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Celebrating 480 years of life

Sr Alexandra Beck (SA), Sr Anneliese Schäpers (SA), Sr Ursula Bomholt and Sr Gisela Wittershagen.

The jubilarians: Sr Marie-Luise Faupel (75), Sr Melanie Lehn (85), Sr Gisela Wittershagen (85), Sr Ursula Bomhoolt (80), Sr Christiane Sartorius (70) and Sr Arnolda Surmann (85).

In the days when "Corona" was not yet the dominant topic, we enjoyed a convent family feast to celebrate a number of special birthdays of our sisters. . In September 2019, it was still possible to have a carefree and happy celebration, without social distancing and face masks, which is unthinkable today.

Sr. Anneliese and Sr. Alexandra - who live in South Africa - were on home leave in Germany at the time and took the opportunity to visit us in Neustadt and to celebrate the birthdays with us.

The four sisters, Sr. Alexandra Beck, Sr. Anneliese Schäpers, Sr. Ursula Bomholt and Sr. Gisela Wittershagen, have known one another for a long time and have become friends. As young religious women, they had been sent to California at different times. There they experienced the challenges of new beginnings and of being part of the setup of our senior citizens' home "Villa Siena" in Mountainview. This has strengthened their friendship to this day, even if, in the meantime, they are on different paths on their life's journeys.  

Sr.  Alexandra currently lives in Pietermaritzburg. For most of her life she worked in administration. Sr. Anneliese worked as a parish officer in socially disadvantaged areas in a parish in Durban, South Africa. Sr. Gisela returned to Germany after her tenure as Congregational Prioress and some time in the USA, was Prioress in Dießen and, since the beginning of September 2019, has been living in Neustadt, Germany, in active retirement.

Sr. Ursula was assigned to various apostolates and areas of responsibility in the Congregation, both in America and in South Africa. Sr. Ursula returned to Germany in 2009 and worked in the pastoral care of the elderly in Bad Brückenau. From  2011-2017 she was Prioress in Neustadt. From 2017-2019 she was active in the pastoral care of the elderly and in hospice work in Flörsheim. She is currently spending her active  retirement in Lohr.

Our photos show the jubilarians and our visitors from South Africa. Since the photos were taken in the autumn of 2019, no facemasks and no social distancing were necessary at that time.