Klosterkirche-Erlenbad

Europe

Even though Mothers Alexia and Alfons and Sister Clara immigrated to the United States to found our community, Mother Alexia never gave up her dream of establishing a community in Germany. In 1895, she opened the first mission in Erlenbad, Germany, and in 1907 our European Province was officially established.

Today, School Sisters of St. Francis serve the pastoral, educational, health and social needs of rural and urban communities in Germany and Switzerland.

Open AllClose All
Caring for Our Sisters

Caring for Our SistersWe, the community of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Erlenbad, Germany, strive to meet this responsibility. There are currently about 100 sisters living in our Provincial House, where they spend their twilight years. They dedicated many years of their lives to the sick and the needy, and, like their foundress Mother Alexia, they worked in schools and kindergartens as well as in pastoral care. Despite their advanced age, many of these sisters are still engaged in some activities, such as helping out in the kitchen, the ironing and sewing room, in the garden, in the refectory, sacristy and with the liturgy, and in countless minor tasks in the community. A very important service for our sisters is the apostolate of prayer. Through the Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharistic adoration, the sisters are connected with our international Congregation and with the Church. We have about 30 sisters requiring medical supportive services due to illness and old age. Through visitation services, mutual assistance and individual support, we respond to our elderly sisters and their needs. With gratitude and satisfaction, these elderly Franciscans continue giving witness to their faith and their vocation.

Education

As School Sisters of St. Francis, we believe education is a way to transform the world through peace, justice and love. Addressing this belief, we work as teachers, adapting our teaching practices to meet the needs of the times. Whether it is through compassionate care to young children from difficult backgrounds or culturally inclusive education for immigrants, we build academic foundations while seeking to be examples of strong moral character.

Sister Wilfriede SchmittPublic School Ministry
Hüfingen, Germany

Sister Wilfriede Schmitt works in a school with a large percentage of Turkish immigrants. Seeing how difficult it was for them to adjust to German society due to communication barriers, she learned the Turkish language as a way to bridge the language gap. By combining German language classes with therapy activities and learning German social skills, she has helped to improve the academic performance of many of the children who attend the school.

Healthcare and Healing

Sr. Mary Kuttikkattil works as a nurse at Bruder-Klaus-Hospital in WaldkirchWe work to respond to the needs of the times by carrying out healthcare and healing services. By staffing hospitals, clinic, and natural healing centers, we respond to both the physical and mental needs of people from all walks of life. In a hectic world of competitiveness, overstimulation, and anonymity, we recognize the sick and suffering within our society, bringing each individual closer to overall wellness.

Bruder-Klaus Krankenhaus
Waldkirch, Germany

The sisters are engaged in nursing and pastoral care in the hospital.

Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual Growth

Sister Erna-Maria ZImmererWe humbly seek to live out the Gospel by serving as spiritual leaders and companions in parishes in Germany and Switzerland. A significant part of our work revolves around proclaiming the Good News in liturgies, prayer services and meditations. We recognize the lonely and suffering within our society by spending time at hospitals, nursing homes, and with those who are sick and dying. We also take pride in supporting and empowering the woman of the parish, joyfully accompanying them and their families through parish life.

Haus Hochfelden
Sasbach, Germany

Haus Hochfelden, located in the immediate vicinity of the School Sisters of St. Francis Convent in Erlenbad, Germany, has been operated by the School Sisters as a place for education and retreats since 1967. Together with the convent, the house is a spiritual place that offers engaging church services, spirituality seminars, retreats, and annual events.

Cella
Freiburg, Germany

The sisters carry out pastoral work in the parish, providing opportunities for meditation, spiritual guidance, and assistance with social issues.

Shwesternkonvent
Allschwil, Switzerland

Sister Bonifatia Metzger follows her calling to pastoral ministry from the altar, to her kitchen table, to the tables of local restaurants. Read her reflection on “My Three Tables.”

Social Justice and Social Services

Sister Irmgardis Krauss works in pastoral careAs School Sisters of St. Francis, every part of our life and work is rooted in our quest to promote social justice. Most directly, we work in social services within parishes, administering to immigrant families, to the sick and dying, and being there for those in need. More indirectly, each of us, whether we work in parishes, schools, clinics, retreat centers, or elsewhere, seek to live out our congregation’s call to transform the world through peace, justice, and love.

Social Justice in the Work of Sister Wilfriede Schmitt

Sister Wilfriede Schmitt works in a school with a large percentage of Turkish immigrants. Seeing how difficult it was for them to adjust to German society due to communication barriers, she learned the Turkish language as a way to bridge the language gap. By combining German language classes with therapy activities and learning German social skills, she has helped to improve the academic performance of many of the children who attend the school.

Province Leadership

European Provincial Team

European Provincial Leadership Team
From left: Sr. Jutta Endriss,
Sr. Margita Reuther,
Sr. Rita Eble

Click here for province leadership contact information

X