Franciscans of Reute

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Motherhouse Kloster Reute (2012)

The Franciscan Sisters of Reute are a Roman Catholic religious order under episcopal law of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart , which lives according to the rules of the order of St. Francis .

Example of Blessed Elisabeth

In 1848 the story began with a community of five women in Ehingen who served God in suffering humanity . Via Schwäbisch Hall and the Red Building in Biberach , the community came to Reute in Upper Swabia in 1869 .

From 1403 Elisabeth Achler lived and worked there , later known as "Gute Beth". She was born in 1386 in Bad Waldsee, Upper Swabia . She started with four companions in 1403 in the hermitage to Reute a secluded life according to the Rule of Saint Francis. Elisabeth Achler died in 1420 at the age of 34. She was beatified in 1766 and is still venerated by the people today.

Community: Kloster Reute & branches

The Reute monastery is located in a district of the town of Bad Waldsee in the Ravensburg district. It is the center of the community - a place where sisters, pilgrims and guests draw strength through the presence of the blessed Good Beth von Reute. The Franciscan Sisters live in small and large convents in the Reute monastery and in various parishes, especially in the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese. As Franciscans, they are also present in Indonesia and Brazil. In all places they realize the mission of the founders: “Serve God in suffering humanity”.

The sisters work in different areas: in the care of sick, handicapped and old people, in the hospice movement, with refugees, in education and pastoral care, in housekeeping, administration and craft professions. With the Bildungshaus Maximilian Kolbe, the youth hostel St. Josef, pilgrimage site, the place of prayer, the Franciscan Sisters are a spiritual center in the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. The operations in the monastery Reute include u. a. also the parament embroidery , as well as the in-house host bakery .

Branches of the sister community are in the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart - from the north in Schöntal to the south in Ravensburg, in institutions of the St. Elisabeth Foundation or in parishes such as B. in the Citykloster Ulm.

The sisters also have offices in Indonesia and Brazil where they are involved in the mission .

St. Elisabeth Foundation

In 1999 the “Franciscan Sisters of Reute” founded a non-profit church foundation under private law to continue their charitable mission.

Today the St. Elisabeth Foundation is responsible for various social institutions, services and businesses. The main areas of activity are care for the elderly, support for the disabled and health care. In 2012 around 1,600 employees worked here for over 2,700 people in need.

In addition, the St. Elisabeth Foundation is involved in various societies with a social mandate.

The foundation is regionally active in the city of Ulm , the Alb-Donau district , the Biberach district , the Ravensburg district and Stuttgart .

Mission as helping people to help themselves

In 1964 five sisters went to Indonesia as missionaries , and more followed. Her guiding principle is "Serve God in suffering humanity". In the meantime, 60 local sisters in twelve places on Sumatra , Nias , Telo and Java are working on this mission. The most important activities of the sisters are help and support, but also the establishment of new social institutions such as B. schools, kindergartens, children's homes and hospitals. They are also pastorally active in the community . The Franciscan Sisters have been active in Brazil since 1992.


The "Asramas" are of great importance in Indonesia. These are boarding schools for girls from remote villages where there are no schools. These girls can live in the Asrama, go to school there, learn about home economics and receive a general education based on Christianity. This is intended on the one hand to strengthen the girls' self-confidence and on the other hand to impart knowledge to the girls on how to protect children from diseases and malnutrition with the few available resources . The aim is to reduce the effects of poverty . A better future for the many young people is a principle for the sisters.

Tetehösi station (Nias island)

The “Tetehösi” children's home usually houses around 20 infants who stay there until they can eat rice . The reason for the establishment of an infant home is the premature marriage of the girls at the age of 12–13. Due to insufficient physical and mental maturity, there is often a high maternal mortality rate when the first child is born . The infant is also not taken in by the rest of the villagers because they have to provide food for their own children. There is no grass on the island, so no cows and no milk.

The Tetehösi station also includes a women's education center, as well as a polyclinic and a maternity hospital . In the women's education center, similar to the Asrama, the sisters try to improve the position of women through educational work and to strengthen their self-confidence. Mostly women come to the polyclinic for advice. However, people of all ages and genders come for treatment. In view of the lack of social security , patients are also treated here when they have no money. B. falls from palm trees there, but also patients who have malaria , tropical ulcers or diarrhea . If something more serious is involved, the polyclinic can also give advice on how to finance the hospital.

The station was completely destroyed by the earthquake and tidal waves of the tsunami disaster on Christmas 2004 . The children's home and women's education center are therefore currently integrated in the Hilliweto children's village , and the outpatient clinic is maintained in makeshift tents. Many of the people's houses and agricultural sheds and fields were also destroyed. The sisters try to restore gardens, houses and food supplies to satisfy hunger. The construction work on Nias is still in full swing.


In the north-east of Brazil, in Arari and Alto Alegre , the sisters are fighting against climatic challenges such as drought , but also floods, as well as against problems such as malnutrition, diseases and insufficient schooling. Here, too, some locals have already been ordained as young nuns.

Education : The "Nova Esperanca" (New Hope) project offers children and young people various types of support as lunch or all-day care : help with homework and meaningful employment for primary school children, reading and writing lessons for children who are not registered in school, regular daily meals. The aim of this care is to prevent young people from slipping into the drug and violence scene, which is a major problem in Brazil. Counseling sessions are also held with young girls.

Drinking water supply : In 2007 there was a very long dry season in Arari , so that the civilian population had to fetch drinking water from the mission station, where a water treatment facility was set up.

Children's pastoral : The children's pastoral is the largest aid project that takes place here. The suggestion originally came from the Brazilian Bishops' Conference . Organizationally, the children's pastoral work is integrated into the church structures and various missionaries help with the implementation of the project. This project has existed in Arari for 13 years, and besides religious sisters from Reute there are also many volunteer workers from all over the world. They deal with the medical care of malnourished children and their mothers. But above all they are concerned with education about hygiene and diseases.

This year the group of helpers from the Eucharist, which has been in existence for a number of years, has also been enlarged. This group regularly brings communion to the elderly and the sick .

Subsistence farming by Babacu

Babacu flour is also produced and offered for sale in children's pastoral care. The flour is made from the intermediate layer of the babacu nut . This is broken out of the nut, ground and sieved. The flour is then used for school meals or to prevent malnutrition.

The babacu nut is of great economic importance in Brazil, because it is also used to produce expensive oils and cosmetics. But since breaking up and processing requires the use of machines or a large number of workers, this wealth is only reserved for large landowners . The families who still grow the babacu nut have to work hard and at the end of the day only receive a wage that is enough for a single meal. The sisters support the families here by buying the Babacu nuts and products from them at a fair price and selling them in Germany ( fair trade ).

In addition, the Franciscan black rings from the fruit of the sale Tucum - Palme are made. By sawing, cleaning and polishing the nut, you can get about 1–3 rings per nut. A ring takes an hour to complete. The Franciscan Sisters organize the manufacture and sale of the rings in Arari. This enables street children, the unemployed and disabled people to earn a small amount of money. The ring is called "Alianca" and is worn all over the world as a sign of solidarity with the poor and with the God of the poor.

Superior General

Memorial for the deceased General Superior in the monastery cemetery in Reute
  • 1850–1855: M. Margaretha Bloching (1816–1855)
  • 1855–1858: M. Thaddäa Braig (1817–1868)
  • 1858–1868: M. Coletta Deußer (1825–1877)
  • 1868–1901: M. Rosa Bauer (1833–1904)
  • 1901–1905: M. Bonaventura Schoßer (1833–1905)
  • 1905–1914: M. Wilfrida Walzer (1861–1914)
  • 1914–1926: M. Reinharda Stehle (1866–1940)
  • 1926–1950: M. Karpa Saile (1885–1968)
  • 1950–1958: M. Parmenia Bidell (1891–1958)
  • 1959–1966: M. Magdalena Kiem (1897–1966)
  • 1966–1984: M. Coletta Baumann (1926–1984)
  • 1984–1990: M. Magdalena Vesenmayer (* 1946)
  • 1990–2002: Walburga M. Scheibel (* 1949) - since 2008 Secretary General of the Conference of the German Superiors of Orders
  • 2002–2014: M. Paulin Link (* 1949)
  • 2014–2016: M. Erika Eisenbarth (* 1955)
  • 2016– 0000: Sr. Maria Hanna Löhlein (* 1966)


  • Franciscan Sisters. Reute-Bad Waldsee Abbey . (= Publications of the Bad Waldsee City Archives; No. 9) Eppe, Bergatreute 1994, ISBN 3-89089-024-5 - with essays by Sr. M. Ruth Banzhaf on Guten Beth and the former Reute monastery and the new Reute monastery 1870– 1995, from Michael Barczyk to the monastery as Waldburgisches Schlösschen, and from Sr. M. Paulin Link to the worldwide community

Web links

Commons : Kloster Reute  - Collection of images, videos and audio files