Sr. M. Andrea of the Holy Cross
Sr. M. Andrea of the Holy Cross, Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus, 91, of Owensboro, Kentucky returned home to her Lord and Savior on May 19, 2022 surrounded by the Carmelite Sisters at Carmel Home. She was born on July 29, 1930 to the late Joseph and Marie Niehaus in Cincinnati, OH.
On April 24, 1938, after receiving first communion, Sr. M. Andrea was struck by these words inscribed above a door: “Not my will, but yours be done”. As far back as she can remember, she wanted to be a sister. That day, she knew that Jesus, who was now in her heart, was confirming to her that her desire to become a nun was also his will for her. This inspiration will remain the “golden thread” that will run forever in his future life.
Her educators were the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, Indiana, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Namur of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her pious parents never suggested a religious vocation, but she was always surrounded by the example of holy priests and devoted religious whom she learned from her parents to love and respect.
In 1946, his sister, two years his senior, began to entrust him with her religious vocation. Their desire “not to teach” has excluded the congregations above. Their immediate search was for a Carmel, both because of their love for our Blessed Mother, and the fact that a lifelong devotion to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus was nurtured by their mother. Life as Discalced Carmelites was obviously not God’s will for them, but it had to be an order dedicated to our Blessed Mother. An ad in Sacred Heart Magazine read, “Is God calling you… to become a Carmelite Sister? It did! Shortly after, his sister entered the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus under the name of Sr. M. Bernadette of Our Lady of Lourdes; and Sr. M. Andrea, a heartbroken 16-year-old, waved her goodbye. She was comforted by her father’s words: “When you are his age, you can come in too, if you still want to.”
Suddenly, the “golden thread” took a sharp turn. Sister pays homage to their dear father for faithfully listening to God’s inspiration. Shortly after, he introduced Sister to a handsome young Catholic man who ended up replacing his sister who had truly and forever found half of his common desire for him! The newly discovered, but very blessed and happy relationship was ultimately to throw Sister M. Andrea into the depths of doubt and indecision! There was a split in this “golden thread”. She was working at Adam Wuest, Inc. as a secretary at that time. Each day she used part of her lunch break to pay a quick visit to our Blessed Mother in a nearby church, asking her to bring together this “golden thread” so that she could truly know what was the Holy Will of God for her! Our Blessed Mother saved her as only she could!
In 1949, she entered the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and took the name Sr. M. Andrea of the Holy Cross. After making her first profession of vows in 1951, she worked with children and the elderly, serving in the Congregation in various other capacities (resident caregiver, procurator, organist, provincial superior, local superior, administrator, laundry supervisor , sexton, resident attorney) in Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Florida and Kentucky. The sister spent most (36 years) of her religious life in Owensboro, Kentucky, where she was dearly loved and known for her joy and sense of humor! Sister was loving and generous, giving herself completely to residents, staff, families, friends and everyone she met. His love for the great community of Owensboro is unmatched! The great legacy she left to Carmel Home is in the many builds and additions she led. In his foresight, his projects were “built to last!”
On July 2, 2021, Sr. M. Andrea had the great joy of celebrating her 70th Jubilee of Religious Profession at Carmel Home in Owensboro, Kentucky; his motto being: “He loved me and saved me for him”. DECREE! Sister had an immense love for the Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus, a great love for our Mother Foundress, Blessed Mother Marie-Thérèse of Saint Joseph. She was all Carmel! She was faithful to the spirit of the Congregation and to the dear Mother. She was all or nothing, she never tolerated lukewarmness. She had a great ability to combine humor with holiness, it takes a holy person to combine them so beautifully. She was holy and fun loving. Sister will be greatly missed. We have undoubtedly lost one of our brightest beacons in Carmel DCJ, but we have gained another mighty Carmelite Intercessor!
Along with her parents, Sr. M. Andrea is predeceased by her siblings, Robert Niehaus and Mary Niehaus and her brother-in-law, Walter Volz, and her nephew, Paul Volz.
She is survived by her sisters, Sr. M. Bernadette, Carmel DCJ, Dottie Volz, Irene (Clem) Wegman; nieces, Linda Gross, Rita Volz, Mary Marshall and Denise Guck; and his nephews, Robert Niehaus, Jr., James Niehaus, CJ Wegman and Robert Wegman.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in the Carmel Home Chapel with Bishop Medley presiding. Visitation will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 23, 2022 in the Chapel of Foyer Carmel and again from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in the Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be addressed to Carmel Home, 2501 Old Hartford Road, Owensboro, Kentucky 42303, envelopes will be available from Carmel Home Chapel. The Carmelite Sisters wish to express their gratitude to the staff of Carmel Home for the loving care that Sister M. Andrea received.
Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Sr. M. Andrea of the Holy Cross, Carmel DCJ. Leave your messages of condolence to the family of Sr. M. Andrea of the Holy Cross, Carmel DCJ and sign her virtual guestbook at www.haleymcginnis.com.