Every year, on their anniversary of death, we remember our deceased sisters in prayer. At our provincial house in Hankinson, we have our book of obituaries set open to the page for the Sister being remembered. In our local convents, we pray for the Sister by name in the intercessions during the Liturgy of the Hours.
On Saturday, May 23rd, we will be remembering our dear Sister Konradine, as she died on that date in 2006. About a year before she died, I had the opportunity to interview Sister about her life in our community. I found that she had been received as a novice in Germany in 1928 and made her final vows in 1932 (the same year as she crossed the Atlantic). In Germany, Sr. Konradine did housework also, serving boys who were students and/or workers.
Sr. Konradine spent fourteen years at Niagara Falls serving the Carmelite fathers; she worked in the dining room, kitchen, and sometimes laundry, although she was not so familiar with the language at first. Of Niagara Falls, Sister remembered that they would put the food for the priests in an elevator as they were not allowed to go in the dining room when the priests and clerics were in there. They also washed all the dishes.
After the years in Niagara Falls, Canada, Sister was asked to go to Hankinson where she helped again in the kitchen/dining room. The work in Hankinson was not easy; she had to take over a good part of the work for a sister in the kitchen who was sickly.
Sr. Konradine remembered: “we had to do a lot of canning and freezing because we had a big garden.” Of those early years, she also recalled: “…we got up early. Then you go the regular way. Say your prayers first as good as possible. And then you go to your work in the dining room or kitchen and then you have to be there at Mass. So you have arrange everything [all your work]. Because you want to go to Mass. Then breakfast…” She also served in Grand Forks for a time. She is well-remembered here at St. Anne’s for the many years she spent here.
Sister actually had triple citizenship: German, American and Canadian! In the interview, Sr. Konradine was very matter-of-fact, stating: “There was nothing special….if they said, do it, you did it.” Her attitude reminds me of Mary’s response to the Angel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word.” We are most grateful for Sister Konradine’s Fiat