"In the name of our lord jesus christ. Amen. 50 years ago, I vowed insistence, a monastic lifestyle and obedience. With gratitude, today in front of mother abbess M. Mechthild thurmer and the whole community this praise. Abbey maria frieden, kirchschletten, the 13. July 2019."
This text will be read tomorrow, saturday, on the certificate for the 50th anniversary of the profession of sister nieves villareal. Auxiliary bishop herwig gossl will celebrate the thanksgiving service with her.
More than 20 years ago, sister nieves became famous all over germany within a few minutes. Without knowing anything more, she suddenly found herself on the television program "let yourself be surprised"!" and met a relative again in the studio – after 21 years. And more visits followed – nieves was invited by ZDF to travel to her home country in the philippines.
She was born as elisa villareal on 14. March 1940. Her father died in the second world war, her mother when elisa was twelve years old. With the "holy spirit sisters she found a new home and learned basic skills in various jobs. At the age of 26, she entered the community of the sisters of saint benedict in fatima/vigan and one year later, after her initiation, she received the name "nieves". The, and this is very unusual for a warm country like the philippines, means "snowflake".
After the 5. June 1969, the question arose quite quickly whether sister nieves could imagine a life in germany. Accompanied by sister hedwig domondon, who still lives with her in kirchschletten, she flew to germany in 1970, on 7. October 1973 she made her perpetual vows.
People and animals
In the abbey, sister nieves was especially concerned about the animals in the stables. Selling the cattle, especially the piglets, brought her into contact with many people from the surrounding area. Children who visited the abbey, she showed with joy her work and the care of the animals. Even today, it’s hard for her to let work be work – that’s why she regularly checks up on the house and the garden.
The 13. July 2019 will be nieve’s big day. Auxiliary bishop herwig gossl celebrates the thanksgiving service in the abbey church at 3 p.M. Gregorian chorales are sung. Afterwards there will be a big barbecue, where the employees and oblates of the abbey are also invited. "We just want to take a lot of time for each other on this day", according to abbess mechthild thurmer.
"I am especially happy that three altar boys from oberleiterbach, who are on fire for their task, will come to the service. For this is already a rarity today." but sister nieves will be particularly excited about the five people who have traveled the furthest – relatives from california in the USA, who are already looking forward to meeting again.