Throwback Thursday – Sister Antonia Marie Zick: A Providential Dream
(Note: I would like to thank Sisters Janice Smith and Joni Luna for creating the path for this blog).
In 1959, the year of her Golden Jubilee, Sister Antonia Marie Zick was asked to write her autobiography.
In her writings, Sister Antonia Marie talked about how she became a Sister of Providence.
This is her story.
The year was 1908, and a woman of German descent named Josepha had a strong desire to become a woman religious. She just didn’t know any sisters or any congregations. But during confession, she expressed her desire to become a woman religious.
After a year of waiting, Josepha began a Novena in honor of the Blessed Mother. Growing frustrated, she prayed her waiting would come to an end. And it did.
On the first Saturday in the month of May in 1909, Josepha – while dreaming – found herself standing in front of a large church. She saw a long procession of “monks, priests, nuns, and of people of all walks of life.” Leading the procession was a “beautiful nun,” who held a crucifix covered with red roses. The nun blessed Josepha and then she awoke from the dream.
Josepha had another dream of meeting the “beautiful nun,” who then took her to a convent to meet two sisters.
The very next day, during confession, Josepha was told there were two American sisters in the city and he said he could arrange a meeting. She agreed and went to the meeting, traveling down the same streets she had in her dream.
Only, during this meeting, Josepha met with a sister, but something did not feel right, so she left the convent without meeting the American sisters.
During confession on the last Sunday in May that year, father Peter Beda, O.S.B., asked her again if she wanted to meet with the American sisters. She agreed and went to the meeting.
She was greeted by Sisters Mary Albertine and Mary Emmanuel, both Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Thus began Josepha’s journey from Germany to the United States.
Sister Antonia Marie left Germany on July 15, 1909, and arrived in the United States on August 5. She was sent by Sisters Mary Albertine and Mary Emmanuel to Fort Wayne, Indiana, alone, where she would meet more Sisters of Providence for the trip to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Josepha would finally see the large convent she had seen in her dream. And she did when they arrived.
In her autobiography, Sister Antonia Marie wrote about how she received a small book to read by another novice shortly after entering the novitiate. While she could not speak or read English, she flipped through the pages to look at photos and saw a photo of the “beautiful nun,” who is referred to as “The Little Flower of Jesus,” or Therese of Lisieux, whom Sister Antonia Marie was devoted to for more than 50 years.
Sister Antonia Marie Josephine Zick died on October 16, 1971. She had been a Sister of Providence for 61 years and ministered as a teacher at schools in Indiana. She taught for 25 years at St. Joseph in Hammond and 12 years at St. John the Baptist in Whiting.