SEPTEMBER 2003: SISTER ANGELISTA MIOSGA (entered eternal life on February 6, 2013)
On November 2, 1911, Gertrud Miosga entered the world as the ninth child in the Miosga family. She grew up in Oppeln, Silesia, Germany and reports that as the youngest child in such a large family, she was "a very spoiled little girl." Her father worked for the railroad and was killed in an accident when Gertrud was only four years old.
Listening to God’s Call
She attended grade school and high school in Oppeln and enjoyed socializing with her many friends. One of her favorite pastimes was singing and enjoying the beauty of God’s nature. Her home was a religious one. She often read the magazines of the Associate Missionary of the Franciscan Order which included stories about missions in Asia and Africa. Deep in her heart these stories evoked the notion that God was calling her to this type of life. Even though she was quite young, she asked a priest for guidance; this wise man suggested that she follow this inner voice.
After completing high school, Gertrud worked during the day and attended night school to become a Red Cross nurse. During her first year in school, she became friends with three students who were planning to become Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and serve in the U.S.A. When these women went to the convent for an interview with Sister Constantia, Gertrud went along. After the others were finished talking with Sister Constantia, they asked Gertrud about her plans. She told them that she planned to enter the Missionaries of St. Francis because they ministered in Asia and Africa. Then Sister Constantia said that the American Province of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis had opened a mission in China in 1925. Sister added that Gertrud could join these other women and go to America then onto China.
Unexpected Issues; Temporary Delay
Gertrud decided to do that but encountered some unexpected problems. Since she was not yet old enough, she had to have her mother’s signature on the certificate. However, her older brothers and sisters were opposed to Gertrud’s plan and told their mother not to sign the certificate. Undaunted, Gertrud got up early one morning and convinced her mother to sign it. When her sisters heard the noise in the dining room, Gertrud quickly hid the certificate from them. Soon they noticed that the paper was missing and scolded her. But this scolding did not matter to Gertrud because she was so happy that with her mother’s signature she was free to pursue her dream of becoming a Hospital Sister of St. Francis. Later her oldest sister said, "Just let her go; she is so spoiled that she will never fit in at the convent and soon she will be back with us!"
So on February 24, 1931, Gertrud and her companions joined the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. They sailed to the USA in July. In October Gertrud became a novice and received the religious name Sister Angelista. Following her novitiate, Sister Angelista made her profession of vows on October 4, 1933. For 15 years, Sister served as a cook and dietitian at several of the Order’s hospitals.
Missionary Service in Japan
The events of World War II impacted Sister Angelista’s life in a significant way. The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis began a mission in Japan soon after the atomic bomb fell in 1945. In 1949, Sister answered the Community’s call for missionary service in Japan. She volunteered to help and has remained there for 52 years. When she arrived in Japan, the Sisters were living in barracks and endured very trying circumstances. Over the next few years, the Sisters developed a health care ministry in Japan modeled on the one they knew in the USA.
A Continuing Ministry in Japan
Sister M. Angelista served as a cook and dietitian at St. Mary’s Hospital, Himeji and St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki. Now she is a volunteer. Her cheerful, friendly ways and willing spirit brighten the halls of St. Francis Hospital in Nagasaki.
Sister M. Angelista celebrated her 70th Jubilee of Religious Profession in June at the Motherhouse in Springfield, Illinois. She is spending a few months in the USA before returning once again to the “Land of the Rising Sun” to continue her service among the people of Nagasaki!