“If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the Cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints. And your name, written in the Book of Life, will be glorious among men.”
St. Clare of Assisi
Words cannot describe the excitement and emotion we felt on the news of Sister Wilhelmina’s exhumation and apparent incorruption!
We were told while attending a Baptism at our parish in Maple Hill, KS ~ a mere 2 hour jaunt from the convent…and many of us were overcome with emotion.
Sister Wilhelmina and the Benedictines of Mary hold a very special place in our hearts. It is the Order that Rosie joined in 2018. She didn’t stay there long as she became ill but the nuns left a remarkable impression on all of us. They are a dedicated and saintly group of women and I will always hold a particular respect and love in my heart for what they did for Rosie.
In the brief time Rosie was with the sisters, she learned of Sister Wilhelmina and experienced her presence in short intervals as Sister was elderly and needed much care. She did not take part in many of the activities of the convent.
Rosie told us of the time when Sister Wilhelmina came to recreation. The kindly sisters wheeled her to the center of the room and all gathered around her, with two sisters sitting at her feet, resting their heads on her knees. All eyes were fixed on Sister as she told them stories… Sr. Wilhelmina seemed to soak in and relish the time with her beloved community.
She also remembered that the sisters would fondly call Sister “their saint” and Rosie, in hindsight, is honored by the fact that both she and Sister Wilhelmina were wheeled up to the Communion Rail together in their wheelchairs, side by side.
One story that particularly stuck in our minds, and of which Rosie was witness to, is of when Sister was transferred from her wheelchair into her bed. This movement would frighten Sister because she no longer had good balance and she would feel like she was falling. So… as two sisters would secure her under her arms, they would start singing one of Sister’s favorite folk songs with much gusto. Sister Wilhelmina would join in on the song at the top of her voice knowing all along that the sisters were doing their best to distract her from her fears, so she would not focus on the “trip” to her bed. Sister Wilhelmina would continue to finish the song as cheerfully as ever, even after being safely transferred to her bed…
Such love the sisters showed toward her! After all, she was “their saint”. And what joy Sister Wilhelmina always carried with her!
After we heard of the possible incorruptibility of Sister Wilhelmina we decided we would go as soon as we could to venerate her. We were inclined to believe that this could get big…and we wanted our chance to visit and touch our rosaries, etc. to her!
Here are some photos of that visit:
From the book written about Sister Wilhelmina, GOD’S WILL:
As a novice, Sister Mary Wilhelmina eagerly studied the rule and history of her community. She developed a deep and trusting abandonment to Divine Providence. As an old nun, she would walk the halls of the convent, beating time with her cane and chanting her “Marching Song”:
God’s will, God’s will,
God’s will be done!
Praise be the Father!
Praise be the Son!
Praise be Divine Love,
Lord, Holy Ghost!
Praise be in union
With the Heavenly Host!
We are all wending our way through the book.
As you learn in her biography, Sister was an advocate for the traditional habit and the traditional Mass.
Sister, along with our other special intercessors from the past, is our go-to now for these very issues and all the issues that rock our Church today. We pray to her that modernism be overcome within the Ark of Peter!
We know the gates of hell will not prevail. But we need Sister’s powerful intercession for Reverence in the Liturgy, Communion kneeling and on the tongue and for all of the Holy Traditions and Customs of many centuries to be restored! These traditions that need to, once again, penetrate every aspect of our Catholic faith.
Sister, Wilhelmina, pray for us!
The CNA article about the procession is here.
Catholic News Agency Article is here.
The Sisters have written a biography of Sr. Wilhelmina. It is a beautiful book…much history and beautiful photos with vibrant colors! Sister Wilhelmina’s thoughtful and prayerful poems are scattered throughout the book. So much worth the read! You can purchase it here.
If you would like to support the Sisters, you can donate here.
The Christian family will not be restored, nor will it be maintained, without the restoration and the maintenance of Christian practices—the noblest practices surely, and the most obligatory, but likewise the most insignificant in appearance. – Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., Christ in the Home
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Chaplet of the Holy Face ~ Wire-Wrapped, Beautiful and Durable! ~ Prayer Card and Chaplet
In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own “resurrection”—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.
Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him…..
Captured by a Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy,” Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Only through an utter reliance on God’s will did he manage to endure the extreme hardship. He tells of the courage he found in prayer–a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him. Ciszek learns to accept the inhuman work in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God. And through that experience, he was able to turn the adverse forces of circumstance into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit.
He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God–even in their darkest hour. As the author asks, “What can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will?”
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