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Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary

Coordinates: 49°49′49″N 8°38′37″E / 49.83028°N 8.64361°E / 49.83028; 8.64361
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Darmstadt Motherhouse

The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary is an ecumenical, Lutheran based, religious order, founded in 1947 by Basilea Schlink and Erika Madauss in Darmstadt, Germany.


During WWII, a group of Protestant women met for regular prayers in Darmstadt, Germany. A few years later, in 1947 both the founders and the first seven sisters became nuns and founded the “Ökumenische Marienschwesternschaft”.[1] From then on, Dr. Klara Schlink called herself Mother Basilea and Erika Madaus adopted the name of Mother Martyria.

In 1966, the sisters in Germany completed building work and opened the Kanaan Motherhouse; some of the stones of the building came from a demolished Nazi army barracks.[2]

As the survivor population aged, and those still living too frail to come visit, In 2014, the sisters decided it was time to close the house.[3] Since the house was in need of extensive renovation, the property was sold, and the sisters relocated to a smaller residence in Ain Karim.[4]

The sisters travelled around the world and they arrived in Britain in 1969.[5] The Canadian Branch was founded in 1980.[6] In 1981, the community established a presence in Australia.[7]

Mother Basilea published several books, including;

  • Patmos - When the Heavens Opened[8]
  • You Will Never Be the Same[9] and
  • Father of comfort (Daily Reflections on the God Who Cares)

As of 2023, the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary had eleven subdivisions across 4 continents,[10] with approximately 400 sisters.[11] Approximately 130 of the sisters live at the motherhouse in Darmstadt,[4] where Shabbat candles are lit every Friday evening in the chapel “as a constant reminder of the guilt of the Third Reich and as a summons to pray for Israel.” There is no formal training for one to become a sister.[12]

There is a men's branch, the Evangelische Kanaan Franziskus-Bruderschaft (Kanaan Franciscan Brothers).[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ World Religions and Spiritualty Project website, article on Klara Schlink
  2. ^ Dominican University California website, The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary: Profile of a Protestant Monastic Order by George Faithfull (2009
  3. ^ Ghert-Zand, Renee. "Lutheran nuns end Jerusalem mission to Shoah survivors", The Times of Israel, April 17, 2014
  4. ^ a b Adler, Rivkah Lambert. "A Small Group of Evangelical Sisters Fight Antisemitism In Jerusalem", Breaking Israel News, June 20, 2019
  5. ^ Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary - British Branch
  6. ^ Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary - Canadian Branch
  7. ^ "Canaan in Australia". Archived from the original on 2020-01-08. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  8. ^ Schlink, Basilea (1976). Patmos - When the Heavens Opened. ISBN 0884190129.
  9. ^ Schlink, Basilea (1972). You Will Never be the Same. ISBN 0871236613.
  10. ^ ESM Australia website, ;list of branches, retrieved 2023-08-08
  11. ^ Emerge Woman Magazine website, article dated May 3, 2023
  12. ^ "Sisterly Love for Israel", Arizona Jewish Life, December 1, 2014
  13. ^ ESM website, information on the Brothers


External links[edit]

49°49′49″N 8°38′37″E / 49.83028°N 8.64361°E / 49.83028; 8.64361