Memories of St. Annathal Convent in Coesfeld

Posted on: September 29, 2017 4:00 pm
Tags: Archives, Did you know,

St. Annathal Convent, Coesfeld, Germany

by Sr. Mary Jessica (Chardon Province)

On October 1, 1850, which we celebrate as Foundation Day today, Hilligonde Wolbring and Elisabeth Kühling began their canonical novitiate as Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Annathal Convent in Coesfeld, Germany.

When the Diocese of Münster bought the property for us in 1850, it was in a very rundown condition. Over the years we cared for it and turned it into the beautiful home the sisters always loved and remembered. Before her death in 1942, Sister Mary Aloys Westoff (ND 329) wrote down her memories from the time she was a boarder at the “dear Motherhouse.”

“The convent as well as the surroundings were very beautiful. In front of the
house was a large lawn with bushes, flowers, etc. From the hill in the center of
the yard, we could overlook the city of Coesfeld. In the greenhouse the most
beautiful flowers were raised, used to decorate the altars in the convent church.

“. . . one part of the yard was used for enjoyments. It was very interesting to
watch the sisters in the swing, built in the form of a boat, where they were trying
to find out if they would become seasick on their journey to America. The merry-
go-round received many a push from the boarders, especially during the last
weeks of their stay.

“ July, 1877, one hundred thirty boarders departed from the dear
unforgettable convent home at Coesfeld.”

More than a dozen of these boarders later entered the Sisters of Notre Dame and some of these brought their memories of Coesfeld with them to America.

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