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Oakfords Mourn the Tragic Loss of Sr. Astrid Puke

On December 30, 2017, we received the tragic news that Sr. Astrid Puke, Prioress of our community at Neustadt am Main, Germany, was killed in a tragic car accident.  The shock of Sr. Astrid's sudden death will live with us for some time.

She was born on 04th of August 1940 in Glandorf/Lower Saxony as the ninth child in a family of eleven children. Her parents were August and Theresia Puke-Riesenbeck. In this big family, Sr Astrid received the basics of her faith, her humour, her serenity, her generosity and everything that belongs to a fulfilled life.  She passed these gifts on generously throughout her life.  Despite the war, she had a happy childhood.  Every now and then, she would tell us anecdotes from her childhood, especially those about winter and the escapades on the horse-drawn sleigh, to cheer us up or to encourage us.  The generosity of her parents, who took many displaced persons into their home after the war, probably shaped her for her entire later life.

Christa-Helene entered our Congregation in 1963 as a qualified paediatric nurse.  She had wanted to leave for the missions in South Africa, but God's plans with us are sometimes different to our plans.  Straight after her First Profession she was sent to the "nursery" of the St Mary’s Hospital (Marienkrankenhaus) in Flörsheim and her work there was a blessing for many.  In addition, from 1984 to 1986, she earned a Diploma as Nursing Services Manager, benefiting from her practical and straightforward nature and organizational talent.

From 1987 - 1993 she was Prioress in Dießen am Ammersee.  In this time the building of the new convent took place, the demolition of the old one and the move to the new building.  Besides this, the preparations for the extension of the school, which was to be built in the old convent grounds, was in full swing.  In addition to being the Prioress for the community, Sr Astrid was also a great support to the headmistress of the school.

From 1994 - 2008 she served again in the hospital in Flörsheim as manager of the nursing services.  Characteristic here, and generally, was her sensitivity to needy people.  She was a blessing to many mothers.  As head of nursing, she helped many refugees from the former Yugoslavia to gain German recognition and a foothold in Germany.  Whenever an emergency arose in our German Province, Sr. Astrid was ready to assist, an attitude she lived to the full!

2006 - 2014 the Sisters in Flörsheim elected her their Prioress.  She organized the relocation of the community, which had by then fewer Sisters, to the smaller residential building at 17 Hospital Street and made it homely.

Only last summer she came to Neustadt as Local Prioress and, with all her competence and personality, mastered the upcoming tasks within the community and the small community in the Senior Centre St. Martin, in Lohr, with her calm and positive attitude towards life.

Despite recognition, success and admiration, she always remained herself, a straightforward and modest Sister.

It is impossible to put into words everything she was for us and what she has given to us.  Sr. Astrid was a star, a blessing to all of us.  Anyone who knew her knows what we have lost!

Many people attended the Requiem to share our grief and the grief of her family and to accompany Sr. Astrid to her final resting place.

May she be safe in God's eternal Love and be an advocate for those in need and for all of us.


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