FAQ


Who founded the Congregation, and when was it founded?

We were founded by Elizabeth Eppinger, who became Mother Alphonse Maria, in Alsace-Lorraine, France in 1849. As a young girl, Elizabeth had a great desire to be a sister, but at that time all of the sisters in her area were teachers. Since Elizabeth had been sickly as a child, she was unable to keep up the studies in order to become a teacher. Her local Bishop encouraged her to discern God’s will for her ministry. Because Elizabeth understood the needs of those who were ill, she began a ministry to care for people who were sick in their homes.

How many Sisters are there?

From Germany, 12 sisters came to the United States in 1924. We currently have 17 Sisters living in the United States. We are part of a larger congregation with our Motherhouse in Germany and a community in Tanzania, Africa.

What are the vows the Sisters take?

Poverty: Through the vow of poverty we commit to a sharing, not only of what we own but our talents, time and ourselves. By our vow of poverty, we freely renounce our independent use of material goods, committing ourselves to live simply. The authentic living of the vow of poverty gives witness to our living in solidarity with those who are poor and gives hope for a just world. Poverty not only teaches us to trust in God but also frees us to share with generosity the true gift of who we are.

Obedience: Obedience has its origins in the Latin word obedire, which means to listen. We are called to listen to the Spirit of God and to develop a rich prayer life, which cultivates a listening heart. In living the vow of obedience we do not give up our intelligence, preferences, personalities or responsibilities. Our abiding faith in the grace of God helps us to be flexible and adaptable in living the vow of Obedience.

Chastity: All Christians are called to live chaste lives. Not all Christians are called to live celibate lives. In today’s society religious women and men profess the vow of celibacy. Through celibacy we promise to love all of God’s people wholeheartedly and inclusively. Our vow calls us to be warm, loving and vibrant. Without marital commitments, we are more fully available for service to others.

What are the signs of a religious vocation?

  • A recurring attraction to the religious life.
  • The necessary physical, mental and emotional health to live the vocation fruitfully. This includes the capacity to grow in effective maturity and the ability to handle our wounded-ness in a life-giving way.
  • A spirit of faith that makes one open to guidance and to the various aspects of the religious life.
  • A sincere desire to embrace the life of the community as one’s way to God.

Do you wear a habit?

We do not all wear a habit or veil. We recognize that this is a strong symbol and that a habit is a very visible sign of a way of life. However, we dress simply and the crucifix we wear is our sign or religious consecration. We seek to make the presence of Christ visible in our presence and actions.

What do the Sisters do?

We are called to a prayerful and healing presence with those whom we live with, work and serve. Our primary ministries are within our sponsored ministry of Holy Redeemer Health System. We serve in social work and health care ministries including transitional housing facilities, childcare centers, acute care hospital and skilled nursing facilities. Other ministries of the Sisters include a community garden, faith formation of youth and young adults, the Second to Nun Frame Shop, the Art at Valley Lake Gallery and sponsored ministries. More information is available on our Ministries Page.

Do you live in the community?

We live in community – praying, sharing and working together.

What are the living arrangements like?

We live in communities of 2 or more Sisters within a 5-mile radius, with a daily schedule of morning and evening prayer, meals, Mass and faith sharing.

What is a Redeemer Associate?

Redeemer Associates are women and men committed to spiritual growth and development through prayer, spiritual readings and Eucharistic Celebrations. Spiritual direction is encouraged. They participate in monthly gatherings and prayer groups with the Sisters of the Redeemer.

What commitment is required to be a Redeemer Associate?

Members are invited to make a one-year commitment to participate in the Redeemer Associate relationship with opportunity for annual renewal on Redeemer Day, the congregation’s feast day celebration.

What is a Redeemer Ministry Corps (RMC) Volunteer?

Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers are women and men who seek to bring a caring, comforting and healing presence to the vulnerable populations, while living in a supportive, intentional community and enriching their faith lives.

How does the RMC program support me on my faith journey?

Redeemer Ministry Corps offers volunteers 2 spiritual weekend retreats during the year, along with an orientation and debriefing program. Spiritual direction is also available to volunteers if desired. The RMC community supports one another in their faith journey and gathers for prayer and reflection on community nights. The Sisters of the Redeemer also offer their prayer and support to the volunteers.