Mother Maria Teresa of St. Joseph – Anna Maria Tauscher, was born on June 19, 1855 in Sandow, Germany. She was the first child of Pastor Herman Tauscher and his wife, Pauline. Herman was a staunch Lutheran Superintendent and a pious man. Her mother was a woman of active charity. Her tender compassion for the poor as well as her zeal in bringing the knowledge and love of the Savior to less fortunate children was inherited by her daughter. Thus, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus was founded in Germany in 1891.
Embracing Catholicism on October 30, 1888, Anna Maria found herself homeless. Dismissed from her position and ousted from her father’s home, she was given shelter in a convent in Cologne, Germany.
For some time, the idea of founding a Congregation that would realize her desire to radiate her love of God among souls, haunted her as a sin of pride. So she sought admission to Carmel but was advised to wait and pray. However, she was told prophetically, that one day she would be a daughter of St. Teresa.
Making her way to Berlin, Anna Maria found a city filled with abandoned and neglected children. The appalling conditions inspired her to start a religious congregation which opened its first home for those away from home on July 2, 1891. Companions were not wanting and the young women who joined her work became the first Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus.
For years, a picture had been foremost in my mind: a house, a red brick building with the inscription over it “A Home for the Homeless”. To build such a Home someday to help many a poor creature – that was my heartfelt desire. (ABp14)
On September 20, 1938, fifty years a Catholic and forty seven years after the foundation of the Order, serving untiringly and giving loving service to the Church, Mother Maria Teresa finally rested and entered her heavenly dwelling in our General Motherhouse in Sittard, Netherlands where her remains lies in our chapel.
She was beatified on May 13, 2006 in Roermond, Netherlands and her feast is celebrated on October 30th, the day she was received into the Catholic Church.