Our Foundress , Antonia Werr, started our congregation in 1855.
She was born on December 14th, 1813, in the German city of Würzburg, two days after her father died of typhoid fever. Antonia grew up in poverty, in a family of eight. As the youngest daughter, she remained at home to care for her mother until she died; Antonia was 27 years at the time. She had always been a pious girl, filled with a deep love for God and a desire for the truth. After the death of her mother, she joined the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in France. The congregation worked with female prisoners, a field of work that strongly attracted Antonia.
Work with outcasts of society
After one year she returned to Würzburg due to health reasons. A long search followed, until she herself founded an institute for discharged female prisoners in Oberzell, together with four fellow helpers. Antonia clung to her idea of caring for female convicts although many people told her to engage with other people for a better reputation.
The war of 1866 greatly pressed upon Mother Antonia. Her health suffered badly. A sister who had tended patients with typhoid fever brought the infection into the house. As a consequence, there were three death victims to be noted, among them Mother Antonia. She died, 53 years old, in 1868. Like her father Antonia had fallen victim to typhoid fever.