Blessed Alphonse Marie

Elizabeth Eppinger
September 9, 1814 - July 31, 1867
Foundress of the Congregation
of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer 

Family and Birth

Elizabeth Eppinger, the eldest child of George Eppinger and Barbara Vogt Eppinger, was born on September 9, 1814 in the ancient resort town of Niederbronn in Lower Alsace. She was baptized the following day, receiving the name Elizabeth. Her ancestors were among those villagers who, contrary to others during the Reformation, had remained true to their faith.
Her parents were pious and God-fearing country folk, who made their way through 1ife with honesty and uprightness, and endeavored to give their eleven chi1dren a good Christian education. Their heavy and exhausting labors did not prevent them from daily praying the rosary together.

The Will of God

Despite her serious illness, Elizabeth Eppinger had not given up her thoughts of a religious life, a life consecrated to God. As soon as she felt somewhat better, she asked to be received into the Congregation of the School Sisters of Divine Providence at Rappoltsweiler in Upper Alsace.
The Bishop of Strassburg, however, did not approve of this plan and denied his assent. He knew Elizabeth Eppinger personally, knew of the wholesome and beneficial influence she exercised over a large section of the population, and he wanted to insure the continuance of this influence for the general public. As it was, the bishop was already entertaining thoughts of founding a congregation that would respond to the needs of the times and have as its main objectives the care of the sick, of the elderly, and of children. Certainly, it was an inspiration of God that was given him, that Elizabeth Eppinger might be placed as superior at the head of the young community, especially, since for years now, a number of like-minded girls had gathered around Elizabeth, allowing themselves to be guided and directed by her instructions. Then, said the bishop to him, the village pastor, Father Reichard, might take over the spiritual direction of the group. Elizabeth herself had never had the slightest thought about founding a new religious community. It was only following interior enlightenment that, she recognized the will of God in the wishes of the Bishop, and came to a decision; Father Reichard was relieved of the care of the parish in order to be able to give himself with undivided strength to the new work.

Founding of the Congregation

With Elizabeth, Father Reichard, reflected upon all the details of the new foundation. He worked out the Constitutions, presented them to the bishop, and petitioned for their approbation. The Bishop gave his official sanction and his permission to begin the foundation in the summer of 1849. A convent 1ike house had already been acquired in Niederbronn, and a modest little Chapel had been erected in it. It was occupied on August 28, 1849.
The solemn investiture of the Foundress ensued on September 10th, 1849. She received the name Alphonse Marie. Two weeks later, on September 25, nine postulants from Alsace received the religious habit. On January 2, 1850, the Superior solemnly professed her vows. By the end of 1850, the community already numbered more than 60 members. The Foundress and first Superior General always bore in mind this goal:
"The foundation and formation of a family whose spirit is the spirit of Jesus Christ, and who radiates this spirit in prayer, sacrifice and a service of love to the poor, to children, and to the sick."

The Spirit of Mother Alphonse Marie

The road along which the Foundress as general superior had to walk resembled a way of the cross. Her indefatigable labors met again and again with afflictions and sufferings of soul and body.
Countless visitors came to her for counsel and help.
Then, one thinks of the total administration of the order, of the financial cares, of all the correspondence, of the hours of instruction that she gave the sisters, of the spiritual exercises or retreats to which the sisters were called together, of the long journeys to new stations that she undertook, some, at a considerable distance, nor may we forget the malicious attacks against the Foundress personally and against her work. To say nothing of the disappointments she suffered when the foundations in Vienna, Sopron (Hungary) and Wurzburg irrevocably severed themselves from the Motherhouse. All these trials preyed upon and consumed the physical strength of the Foundress, but imparted the ultimate radiance to her soul.

On Ju1y 21, 1867, the Foundress suffered a stroke. She died on Ju1y 31, 1867 and was laid to rest in the convent cemetery in Niederbronn on August 2, 1867.

Mother Alphonse Marie was beatified on September 9, 2018, by his Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
We Remember
Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
3Sister M. Melaine Mraz 2008
5Sister M. Valeria Martin 1951
6Sister M. Rita Galvacs 1984
7Sister M. Xaviera Kraynak 2005
12Sister M. Aloysius Baumgartber 1940
16Sister M. Alphonsa Arvay 1969
17Sister M. Nicolette Dzsaja 1991
19Sister M. Balsamina Horvath 1978
23Sister M. Gonzaga Szabo 2010
24Sister M. Mathilde Kohalmi 2006
27Rev. Colman Kovats 1927

Mass Schedule:
7:30 AMMonday:
7:30 AMTuesday:
7:30 AMWednesday:
7:30 AMThursday:
7:30 AMFriday:
8:00 AMSaturday:
8:00 AMSunday:
8:00 AMHolidays:
Holy Hour - Adoration:
Thursday before First Friday: 7:00 - 8:00 PM