Sauerkraut Days…in North Dakota or Dillingen, Germany

P1010003Last week, Msgr. Vetter had to miss having Mass for us one of his regularly scheduled days because he was off to Wishek for their “Sauerkraut Days.”  He told me in advance so I was able to find a sub.

I have been involved in sauerkraut-making on a couple occasions.  One was when I served in Rugby and the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) had a lot of leftover cabbage, which ended up at the convent after their fish fry one March.

Another Sister and myself had a fun time chopping up and processing the kraut.  She visited with one of the ladies of the parish as to how to properly jar it, and was told to seal the jars with potatoes.  As the kraut aged, it pushed up a bit on the potatoes.  Oops!  My memory is a bit foggy on all the details, though.

As we worked, we had fun joking about our Sisters back in Germany in 1241, when our Community was founded.  At that time, Count Hartmann IV of Dillingen (the town in Germany) and his son, Hartmann V, Bishop of Augsburg, donated to the Community of Ladies in Dillingen a house near the parish church and with it one lot of land, a cabbage patch and a meadow” where they could live a life of work and prayer.  We joked that they must have made sauerkraut, too, to preserve the cabbage they grew.

A beautiful statement, which I believe sums up our mission, follows in our historical record: “According to the intention of the founders, the Ladies should serve God, their Creator, peacefully, devoutly, and zealously for the benefit of all the faithful, giving praise and honor to the Blessed Trinity.”

The “Community of Ladies” in Dillingen became affiliated with the Franciscan Order about sixty years later.

P1010003The history of the community of Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen is a very interesting one, complete with fire, plague and war.  One of the readers of Our Franciscan Fiat expressed interest in learning more about our history on this blog.  Anyone with similar wishes is encouraged to read an account available online at:

Sr. Christina M. Neumann


4 thoughts on “Sauerkraut Days…in North Dakota or Dillingen, Germany

  1. My refrigerator is never without a jar of sauerkraut.

    Nothing better than kraut to dress up a plain old hot dog. If you like a plain dog with kraut or one, as i do, with kraut, chopped onion, pickle relish and grainy mustard, you can’t go wrong. What a mouth-watering meal is a Reuben or a Rachel made from thinly sliced corned beef and sauerkraut, warm and juicy.

    One of our neighbors in Michigan always had a bowl of kraut curing on her kitchen counter when we went over for a cup of coffee. Mary Twardus was her name and she would also make Bavarian style kraut. Bavarian style is sweeter and many prefer it to the tang of regular kraut. Her method was to add a tablespoon of brown sugar, teaspoon of caraway seeds, half an onion (sliced thin to resemble the cabbage) and half a cup of white wine to two pounds of finished kraut and let cure covered with a towel for another 24 to 48 hours. Mary baked a bread loaf with kraut inside, made kraut & Polish sausage pasties, baked short ribs in kraut and a kraut salad.

    Mary has long-since passed away but I have fond memories of her kitchen.


    • Are you back in town? Making sauerkraut is a fun group project. You cut up cabbage, add salt and mash it. You want to use non-metallic instruments for mashing because of some chemical reaction. I am sure there a re directions available on line I don’t remember the exact procedure or amount of salt to add.

      On Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 8:55 AM, Our Franciscan Fiat wrote:



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