Sister Eileen Marie Mattern, MM
Born: September 18, 1910
Entered: October 15, 1928
Died: June 21, 1944
Sister Eileen Marie Mattern died on June 21, 1944. She was 33 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 15 years.
Elizabeth Frances (Eileen Marie) was born on September 18, 1910 in Greelay, Colorado to Regina (Herzog) and Stanislas Mattern. She had three brothers and four sisters. Elizabeth attended grammar school in Plantersville, Texas and Grainfield, Kansas for a combined total of eight years. She then continued her education at a high school in Grainfield, Kansas. After her schooling, she began working in St. Anthony Hospital in Hays, Kansas. Elizabeth’s interest in foreign missions was sparked by reading “The Field Afar”. She felt that missionary work was God’s call and she entered Maryknoll on October 15, 1928, taking the name Sister Eileen Marie.
Her first two years in mission were spent at the Seminary building cooking meals that delighted all who sampled them. Next, Sister’s assignment took her to the Motherhouse where she continued to share her cooking skills. In 1933 she was assigned to the Maryknoll cloister which was established in 1932 to secure a continuous flow of prayer and sacrifice for Maryknoll missioners and all mission works.
Dedicated to the Infant Jesus, her character expressed its spiritual beauty with lovely simplicity. Afflicted with a chronic illness, she suffered much patiently and sweetly. “I could never in the whole world,” she said “find any penances as hard as those God gives me.”
With the chronic illness ever present, Sister Eileen Marie’s health declined and on June 21, 1944 she died. It is easy to believe that her pure soul winged its way straight to the waiting outstretched arms of Christ.