Sister Friedeburg’s family lived in East Germany and she was the oldest of 6 siblings. She and her family faced many difficult times during World War II. Twice during those years Sister Friedeburg was forced into hard labor, the first time in Germany and the second time in Czechoslovakia. She became separated from her mother and her two brothers and two sisters in 1944 and never was able to find out what happened to them or where they might be living if they survived. This was a cause of great sadness and frustration. However, as time went on, Sister Friedeburg opened herself to the gift of God’s healing and received the grace to live her life as a Missionary Sister of the Most Sacred Heart in service to God’s People.
Sister Friedeburg was received as a candidate in Hiltrup on July 2, 1947. In 1951, as a temporary professed Sister, she was sent on mission to the USA. She made her Final Profession of Vows in Reading on February 2, 1954. Four years later, on August 28th, 1958, she became a U.S. citizen.
Sister Friedeburg attended the University of Dayton and spent 30 years working in the accounting department at Sacred Heart Hospital in Norristown. She also worked briefly in the business office at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, Georgia. From 1974 – 1978 Sister Friedeburg served as the Provincial Treasurer. She was very competent in every position she held but was also kind and patient when helping those who found working with numbers very challenging.
Sister Friedeburg has resided at the Motherhouse since 1992, helping with various tasks and serving as convent librarian for several years. She was very welcoming to all who visited but was especially happy when babies and small children were brought to her. She loved holding them in her arms and interacting with them. It brought the biggest smile to her face.
In recent months Sister Friedeburg’s health began to deteriorate and she recently started to receive hospice care. A few days ago she received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and remarked how wonderful our church is that it provides what we need throughout our life. What a grand reunion it must have been when she was reunited with her loved ones after all these years.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Friedeburg will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 28th, in our chapel at Sacred Heart Villa. She will then be laid to rest in our convent cemetery.
United in the Heart of Jesus,
Sister Rosemarie Sommers, MSC