a Holy Mass in thanksgiving with Father Anselm Kraus OFMConv from the Schönau Monastery. This rounded off the celebrations for Sr Theresita's 90th birthday.

Sr. Theresita was born on 3 April 1933 in Wichstadtl in the Eagle Mountains in Eastern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and had to leave home and house with her mother within half an hour on 2 June 1945 when she was only twelve years old. "We wandered for six weeks through a Germany that had been shot to pieces by the war," she recounts. From the Spreewald in Berlin via Saxony, they landed in what was then the East Zone, near Bad Schmiedeberg, and "from there we crossed the barbed wire at night into the West". Near Bad Neustadt/Saale, the small family reunited with their father, who had returned home from the war in the meantime.

Sr. Theresita worked for many years in the mission in Swaziland

On 1 August 1952, Sr Theresita entered the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Oakford, Natal, at the “St. Josef’s Mission House” in Neustadt am Main. After the novitiate she trained as an educator. In August 1957, she was sent to Swaziland by the leadership of the Order. In Durban, South Africa, she studied to become a primary and secondary school teacher and taught mathematics and creative arts at the “St. Theresa's School”  in Manzini/Swaziland, a primary and secondary school run by the Congregation at that time with about 900 pupils.

Back in Germany she administered, among other things, the provincial archives of the Congregation

In 1981 Sr Theresita returned to Germany and took on other tasks. She worked in the St. Michael rehabilitation centre and from 1989 in the provincial administration of the Dominican Sisters in Neustadt. For just as long, she looked after and administered the provincial archives of the congregation and - until her departure from Neustadt - guided interested people through the history of the parish church in Neustadt am Main.

In 2018 Sr Theresita received the Golden Badge of Honour of the Association Heimatlandschaft Adlergebirge”

For her meritorious work since 2006 as a local representative for the “Association Heimatlandschaft Adlergebirge”, she was awarded the Golden Badge of Honour of the Eagle Mountains 2018 by the responsible persons of the Association.

Text: Martina Schneider and Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP
Photos: Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP
Translation: Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP