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106. The Life of Sr. Wilhelmina

About Sr. Mary Josefa:

Sr. Mary Josefa is a member of the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles. She had the privilege of knowing Sr. Wilhelmina during the last nine years of her life.

Words From the Podcast:

Sister Wilhelmina spent many years with the Sisters of Providence, a teaching order, and she was a faithful member. Towards the end of her time with them, she served as their archivist, preparing notes for a history of the order. She had a deep love for her religious family. However, during the social upheaval of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, many religious communities, including the Oblates, began to experiment, setting aside the traditional religious habits and practices in the cloister. Communal prayer, silence, and their religious identity began to wane as they became more involved in political groups. This deeply troubled Sister Wilhelmina as she felt they were losing sight of their identity as brides of Christ. She made significant efforts to start a reformed branch of her community, but eventually, she realized that it would be easier to start anew rather than reform the existing order due to the extensive changes that had occurred.

At the age of 70, after over 50 years with the Oblates of Providence, she began anew, leaving her religious family with just a couple of companions. Their goal was to establish a traditional community that would always wear the religious habit, be faithful to communal prayer, and uphold the safeguards of religious life. With only two companions, she embarked on this new journey, with the community's original purpose being united with Our Lady at the foot of the cross, interceding for priests, and awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Sister Wilhelmina envisioned her community persevering in prayer, much like Our Lady surrounded by the apostles and first Christians, advocating for not only priests but all the souls they served.

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