HISTORY & FOUNDATION

The Congregation of 'Sisters of the Holy Spirit' was founded in Koblenz, Germany on 4th June 1857 by Mother Irmina Hoelscher with the incentive of Fr. Philipp de Lorenzi. On 7th February 1858 the four pioneers made their commitment and received religious names as Anna Maria Hoelscher - Sr. Irmina, Mathilde Jesse - Sr. Anastasia, Anna Hoerter - Sr. Severa, Maria Eichner – Sr. Modesta. Sisters placed their lives and activities under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In 1929, the Holy See raised the congregation to pontifical status during the papacy of Pius IX.

In 1862, the congregation extended its activities by admitting battered women in the convent house itself, as well as giving free tuition for poor students. They began to take care of the aged and sick in the new house1 5, Loehrrondell in 1865. In 1866, the first branch of the congregation was opened in Dudweiler / Saar. They mainly concentrated on the medical apostolate and teaching in industrial schools for the girls. In 1868 the second branch was opened at Saarbruecken. After the Kulturkampf (Culture Struggle) of the Government again allowed the sisters to open new branches and to recruit candidates to the congregation. Mother Elisabeth bought a plot at Moselweiss to start a hospital, a Novitiate and a home for the aged. In 1887 this centre was inaugurated and named as 'Marienhof.

World War II brought destruction and tension to the congregation. In bombing, Marienhof convent and church building were completely destroyed. The Mother House was partially destroyed by fire. 1939 seven convents in Saar were closed down and sisters fled to unknown faraway places as refugees. The congregation lost all the documents regarding the foundation and activities of the pioneers because the archives were burnt down. A great demand was laid on each one to build up the congregation once again.

In 1964 Mother Euthymia and her team decided to extend the mission to India and worked hard for its establishment. Hence in 1973 congregation reached in India to work in Diocese of Chanda and strated the first centre at Warur ' Tera Prem' on 21st January.

On 1st September 2008, Sisters of the Holy Spirit launched its mission activities in Tanzania. Sisters started working with the Congregation of Missionaries of Compassion at Msolwa, Morogoro.

MOTHER ANASTASIA JESSE (1858 – 1860)

Mother Anastasia (Mathilde Jesse) was born in Koblenz as the daughter of Franz Joseph from Saarlouis and Agnes Bornhoches. On 17th February 1859 she made her commitment. As the successor of Mother foundress, she continued the activities of the congregation faithfully. She breathed her last on 13th June, 1860 at the age of 43.

MOTHER ELISABETH WEINGARTEN (1860 – 1891)

Mother Elisabeth was born on February 26, 1829 in Koblenz as the daughter of Peter and Adelheid Weingarten. She joined the convent on March 5, 1858 and made her commitment on October 27, 1859. She was elected to the office of Mother General on 17th July 1860. She completed her office on 10th October 1891. Mother Elisabeth left for eternity on 8th March 1903. She as a Superior General served the congregation for 30 years.

MOTHER AGNES ELLENBERGER (1891 – 1903)

Mother Agnes was born on 16th March 1838 in Wetzlar at Lahn in a strict Protestant family. Karoline embraced the Catholic faith on 17th March 1863. Thus she joined the convent on 19th March 1864. She made her commitment on 12th October 1865. In 1866 she was elected as the General Councilor. She was Novice Mistress from 1868 for 23 years. She often told her novices, "What you are, be whole; what you do, do it wholly". She died on 1st June 1906 and was buried in the city cemetery. On 20th May 1936, when the tombs were opened the mortal remains of Mother Agnes was found surprisingly in good condition. On 18th April 1958, her relics were brought to the Mother House. This coffin is now in the chapel and many people receive favours through her intercession.

MOTHER BRIGITTA KRAEMER (1903 – 1919)

Mother Brigitta, whose maiden name was Anna Kraemer, was born in 1864 in Leubsdorf. She responded to the religious vocation in 1888. She made her commitment in 1893. She was elected to the office as Mother General on October 9, 1903 and faithfully carried out her responsibility for 16 years. Mother Brigitta laid a great emphasis on the professional training of the sisters and led the congregation prudently. She breathed her last on 22nd July 1919.

MOTHER ROSA REITZ (1919 – 1935)

Mother Rosa (Anna Maria Reitz) was born on February 8, 1874 in Ernst, District Cochem. She responded to the religious vocation on November 15, 1893. Mother Rosa took up the responsibility to lead and build up the congregation on 8th September 1919, after World War 1. She continued in the office for 16 years and died on February 15, 1935.

MOTHER CASTORA MESENICH (1935 – 1962)

Mother Castora (Barbara Mesenich) was born on April 2, 1889 in Kaimt/Mosel. Her parents were Nikolaus Mesenich and Susanna Muenster . She joined the convent on September 25, 1911. She made her commitment on 15th March 1920. She rendered her service as superior of the communities at Koblenz and Trier (1926 – 1930) as novice mistress (1931 – 1935) and as assistant Mother General (1962 – 1965). She indeed was the visionary who proposed to reach out the mission of the congregation to other places, especially to India. She died on April 9, 1965.

MOTHER EUTHYMIA ANDRES (1962 –1974)

Mother Euthymia (Elisabeth Andres) was born on 20th June 1904 in Dudweiler as the daughter of Matthias Andres and Maria Dell. She joined the convent on February 15, 1926. She made her final commitment on September 8, 1931. Mother Euthymia rendered her service as superior of the convents Caritas Clinic Saarbruecken (1942 – 1946), Holy Spirit Hospital Saarbruecken (1946 – 1950) and Motherhouse convent (1974 – 1980). She was also Vicarin (Asst. Superior General) of the congregation (1950 – 1962). Mother Euthymia was elected to the office of Superior General on 26th March 1962 and shouldered the responsibility till 1974. She was the visionary of Indian Mission.

MOTHER JULINA KRONZ (1974-1986)

Mother Juliana (Maria Josefa) was born on 29th August 1923 at Fell, Mosel. She joined in the convent on 1st March 1946 and made her commitment on 8th September 1953. From 19986 to 1992 she served the congregation as Vice General. She was elected to the office of Superior General in 1974 and she continued her office till 1986. At present she is residing in Generalate, Marianhof , Koblenz.

MOTHER LEOBA GRAF (1986-1998)

Mother Leoba Graf (Agnes Graf) was born on 24th May 1926 at Limbach, Saarlouis. She joined in the convent in 1950 and made the Final Commitment in 1958. She served the congregation as a Novice Mistress for 17 years and as Vice General for 12 years. On 21st February 1986 she was elected to the office of Superior General. At present she is residing in Generalate, Marianhof, Koblenz.

MOTHER SAPIENTIA de HASQUE(1998-2010)

Mother Sapientia (Marianne de Hasque) was born on 15th June 1936 in Nuendorf, Koblenz. She joined in the convent on 9th July 1958 and made her Final Commitment on 19th March 1966. She served the congregation as a Nurse, as an Administrator and Superior. From 1992 to 1998 she was General Councillor as well as Secretary. She was elected to the office of Superior General on 4th February 1998. At present she is the Superior of Mother House Marianhof, Koblenz.

MOTHER GREGORIA THACHIL(2010 - )

Sr. Gregoria Thachil (Thresiamma Thachil) was born on 27th February 1945 in Kuthiathodu, Kerala, India. She joined in the convent on 16th January 1964. She made her Final Commitment on 8th September 1972. After the training in Nursing & Hospital Administration she returned to India in 1974. She served the congregation as Regional Superior, Vice Provincial, Vice General, Councillor , Superior and Formator. In 2010 she was elected to be the Superior General.