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February 2

Saint of the day:

Saint  Maria Katharina Kasper

Patron Saint of  Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

Saint  Maria Katharina Kasper


Recently, Pope Francis canonized seven new saints for the Church, one of whom was Maria Katharina Kasper, a young German woman who helped evangelize the mission diocese of Fort Wayne, Indiana in the mid-nineteenth century.

Maria Katharina Kasper was born on May 26, 1820, in Dernbach, a small town in the Rhineland region of central Germany and baptized by the name Katharina. Her father had four children with his first wife. When Katharina's father died when she was a young adult, his children by his first marriage received the entirety of the family fortune, leaving Katharina's siblings and her mother destitute. Thus, Katharina had to delay her desire to enter religious life.

Delayed but undeterred, Katharina used her natural gifts for attracting friends and followers and her unwavering love of Christ to start her own religious community, the Poor Handmaids of Christ.

On August 15, 1848, Katharina founded her first household of sisters, a small household of four companions from Dernbach. They not only built community in the household, but they also opened their house to the sick who needed nursing and to a widow in need of shelter for her children. Two years later, Katharina’s congregation was formally approved, and, in August 1851, she and her sisters took vows as Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and Katharina took the name Mother Maria Katharina.

Throughout the first few years, the Poor Handmaids grew in number. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ spread throughout Germany, the Netherlands, and England, dedicating themselves to serving the poor in their communities.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana wrote to Mother Maria, petitioning her to send sisters to Fort Wayne to minister to the German immigrants who had settled there. Mother Maria sent eight sisters, selected from the hundreds who eagerly volunteered, to serve the immigrants of Indiana.

On August 14, 1868, eight Poor Handmaids boarded a ship from France to America and landed in New York ten days later. By the end of the month, the sisters had arrived in Indiana, and before another month had passed, they were caring for the needs of the parish church, running the school, and nursing the sick. Only a year later, the congregation had established their first hospital in America, St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Poor Handmaids continued further west and established little households in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. They continued Mother Maria Kasper’s mission to bring God’s love to the poor and to the sick.

Mother Maria Katharina passed away on February 2, 1898. She was beatified by Pope Paul VI in April 1978 and was canonized alongside Pope Paul VI and five others this past Sunday, October 14, 2018 by Pope Francis.

Saint Maria Katharina Kasper, courageous leader of faith—pray for us!

Mary Katharine photo.png








Motherhouse Church, Dernbach, Westerwald







  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh pasta sheets , cut into approx. 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch squares
    Or 52 wonton wrappers , look for ones that contain egg in the ingredients
    (this is quicker, easier and tastes exactly the same)


  • 1/2 pound ground pork 

  • 1/2 pound ground beef 

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1/3 teaspoon ground mace 

  • 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/3 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons non-fat milk powder 
    (a standard ingredient in sausage-making, it helps bind the meat mixture,
    helps the cooked meat retain moisture and enhances the flavor)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion , very finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic , minced

  • 1 bunch (6-8 ounces or 200 grams) spinach

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 8 ounces slightly stale crusty white bread (or fresh croutons), chopped,
    placed in a bowl and softened with a few tablespoons of milk
    (squeeze out excess milk once softened)



  1. Place the ground pork and beef, spices and milk powder in the bowl stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add about 1/2 cup crushed ice to the ground meat mixture in the stand mixture. This will keep the meat cold and prevent the fat from melting as the mixture is mixed/emulsified to create the desired texture.Mix the meat on low-medium speed for a few minutes (be careful not to over-mix) until the mixture is emulsified.  Meaning if you take a clump of meat and pull it apart with your fingers you should see tiny threads pulling apart. Set the meat mixture aside until ready to use. Note:  If you're using pre-ground store-bought beef and pork it may not emulsify properly because of a lower fat content, in which case don't worry about it and just move on to the next step.Freezing the Meat Mixture:  You can use the meat mixture immediately or you can freeze it so you can have it on hand for convenience to save time when you're ready to make another batch of Maultaschen.

  2. Boil the spinach for 1-2 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water, thoroughly squeeze out the water and very finally chop it. Set aside.

  3. In a frying pan, heat the butter and saute the onion until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and parsley and cook for another minute or two. Let the mixture cool down so it's not super hot.

  4. Put the meat mixture in a large bowl along with the onion/parsley mixture, the chopped spinach, prepared breadcrumbs, spices and eggs.  Use a stand mixer or your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture. NOTE:  If you prefer an even finer texture you can run about one third or so of this mixture through the blender and then stir it back in to the rest of the mixture.

  5. For the dough you can either use prepared sheets of pasta dough or you can use a shortcut:  Wonton wrappers. Wonton wrappers are just basic pasta dough (flour, eggs, water) and they're already pre-cut into just the right sized squares which makes them super convenient.  And they're vastly cheaper than buying pre-made sheets of fresh pasta. Place a small spoonful of Maultaschen filling on a square of fresh pasta dough (about 3 1/2 x 3 1/2) leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the edges.  Brush the edges with the egg, place another pasta square on top and press down with your fingers to seal. To ensure the edges are sealed tightly you can either use a fork to press the edges together or use a fluted pastry/pasta cutter wheel to make pretty edges. How to Freeze Maultaschen:  For convenience you can freeze the Maultaschen at this point.  Lay them out in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet and freeze them.  Once frozen remove them and put them in an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

  6. To cook the Maultaschen: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a low boil.  Working in batches so as to not overcrowd, place the Maultaschen in the pot and keep the water at a very gentle simmer.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the Maultaschen with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a colander to drain.

  7. To serve: The most traditional way Maultaschen in der Brühe which is warming the Maultaschen in a rich clear broth (usually beef broth) and serving it as a soup.

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