Celebrating the Feast Day of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel
Blessed Maria Theresia was born in Olpe, Germany on September 17, 1830. As a child she strove to serve God in her vocation; her calling. Although she met with many challenges to find her place in religious life, she did not give up hope. She and a small group of dedicated young women began the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in 1863.
Blessed Maria Theresia had not originally intended to extend her ministry beyond the boundaries of Germany. However, under prevailing adverse political conditions, America offered the sought for refuge for the community. Blessed Maria Theresia accompanied a group of six Sisters to the ship, which set sail from Rotterdam, Holland. No account of the details of the voyage was kept by the Sisters. Six sisters arrived in New York on December 12, 1875, and the following day traveled to Lafayette by train. Within three weeks of arrival they started St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Lafayette, Indiana.
The Church has assigned February 9 as her Feast Day.
Our Mother Foundress followed her call in both the teaching and the healing ministries. The Sisters of St. Francis have served in many states across the country. At one time we extended from New York to New Mexico, from Michigan to Louisiana. We answered the call to serve.
On behalf of all the sisters, we want to thank you for being part of our ministry and sharing your talents with us. Together as one, we "Continue Christ's Ministry in our Franciscan Tradition."
By Franciscan Health Spiritual Care