Praise and Glory to God
Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
Our Beloved Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
has been declared BLESSED by
on this day
MARCH 27, 2013.
REJOICE WITH US,
YOUR SISTERS OF SAINT FRANCIS
OF PERPETUAL ADORATION
Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
in 1863, in Olpe, Germany.
Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration at Mount St. Francis rang the church bells in Jubilation when they heard the news that Venerable Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel had been declared Blessed.
A Vatican spokesman announced (yesterday) that the third step in the four-step process of canonization has been accomplished. A proclamation conferring the title of Blessed to Maria Theresia Bonzel was signed by Pope Francis on March 27, 2013
Mother Maria Theresia founded the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Olpe, Germany in 1863. 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Congregation’s founding. Colorado Springs, Colorado is one of four Provinces of the Sisters of St. Francis with others in Mishawaka, Indiana; Olpe, Germany and BayBay, Leyete, in the Philippines. There is a mission in Brazil and the Generalate is in Olpe, Germany.
Although Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel died on February 6, 1905, still, her work continues. The Sisters of St. Francis of Colorado Springs continue to serve God’s people, the poor and vulnerable in Colorado. Partnering with the laity and with other religious communities, the Sisters’ ministries embody the Franciscan Core Values of sacredness of persons, care of the poor, joyful service, partnership, stewardship and holism.
All of these services spring from the vision and courage of the first, and founding Sister of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel.
Along with various events celebrating the 150th of the Congregation, the Sisters will now add other jubilant festivities to commemorate this momentous year.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration at Mount Saint Francis were delighted to learn that Pope Francis declared that henceforth the foundress of their Congregation, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, will be invoked as Blessed.
The officially recognized miracle attributed to Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel’s intercession occurred in February 1999. On January 26, 1999, Jan Burgie called Mount St. Francis and asked for prayers for her then 4 year-old son, Luke, who was suffering from an undiagnosed case of severe/chronic diarrhea since September 1998 and was scheduled for a CAT scan at Children’s Hospital in Denver, CO. Sr. Margaret Mary Preister sent Jan Burgie several prayer cards of Mother Maria Theresia and she herself and Sr. Evangeline Spenner prayed it every morning for Luke’s recovery.
On February 22, 1999, Luke was suddenly healed; he had no diarrhea for the first time since September 4, 1998 and “he just got up from the couch and began playing like a normal happy kid,” his mother said. At that time Luke just said, “Jesus healed me.”
When the then Superior General, Sr. Mediatrix Nies, Olpe, Germany, was told of this possible miracle, she petitioned Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, Postulator and Vatican Attorney, in Rome to consider it as “the” miracle necessary for Beatification, a process begun in 1961.
An essential part of the Beatification process was the tribunal hearing of the possible miracle held in the Diocesan office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on February 2, 2001, and concluding the afternoon of February 27, 2001 with the final documents sealed with wax by Bishop Richard Hanifen.
In accord with the request of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican in Rome, Luke Burgie had many doctor appointments from July 13, 2009 until September 23, 2011. Tests and more tests done in both Colorado Springs and Denver Children’s Hospital proved he was still healthy.
On January 15, 2013, the Commission of Cardinals unanimously agreed to this miracle of Luke’s healing for the Beatification of Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Olpe, Germany, are ministering in four Provinces: Olpe, Germany; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Mishawaka, Indiana; Baybay, Leyte in the Philippines; and several convents in São Luis, Maranhao, Brazil.
November 10, 2013
Beatification of Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
The Beatification of Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, which was declared by Pope Francis on March 27, 2013, was publicly celebrated in the Great Cathedral in Paderborn on November 10, 2013.
The Congregation’s motherhouse is in Olpe, Germany, with provincial houses in Olpe, Germany; Mishawaka, Indiana; Colorado Springs, CO; Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines and a mission house in Brazil. The cathedral was filled with about 200 Sisters representing the various provinces and Brazilian mission as well as hundreds of laity and clergy. Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, was the principal celebrant at the Pontifical Mass which officially accepted Maria Theresia Bonzel OSF into the circle of the blessed of the Catholic Church.
The act of beatification took place after the Introductory Rite of the Mass. Archbishop Hans Josef Becker and the general postulator (lawyer) of the beatification process, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, approached Cardinal Amato and asked for the beatification of Mother Maria Theresia.Sister Mediatrix Nies OSF then gave an overview of the life of the newly Blessed and Cardinal Amato proclaimed the papal decree of beatification.
At its conclusion, the decree of beatification was enthusiastically affirmed with the congregation applauding and singing a solemn “Amen” with the choir, as a new portrait of Blessed Maria Theresia was unveiled in the sanctuary. “This moment of unveiling was a deeply moving experience for us all.” said Sister Clarice Gentrup of the Colorado Springs Province, currently serving on the General Council of the Congregation.
Cardinal Amato then received a reliquary containing the relic of Blessed Maria Theresia from Sister Magdalena Krol, general superior of the Congregation.In procession, the relic was carried to a place of enthronement next to a large candle bearing the motto of Maria Theresia’s life: “He Leads, I Follow.”
The Mass continued with a jubilant singing of the Gloria.
In his homily, Archbishop Becker spoke of the dignity of human life and the inseparability of love of God from love of neighbor.He spoke of Maria Theresia’s extraordinary love of the Blessed Sacrament and her care of the sick and the needy. Moved by his words, Sister Clarice commented, “I experienced in a deeper way how Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel lived the words of Jesus to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. From all of our present ministries on four continents, her mission continues today.”
The General Intercessions at the Mass were presented in different languages and represented the diverse ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration addressing the global needs of society.“The celebration was profound in every way, and it was truly an honor to be present for this very special event in the life of our Congregation.” said Sister Nadine Heimann, Provincial of the Colorado Springs Province. “It was a very special blessing that the beatification of our foundress took place during the 150thanniversary year of the founding of our Congregation here in Olpe in 1863.”
November 11, 2013
Burial of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel
St. Martin’s Church, Olpe
On Sunday, November 10, 2013, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, OSF, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration was beatified in the Cathedral in Paderborn, Germany.
On Monday, November 11, 2013, the mortal remains of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel were transferred to St. Martin’s Church to be buried in the new Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The Church bells rang while her coffin was carried to St. Martin’s Church on an open Olpe fire truck which was followed by numerous Franciscan Sisters in buses and many more devotees on foot.
As the fire truck with the remains of the newly blessed reached St. Martin’s Church in Olpe, many parishioners came to receive “their” Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel.
The people have a special relationship with Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel and her beneficent work. Before founding the Congregation, she lived with her parents in a house located just across the street from St. Martin’s Church. Upon arrival in the sanctuary of St. Martin’s, Blessed Maria Theresia’s coffin was placed on the steps of the altar, before being transferred to the newly designed Blessed Sacrament Chapel near the entrance of the Church.
“We are grateful to Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel, as now she returns to the place where she received Baptism and all the sacraments,” Archbishop Hans Josef Becker said as he led the funeral procession. The new Blessed was baptized in St. Martin’s Church, received her first Holy Communion, and there received the habit of her new Order.
After the Te Deum, the coffin was carried to the newly designed Blessed Sacrament Chapel, which was blessed by Archbishop Becker. In his prayer he asked that the faithful who pray here may feel the closeness of God and of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel. “We thank God for the example of her faith life,” the Archbishop said.
Then the remains of the new Blessed were buried in the crypt at the feet of the Blessed Sacrament.
In reflecting on this moment, Sister Clarice Gentrup, General Councilor and member of the Colorado Springs’ Province commented: “No words convey the feeling in my soul as I walked behind the coffin of Blessed Maria Theresia Bonzel in St. Martin’s Church on the way to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where her body now lies entombed, just some fifty feet from where she was born.”
Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes then celebrated Mass with Archbishop Becker and other concelebrants in St. Martin’s Church, Olpe. Cardinal Cordes said, “Today is a great day of rejoicing for the whole Archdiocese of Paderborn. The deep roots of a Sauerland girl now receives a special place in the mission of the Church. May this house of God be a space of living faith. We ask this through the intercession of Blessed Maria Theresia.”
The power source from which Blessed Maria Theresia overcame many adversities was her love for the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Cordes quoted from the files of the Beatification: “She had grown under the soft light of the Eucharistic sun. Again and again she went to the hidden God to find light, courage and strength. The Eucharistic Lord must be discovered by us anew and must be proclaimed as an enabler of selfless love.” Since the source of the charitable actions of Blessed Maria Theresia was Eucharistic adoration, it is only a “reasonable and distinctive place” to find the new Blessed of the Archdiocese of Paderborn in the new Blessed Sacrament Chapel of St. Martin’s Church. Cardinal Cordes invited the faithful to frequently visit the Chapel for prayer: “Where we pray, God’s Spirit creates our hearts anew. The message today is that prayer is powerful.” This is the testimony today of the Olpe Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.” The Cardinal referred to Blessed Maria Theresia’s service of charity: “the charity to the elderly and the sick, the needy and refugees…To many sick she gave consolation and relief, together with her Sisters; how many children she and her religious Community took from the streets; how many homeless and hungry people they gave food and drink. At her time, 150 years ago, state and society hardly did anything for the public ministry of the people in need.”
St. Martin’s Church was packed with sitting and standing crowds of worshipers for the Solemn Mass that followed the burial.