Therese Bonefeld Griese was born in Paderborn, Germany, on March 8, 1907, the eldest daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth. As a child she distinguished herself as a determined, strong-willed and very idealistic child. She used to say, “I think I was born with the vocation of a Religious Missionary Sister because I don’t remember a time in my childhood and youth when I didn’t want to be anything but a Religious Sister.”

One day in class, the teacher told her students to each write an essay on the theme, “What I want to be someday.” Therese wrote, “I want to be a missionary, I will go to China. There I will baptize all the children.”

From the age of 13 she was a member of the Quickborn youth group whose motto was “always be young.” Every year she spent two to four weeks at Rothenfels Castle, where she trained under Romano Guardini and the Benedictine monk Willibrord Verkade, who was her spiritual director for many years and from whom she learned many things of the spirit.

She graduated as a kindergarten teacher and worked for four consecutive summers from 1926 to 1930 in the children’s village of Heuberg, while continuing her studies for the title of Jugendleiterin (youth trainer).

At the age of 27, one day in 1930, she took a walk in a forest in Beuron, at a certain height she could see the Danube River and the abbey in the distance, where she discovered her vocation: “A light came to me like a flash of lightning. It was not a light visible to the eyes of the body, but very visible to the eyes of the heart. I saw very clearly that God was calling me.

In 1932 she applied to enter the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (MSC) in Hiltrup. She was admitted and given an entry date of July 1933. However, the political situation in Germany worried her greatly. She feared that Hitler would come to power and would not allow any more admissions to the convent, so she decided not to wait any longer and entered on February 11, 1932. On August 15, 1933, she took her first vows and took the name Mother Wilibrordis.

When Mother Wilibrordis was 31 years old, she was one of the first MSCs to travel to Peru, at the request of the Peruvian government, to take charge of a schoolhouse in Ancon-Lima to care for very poor children from separated families. They arrived on July 30, 1938.

In Lima she met Father Federico Kaiser, also an MSC. When she first saw him, she thought, “I will never confess to this priest,” and it was he who became not only her confessor, but also a true model of a priest. Later, in 1944, Mother Wilibrordis served as head nurse at the Hospital Obrero in Chocope, Trujillo.

She arrived in Caravelí in 1959, where she was the first director of the San Miguel kindergarten. By 1961, she was already well acquainted with Bishop Kaiser, who had discovered an authentic religious in her. One day, very discreetly, she told Mother Wilibrordis about an audacious undertaking.

– No one knows about this, please very discreetly. If one day I decide to found, would you help me?”.

– “Of course, of course!” replied Mother Wilibrordis. And she immediately began to draw up her program. Then she said:

– “Monsignor, you are many years old and so am I. We don’t have to wait any longer.

Monsignor Federico Kaiser said that previously he had told the Peruvian nuncio:

– Excellency, if I start, I need the help of an experienced nun who can help me. I know of one. If I do not count with her, I will not begin.”

So Bishop Frederick Kaiser MSC, on June 22, 1961, founded the Pious Union of Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Word and Victim. And Mother Wilibrordis became a co-founder of the Congregation, working directly with the formation of the religious.

In 1967 she made Perpetual Vows as a member of the new Congregation. Our Founding Father and our Mother (as we called you), were dedicated to this work of God in the service of the poorest and most abandoned. Following the example of St.Paul the Apostle, Mother Wilibrordis visited the various houses of the Congregation, encouraging and strengthening our spirituality.

In 1988, with great patience and dedication, she helped Bishop Kaiser, who suffered a cerebral infarction and forgot his Spanish. Great was his joy to see that 8 months later, our Father was able to speak again and celebrated daily Mass as he wished.

It was the Servant of God himself who told her that she would live to be 95 years old. On July 31, 2002, God called her to the heavenly home.

Her remains now rest in the Motherhouse of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Word and Victim.