"Divine Providence plays a great role in my life"
Sr Christiane Sartorius OP celebrated her 50 years of religious profession as an Oakford Dominican on Sunday, 11 June 2023.
"With You I storm ramparts, with my God I leap over walls" (Ps 18:30) This Psalm is written on the invitation to her profession anniversary and it says all that Sr Christiane lives.
She was born Elisabeth Christine Sartorius on 6 July 1949 in Ockenheim near Bingen/Rhine. After school, she completed an apprenticeship as a photo lab assistant at the Botanical Institute in Mainz and worked as a photo lab assistant in the library of the University of Mainz.
"It was an inner voice that called me on the path".
In 1967, at the age of 18, Elisabeth Christine Sartorius set out for a life in a religious community. "It was an inner voice that called me on the way. The call of God's infinite love for us human beings," she says. "Divine Providence plays a big role in my life. I have clearly seen God's providence in my life from a very young age."
"God's love for us human beings touched me, occupied me and set me on the path to the community," she says, describing her journey.
In November 1968, she visited the St. Joseph Mission House in Neustadt for the first time and knew immediately: "This is mine!" But at that time, she was not yet ready for the step into the community.
On 2 August 1970 Sr Christiane entered our Congregation in Neustadt
On 2 August 1970 she entered our Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena of Oakford/Natal in Neustadt and found herself an "only child", for it was the time when only a few women chose the path of a religious life.
Elisabeth Christine became Sister Christiane
Sr Christiane was allowed to have a say in her religious name. So, Elisabeth Christine became Sister Christiane, because she added the first letter of her mother's name "Anna" to her religious name. "Then it fitted," says Sr Christiane, who always tried to follow her intuition.
Sr. Christiane worked at the St. Michael Rehab Centre in Neustadt from 1977 to 2004.
After her novitiate (1971 to 1973) she trained as an occupational therapist and worked from 1977 to 2004 at the St. Michael Rehab Centre in Neustadt in occupational therapy. She was also deputy manager of the facility from 1995 to 2004. In addition to her work, she completed training in talk therapy and clinical Gestalt therapy. From August 2004 to December 2010 she worked in the Recollectio House Münsterschwarzach as a therapist and member of the management team.
From 1997 to 2003, Sr Christiane was a provincial councillor of the Dominican Sisters and jointly responsible for the facilities and sisters in Germany.
Since 2011 Sr Christiane has been a Congregation Councillor with responsibility for Germany.
In January 2011 she was elected Congregation Councillor with responsibility for Germany, an office she still holds today. One of her major tasks was and is to lead the community of the Oakford Dominican Sisters, especially in Germany, into the future.
"Since the beginning of 2011 we have been looking at the development of our communities and have been discerning our path into the future" says Sr Christiane. "On this journey, we have always noticed that God is at our side. We had help and support from outside, had trustworthy advisers who accompanied us and who accompanied us on the necessary steps."
Together with the sisters, Sr Christiane is on her way
Together with the Sisters, Sr Christiane will continue the journey into the future, always aware that God is with her and walking with her. "The experience of God's providence from an early age is something that guides me to this day."
Sr Christiane celebrated her golden jubilee of profession together with her fellow sisters, her brother and nephew and family in the Senior Citizen’s Residence in Kist. The thanksgiving service was led by Father Udo Küpper OSB from Münsterschwarzach.
Sr Dagmar welcomed the guests and paid tribute to the jubilarian. Both Sr. Dagmar and Fr. Udo spoke about the theme of the invitation: "With him I conquer walls, with my God I leap over walls" Psalm.
Very special table arrangements for the jubilarian
The table arrangements created by Sr. Christiane's niece, a florist by profession, especially for her aunt on her jubilee were also personal and special. Unfortunately, her niece could not attend the celebration herself, but sent this special floral greeting.
Text Martina Schneider
Photos Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP and Irene Schneider
Translation Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP