Sister M. Tabitha
who was called home to eternal life.
Commemoration of the passing away of Sister M. Tabitha Drenhaus
"Christ is born unto us; come we adore him." Invitatory of Christmas
While we sing, Christ is born unto us! - Sr. M. Tabitha quietly and peacefully experiences her second birth on Christmas Eve. God welcomes her and opens to her the fullness of life, whereupon she has been on a journey for a lifetime. "Come we will adore him." In her life, she gladly took on this ministry of adoration day and night. Moreover, how much did she long for this final birth in her last, probably her most difficult years?
Sister M. Tabitha was blessed with long life. One could not see that on her face, fit and full of energy she was joyfully in between the community for a long time, enjoyed good health and helped here in the Motherhouse in many different ministries. During the last years, her energy diminished and she experienced sorrow and loneliness. Lonely because so many dear people, fellow sisters and friends, passed away, but also because we as a religious community had to say goodbye to places such as Bigge and Assinghausen, which she loved so much.
Anita Drenhaus was born on November 7, 1924, in Sodingen, now known as Herne, as the daughter of the miner Felix Drenhaus and his wife Hermine Katharina. She grew up with three older siblings. From the age of 6 to 14 she attended the catholic elementary school and immediately afterwards she participated in a private housekeeping course for one year, as she wrote in her curriculum vitae. This was followed by a year of service in her own family's household. She then completed several internships in different sections of a hospital and in a kindergarten, probably in preparation for her future profession. She decided to become a nurse and found her place at the Marienkrankenhaus in Schwerte. On September 27, 1947, after a good and successful exam, she received her certificate of authorization to practice nursing professionally, as it was called at that time.
During her training period, in contact with the Sisters of our Congregation, the desire for religious life must have gradually matured in her, because exactly one year later, on September 25, 1948, she wrote to the Provincial Directress, now I have only one desire, to become a good religious Sister. She was accepted on February 2, 1949. On November 19, 1949, she was admitted to the novitiate and received the name: Sister Mary Tabitha of the Holy Cross. On May 19, 1952, she professed her temporary vows and three years later, on May 19, 1955, her perpetual vows.
Sister M. Tabitha loved her nursing. As a second year novice, she first worked for 6 months in the pediatric clinic in Viersen, and from that time always in the care of adults, some years in Hagen-Boele, Salzkotten and Kirchlinde. On May 20, 1962, her great love, the Elisabeth Hospital, the Orthopedic Clinic in Bigge Olsberg, followed. Here she lived and worked for 34 years. This clinic and the Sauerland region became her home. When she spoke of this time, her eyes lit up. Dear people then came to her mind. She appreciated it very much that she still received lovely letters until the end. She did not forget these names. She loved and kept in touch with family and friends. At the end of 1996, Sister M. Tabitha was called back to the Motherhouse and continued to serve here for many years at the telephone switchboard, in the retreat refectory, and also gladly took on many other services. In January 2020, she became seriously ill and, after a long period of hospitalization, had to move to the residential care unit at St. Clara. Her illness caused her to feel increasingly lonely, as well as her hearing loss and failing eyesight. Tabitha experienced her last months in pain, but she always remained mobile. Only in the last days before her passing, when she no longer had the strength to get up, she became increasingly calm and radiated a deep peace. With a smile, she very silently passed away.
We thank Sister M. Tabitha from the bottom of our hearts for her life and ministry in our community and in the service for the sick and needy, for her humble, silent presence.
Let us ask God in this Eucharistic celebration to welcome her love and devotion and grant her life in fullness.
"Christ is born unto us; come we adore him."
Sister M. Angela Benoit