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Apostolic Movement

Sister M. Emilie: Listening to People and to God

By: Sr. Therese-Marie Mayer

I pray for you, always!

I have always been impressed to hear what Sister M. Emilie was like. When I was asked to write about her, I was fortunate to be able to interview people who had met Sister M. Emilie in person.  It was not always the big encounters with Sister M. Emilie, but the many small testimonies that had one thing in common: Whoever came to Providentia House would first look for the way up the stairs to Sister M. Emilie’s room.  Someone put it this way, “No matter what she was working on at the time, she always had time.” – Yes, Sister M. Emilie was always attentive to the people who came to her. And not only that, but she also kept these people in her heart, she was genuinely interested in them.  Even weeks later, she would ask how things were going in this or that “issue”, and what progress had been made. One of her sisters narrates one of her last meetings with Sister M. Emilie, when she could hardly speak: “Her last words were: ‘I pray for you! Always! Do you hear, always!”

Going up the stairs…(Foto: Mayer)

Daughter of Providence to the core

Sister M. Emilie had a “direct hotline” all the way to the top. She brought before God her concerns and worries about the people entrusted to her and then listened to how HE answered her.  She was a child of providence. This can only be the case for those who have an ear open to people and to God. M. Emilie was a child of Providence to the core!  Hence one can also understand her reaction when Father Kentenich told her that he wanted to give her the leadership of the Western Province of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary: ” So it must be a Providentia Province!”.

The term providence refers to the loving power of God that guides the destiny of human beings and the course of world history. Sister M. Emilie was firmly convinced of this: God holds our lives in his hands, and in his love he arranges everything for our good.

Sister M. Emilie was not one to make quick, rash decisions. She first wanted to listen to what God was telling her. She evaluated what people told her, asked what God’s will was, and then made her decisions.

When Sister M. Emilie became ill at a very young age and had to undergo surgery, she had a hard time with the fact that the doctor she knew could not operate on her. After a brief struggle, it became clear to her: “If I no longer receive any human support, if I forego everything, then I am entirely a child of Providence.”


The door to Sister Emilie’s office was open to everyone at all times… (Foto: Mayer)

From Father Kentenich she learned this absolute trust in Divine Providence!



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