Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
These words spoken by Mary, when the angel Gabriel announced to her the good news that she should become the Mother of the Lord, are a model and guiding principle for Sister Gabriela. There is of course a connection, as to why she has chosen her religious name.
In 1964, she was born as the eldest daughter in a working class family in Lohne, South Oldenburg. Sister Gabriela spent a carefree childhood on the outskirts of the city surrounded by meadows, a garden with fruit trees, chickens and geese. She lived there with her parents, two sisters and her grandparents, who also lived in the parents' household. Early on, she was fascinated by anything that had to do with church, religion, saints and religious sisters. For her first Holy Communion, she received a small prayer book as a gift. In the book was a picture of a religious sister under palm trees, surrounded by children of color and a request for prayer for the missions. Here Sister Gabriela realized”that is what I also want to do; I want to be a sister!”
In matters of faith, her grandmother is the contact person for this young woman. At Sister Gabriela's intensive, critical question about life after death, her grandmother answered in Low German "You don't have to ask so many questions, but simply believe."
In the ninth year of school, there were retreat days with a Dominican priest. A question burned in Sister Gabriela’s' heart: "How does one go into a convent" but she did not dare to ask.
Much later, her parish priest answered the question. She began to participate in retreats and meditation weekends at St. Anna Stift, Kroge. In this way - gradually - she established contacts with the Mauritzer Franciscan Sisters.
First, she finished the secondary school for economics and completed a banking apprenticeship. She then worked for a few years in the bank, but the desire, to be a religious sister continued to mature. To clarify her vocational call, Sister Gabriela spent two weeks in the Mother House in the experience called "Temporary Cloister Residence", to decide about her a life in a religious Order. On April 24, 1990, she entered the Congregation. Here she worked in various administrative areas: in the hospital, the Motherhouse administration and up to now in the Provincial administration.
Because of her visual impairment, Sister M. Gabriela has assistance in her work from a large print computer program with voice output. However, as her eyesight continues to decline and the office work becomes increasingly difficult, she has started further training at the PTH, Münster (a philosophical-theological university) for client-centered therapy. Sister Gabriela lives in the Motherhouse in Münster in the initial formation convent.