“Be prepared only for hard work”

“Be prepared only for hard work” January 21, 2009

Today marks the birth of Mother Mary Anselma Felber (1843-1883), foundress of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Born Elizabeth Felber, at seventeen she entered the Convent of Perpetual Adoration in Maria Rickenbach, Switzerland. In August 1874 she led a group of sisters to Conception, Missiouri, to help the Benedictine Fathers in ministering to the area’s German population. They taught school and opened an orphanage. They also produced vestments, made altar breads, and operated a printery. In 1882 the Sisters established a new monastery in Clyde, Missouri, complete with farm. Mother mary Anselma wrote a nun back in Switzerland:

Please tell Sister not to expect anything great or beautiful in Conception or America, only to be prepared for work, and that- work of all kind. We have more work than we can manage. Sr. Mary Agnes takes care of the church, altar breads and candles. Since the first day Sr. Mary Augustine had to play the organ. Sr. Mary Adela, for the time being, works in the kitchen. Last summer and into winter there came orders from outside for ten chasubles and other vestments. We all help together in the kitchen, laundry, and garden. It might otherwise become too hard for the one or other.

Poor health and overwork eventually caught up with Mother Mary Anselma, who died in 1883.

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