The china figurines of little children and animals known as Hummels are named after the German artist and nun, Bertha Hummel. After joining the Franciscan Sisters of Seissen in 1931, Hummel took the name Maria Innocentia. When the other sisters recommended her artwork be published, she resisted at first, but later consented. Her drawings eventually saved the jobs of many industry workers at the time.
However, the Nazis despised Hummel’s artwork, considering her drawings degenerate because they weren’t those of perfect, beautiful children according to their own ideas. Despite their opposition, the Nazis took half the money her artwork generated; but the remaining funds became the main source of the sisters’ income, which helped support them through Second World War. The figurines would later gain popularity in the United States when returning American soldiers brought them home. Maria and her fellow sisters continued to suffer deprivations of cold and hunger, leading to her premature death from tuberculosis in 1946.
In her own unique way, Hummel was a model steward. She worked tirelessly, practicing her faith and supporting her community through her artistic vision in times of persecution and personal deprivation. Discover your own unique way of living out the call to faithful stewardship. After all, God is the ultimate designer in our lives, and he brings out the best in each of us, so that we can share our time, talent, and treasure with others.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner