Sr. M. Adelrita:
still active at 90 years old
as embroidery teacher
On May 6th Sister M. Adelrita Weiss celebrated her 90th birthday. She has been a member of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary community for 67 years, and from the very beginning she chose to be part of the Sisters' Adoration Community. From 1959 to 1965 she was trained in graphic arts, embroidery and weaving, and has been working since then as a teacher in the paraments workshop of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. www.schoenstatt.de took the opportunity to ask her some questions about her career and her work.
Heinrich Brehm - 26 May 2021
Sr. M. Adelrita, on May 6th you turned 90 and you keep working as embroidery teacher at the Adoration Sisters’ paraments workshop. What was your initial motivation to become part of Schoenstatt?
I came to Schoenstatt by bus as part of a pilgrimage when I was 20 years old, on April 28, 1951. As soon as I saw the image of the Blessed Virgin in the small chapel and the open tabernacle, I knew: “This is where I must be!” I returned as part of another pilgrimage in 1952 and applied to become an Adoration Sister.
How did you become an embroidery teacher?
I started in 1954 and, after the initial period, I worked in what the Sisters of Adoration call their “whites sewing room”. Then they wanted to expand their paraments workshop. So, in 1959, I started training in graphic arts, embroidery and weaving with an artist from Augsburg. I needed a lot of courage to do this since I had no previous formation in this field. In 1965 I returned home with my diploma as master artisan .
What do you like about your job?
First and foremost, I am an Adoration Sister. The hours spent in front of the tabernacle, day and night, are precious to me, and the Liturgy of the Hours forms part of these. I always pray for ideas for my designs and that I may realize my embroideries. I offer my prayers and my work for Schoenstatt’s mission, for the Church and for the world.
You designed the written script on the rug that lies where Father Kentenich passed away: Our Path leads toward the Father. What technique did you use?
These writings are woven in a very old style that is quite unknown nowadays. I have woven these ribbons in many sizes and many languages, and I have also woven stoles and cingulums using this technique.
What is your latest work?
A stole whose main motifs were John the Baptist and a scene from the Annunciation, and then a primitive vestment. These, as most orders, are designed according to the desired symbols.
What is your greatest motivation?
I am deeply grateful to have known Schoenstatt and its mission and for having met Father Kentenich, first through stories told about him by other sisters and then through personal encounters with him between 1965 and 1968. I trust and I pray for a future where more young women are called to join our adoration duties.