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Benedictine Sisters

Our Founder

Mother Mary AnselmaMother Mary Anselma Felber was born on January 21, 1843, at Kottwil, Canton-Luzern in Switzerland and was baptized Elizabeth Felber. Her parents were righteous and God-fearing and taught her to love God above all.

The grace of God led Elizabeth to give her life to the service of the Lord and of his holy Church. Therefore at only 16 years old, she entered the Convent of Perpetual Adoration at Maria Rickenbach. She was given the name Sister Mary Anselma. In this quickly flourishing house she would, after a year of probation, pronounce her vows on May 30, 1860. She so well adapted to the spirit of her new religious family that the confidence of the superiors and the love of her fellow-sisters soon made her assistant of the Reverend Mother. In this position she worked for the welfare and blessing of the convent until God’s providence wanted her in holy obedience to go to far-away America.

In August 1874 five sisters journeyed from Maria Rickenbach, Switzerland, to the United States, in response to requests of the Benedictine Fathers at Conception, Missouri for assistance in ministering to the immigrant population. Thirty-year-old Mother Anselma Felber was chosen as their superior. She died nine years later, having seen only the small beginnings of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Heart Wisdom - A compilation of words of wisdom gleaned from the letters of Mother Anselma

  • “Where there is peace, there is God and with Him, we have all.”
  • “Our Lord will help; it is His work.  He has begun – He will also complete it.  All is His.”
  • “God’s providence allowed these trials: may He be blessed for them!”
  • “I trust firmly that our Lord will do all.”
  • “Every beginning is hard.”