Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Meet Our Sisters: Sr. Rita Hess, OSB
(Meet Our Sisters will be a Blog Series to get to know our Sisters from the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, NE. Each month we will feature a new Sister and her journey to become a Missionary Benedictine Sister.)
Born: Roedelsee, Lower Franconia in the State of Bavaria, Germany
First Profession: October 6, 1956
Final Profession: October 12, 1959
Mission Experience: USA, Namibia (Southwest Africa)
Why did I become a nun?
I admired the Sisters serving in my hometown. Since I was 8 years old, I told one Sister that I wanted to become a kindergarten Sister. Later, in 8th grade I changed to the desire to go to the missions. I spend 4 years in the mission school in Tutzing at our Motherhouse on Lake Starnberg with the Alps on the southern horizon. In 1953 at the age of 19 I joined the Missionary Benedictine Sisters.
My most rewarding experience as a Missionary Benedictine Sister is the personal development and growth in the Catholic faith.
For me it was a challenge to learn the English language and had some very unpleasant experiences due to misunderstandings. This forced me to develop closer relationship with Christ who always understood. Homesickness in the first 2 years after coming to America was a painful experience. I missed my parents, 4 sisters and 2 brothers. There were no phone calls or visits in those days.
My professional training was as a Licensed Practical Nurse, Radiologic Technologist, and Nursing Home Administrator. Purchasing agent, business office work, and assistant administrator in the 1970s followed.
In 1992 I was missioned to Namibia. In the Northeast of that country, what was once a ‘homeland’ for a tribe I had a mild shock. We were 12-14 white people among an all-black majority. The people were very poor but the situation got better with years.
For those considering a vocation to religious life I would say: “Be ready for personal sacrifices but know that the love of God far outweighs the cost”. I look forward to seeing God face to face at the end of my life.