During her years working at a home for retired sisters in St. Louis, Sister Anita Marie Lischwe of the School Sisters of Notre Dame made a point of visiting the nearby cemetery each day and praying for those who had gone before her.
“On my visits there, I felt a warm welcome,” said Sr. Anita Maria, a Maries County native who recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of her religious profession.
One of nine children who were born to the late Joseph B. and Katherine Lischwe, she grew up on a farm near Brinktown.
She and four of her siblings — Sister Mary Boniface Lischwe of the Medical Mission Sisters, the late Redemptorist Father Bruno Lischwe, the late Sister Michael Marie Lischwe of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, and the late Sister Tarsilla Lischwe SSND — entered religious life.
Sr. Anita Marie entered the SSND novitiate in St. Louis and professed first vows on July 29, 1950.
Now retired, she dedicated many years as a classroom teacher with a later ministry as a licensed practical nurse.
From 1950 through 1972, she taught primary grades at nine Catholic schools across Missouri and Illinois — including the former St. Boniface School in Koeltztown, Holy Family School in Freeburg and St. Joseph School in Westphalia.
She also taught at St. Joseph School in Apple Creek, Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Louis and St. Francis Borgia School in Washington, all in Missouri, and St. Anthony of Padua School in Quincy, St. Agatha School in New Athens, and St. Michael School in Radom, all in Illinois.
In 1972, Sr. Anna Marie undertook a new ministry as a nurse’s aide at the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s Villa Gesu retirement home in St. Louis.
After earning her license in practical nursing (LPN), she continued ministering there through the early 2000s.
From 1999 to 2015, she served as a volunteer at The Sarah Community’s Anna House and Holy Angels Apartments in Bridgeton, Missouri.
She now devotes her days to prayerful presences at The Sarah Community’s Veronica House, also in Bridgeton.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis.
In 1970, she completed a master’s degree in elementary administration from Saint Louis University.