Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister M. Erphonia Twilling

My vocational way  under God's guidance

I was born in 1928 in Billerbeck, in the heart of the Westphalian Münsterland. Very early, it became clear that God the Creator also steers my life.

My early childhood I spent in a forest area, because my father was a forester. When I was seven, my father died. Due to this, my mother with her three children was in financial need. Three sisters of my mother took me into their house. Two aunts were teachers and one led the household. They placed great importance on my education in the Christian faith and  in a good school education. They enabled me a high school graduation and I started medical studies. But soon God was calling me for the way of discipleship of Christ.  The witness of poverty of the Franciscan Sisters, which I experienced in the hospital in Billerbeck , and the proximity of the Motherhouse in Münster showed me the way to the ‘Mauritzer Franciscans”.

I entered the Congregation in 1949. After the novitiate, I made my first profession of vows in 1952. First I completed, as customary for the sisters, an education as a nurse . As religious sister I studied in Münster pharmacy, as the Congregation needed pharmacists. After a mandatory internship in a public pharmacy (Engel-pharmacy in Münster), I passed my state exam after six semesters of pharmacy. Then I changed to St. Bernhard Hospital in Kamp-Lintfort and served as the head of the hospital pharmacy for 22 years.

Although I enjoyed my job at the pharmacy, I felt, that by  the excessive amount of work there was not enough time for my religious life. I felt an inner call to contemplative life: my second call in my religious vocation. I found an open ear for my desire with our Superior. For this new beginning we looked together for a second sister and a place, where God wanted us to be. After many prayers and long searches, the General Council decided in favor of the house in Telgte, Herrenstraße 7, where our founder, Father Christoph Bernsmeyer, lived for 40 years.

Father Christopher knew, how urgently the poor and sick people needed help. The first women, gathering around him and working voluntarily, were later our first Sisters! The house in Telgte, Herrenstraße 7, was inaugurated in 1990 as ‘St. Klara Haus’.

It was a spiritual center of our international community, a center for the sisters seeking silence and contemplation. This house also had an open door for people, who entrusted to us their needs and concerns and also for those who wanted to pray together with us. 

At the age of 85, after a 23 years life in this House of silence and prayer, I went to the Sisters nursing care home St. Francis House in Nordwalde.