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 published: 2007-02-23

Serving in generosity

Sister Lisann from House Sonnenau died on February 22 – Virtual condolence book



La Hermana Lisann, fallecida el 22 de feberero, con familias de Chile en Sonnenau

Sister Lisann, who died February 22, with families from Chile in Sonnenau

Schwester Lisann, am 22. Februar verstorben, mit chilenischen Familien in der Sonnenau


Hna Lisann: un corazón para todo el mundo

Sister Lisann: a heart for the whole world

Schw. Lisann: ein Herz für die Welt

Foto: Lara Marañon © 2007


La conocimos en el año 2000 ...

We got to know her in 2000...

Wir lernten sie im Jahr 2000 kennen…

Foto: Albrecht © 2007


Con Michelle y Jaqui Adriaanse, Pascua de 2006

With Michelle and Jaqui Adriaanse, Easter 2006

Mit Michelle und Jaqui Adriaanse, Ostern 2006

Foto: Adriaanse © 2007


SCHOENSTATT, mkf. News that will surely sadden everyone who has been in Schoenstatt and especially in Sonnenau . Sister Lisann died today(February 22) at noon, after struggling for years against a cruel illness that afflicted her, and during these last months she completely abandoned herself to the will of God. The burial took place on Tuesday, February 27th, in the cemetery of the Sisters of Mary in Metternich, where she was staying after her last hospitalization. A Mass was celebrated in the Provincial House at 2:00 p.m. prior to the burial.

For so many people who went through Schoenstatt Sister Lisann was the person who made them feel welcome and at home, that was something that she did so well: "We are grateful to God the Father and to the Blessed Mother for the gift of her life among us, let us pray for her and for her great love and the mission of all her life: Sonnenau, that house in Schoenstatt that was a home for many which thanks to her is synonymous of being at home, of joy and of international family.", reads a testimony.

With deep sadness…

With deep sadness, I just heard the news about the death of Sister Lisann. I knew that she had been in serious condition for some time, but one never loses hope that a miracle will occur. Sister Lisann will be greatly missed…Perhaps they will leave her with us for a while longer. But it was not that way, the good God took her to his side and surely she has already placed herself at the service of "the Boss", the Blessed Mother, to help her with the task of welcoming and providing lodging in heaven!

How many memories surge at this moment! If I had to summarize all of Sister Lisann’s extraordinary qualities in one word, it would be a "doting mother", to fullest extent of the word. There is no one that was more welcoming, concerned about the people, or more of service, or more completely dedicated to make the life of others easier and happier, she simplified things, she solved everything, she had an excellent sense of humor, warmth, and she was a great conversationalist, and at the same time she was a super administrator. But I left that for the end because personally I do not believe that was her greatest interest or what motivated her. Her main interest was the people, the guests as well as the employees and volunteers, she treated everyone the same, with affection and with an impressive deference.

Just a mother with a heart as wide as the world

I had the grace of staying at Sonnenau several times, for several days, and since I went on my own I could appreciate the thousands of acts of kindness that may have been overlooked in another situation, or one may not have found out about them. I will only mention some as an example, since there are thousands of things to say about her.

The first time that I arrived, I was surprised to see that at night, after supper, there was a stack of pastries and exquisite sweets in the entrance hall where coffee is served. I thought that it was a German custom, but it was not…to my surprise I was told that someone told Sister Lisann that the Argentineans usually ate something sweet at night, after supper, so, she who was not dull or lazy, began to take on this custom and to give everyone one more reason to have an encounter and a joy. There is no such custom in Argentina, but she still kept doing it, out of the sheer happiness that this gave her of making others happy.

Another time I saw that she was a little tired when she came for breakfast, she who always had her batteries charged! When I asked, I found out that the previous night, at dawn, a group of tourists, who were lost, rang the doorbell. The house was full, there was not a single space available, but Sister Lisann did not give up, with her maximum energy of life: she set up a temporary bedroom in the laudry room, and as if that was not enough, she also asked them if they had eaten and when they said no, she served them a meal! Who other than she would have done something like that? Not even the best or the most expensive five star hotels have such a high standard of service!!! This is not the fruit of knowledge or training; rather, it is love. It comes from her great maternal preoccupation, of her heart of jewels (gold is not good enough to define the caliber of her heart).

We are going to miss you greatly

On another day, at breakfast, she approached me to ask me if I could please communicate with some tourists – not Schoenstatters – they were from Argentina and she could not speak Spanish. I asked her what she wanted to say to them, and she answered nothing in particular, she only wanted them to feel at home, so that they would not feel like strangers, so the only thing I had to do was to approach them with affection and to have a brief conversation. I did this, and I given the prize of a happy smile from Sister Lisann, who had accomplished her goal.

Many times, when I saw her, I asked myself, how she could maintain this happiness that was so radiant in the midst of being overtaken by guests that just arrived, all at the same time and at the same time they harassed her with questions: where could they wash their clothes, exchange money, how to call a taxi, how to get from one place to another, the schedule of Masses, etc. With an enviable calm and a smile from ear to ear, she would answer all these questions, and the cloud of people would leave at ease for having received the answers they needed.

Beloved Sister Lisann, today Sonnenau and your "guests" are in mourning. We are going to miss you greatly, but there is not doubt that your spirit will continue moving around Sonnenau, pulling the ears of everyone who work here so that the house will keep that immense heart that you gave it. It is not by accident that it is the most requested house in Schoenstatt by the pilgrims.

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen,TX, USA

Con jovenes en Sonnenau

With youth in Sonnenau

Mit Jugendlichen in der Sonnenau

Foto: Lara Marañon © 2007


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