Sister Goretti had loves that shaped her life and ministry — the German language, science, the hearing-impaired community, and music, especially the harmonica.
Sister Maria Goretti Wieser (Wilma Barbara) was born June 25, 1931, in Morris Plains, New Jersey. She was the youngest of Anton and Elizabeth Wilfert’s five children, a son and four daughters.
When Wilma was eight, her mother took her and two other sisters to visit Germany before World War II began. Since the family needed to remain there, she attended schools in Eichendorf, Osterhofen, Berlin, and Goeppingen for grades three through eight. After they returned to the United States, Wilma attended high school at Holy Cross Academy in New York and then worked for one year before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1951.
Sister Goretti received a BS in Biology from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, an MA in German Literature from New York University, and an MS in Special Education for the Hearing Impaired from Hunter College. She later earned New York State Permanent Certification in German, the Sciences, and Education of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.
Sister Goretti’s forty-eight years of active ministry were in education on the elementary and high school levels and the specialty area of the hearing impaired. Her sixteen years in elementary grades were at Saint Peter, Staten Island, Saint Agatha, Nanuet, and Saint Stephen and Saint Emeric, both in Manhattan. With her background in the sciences, her German cultural heritage and her gift and love of music, Sister Goretti was assigned to teach these areas in the high schools of Academy of Mount Saint Vincent, Tuxedo Park, New York, Saint Michael, Manhattan, and Cardinal Spellman, the Bronx.
Through the American Association for Teachers of German, Sister Goretti received a one-year appointment to teach English and Biology in Essen, West Germany.
In 1988, she received an MS in the education of the hearing impaired and began twenty-one years of ministry at Saint Joseph’s School for the Deaf in the Bronx.
In 2011, Sister Goretti retired to the Convent of Mary the Queen, Yonkers. After three years, she joined the retired community at Kittay Senior Apartments at The New Jewish Home in the Bronx. She died there on February 5, 2021.
Sister Goretti had loves that shaped her life and ministry — the German language, science, the hearing-impaired community, and music, especially the harmonica. She taught with a desire to instill in students the value of knowledge and the power of life-long learning. Sister Goretti’s transition to teaching the hearing impaired is best understood as a “yes” to the mystery of God’s movement in her life.
Sister Goretti, we rejoice as you now enter the fullness of faith in God’s plan of salvation. Sei in Frieden in dem Gott, dessen Name Liebe ist. Be at peace in the God whose name is Love.
Date of Death
February 5, 2021
Wednesday, February 10. Live-streaming begins at 8:30 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/d286a8ab
Wednesday, February 10 at 9:45 am
St. Margaret of Cortona Church, Bronx
Live-streaming begins at 9:45 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/217aa3db
St. Joseph’s Cemetery
Archdiocese of New York
- St. Peter, Staten Island
1954–56, Teacher, Gr. 4
- St. Agatha School, Nanuet
1956–64, Teacher, Gr. 6
- St. Stephen, Manhattan
1964–67, Teacher, Gr. 8
- St. Emeric, Manhattan
1967–70, Teacher, Gr. 8
- Academy of Mt. St. Vincent, Tuxedo Park
1970–71, Teacher, Chemistry, Biology, German
- St. Michael HS, Manhattan
1971–73, Teacher, Biology, Sciences, Music, German
1974–76 Teacher, Biology, Sciences, German
- Cardinal Spellman HS, Bronx
1976–86, Teacher, Biology, German
1987–88, P/T German
- St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Bronx
1987–88, P/T Music for Hearing Impaired
1988–2002, Teacher, Music
2002–08, Volunteer, Music
- Maria Waechtler Schule, Essen
1973–74, Teacher, English, Biology
RIP Sr Goretti your harmonica
Made everyone’s birthday special
Just like you
Sr. Goretti was an excellent biology teacher and a beautiful person.
May she rest in peace.
I remember her at Cardinal Spellman. She coordinated the Search retreats during my Junior year. She was a woman of deep faith and prayer. She truly emulated the spirit of Mother Seton.
We all had such a great lunch crew at st Joseph’s school for the deaf
So many laughs
You were a great teacher
You were the teacher at Spellman that made the biggest impression on me. You were a great teacher. Forty+ years later, I still know all of the German songs we learned and still say The Lord’s Prayer in German. Most of all, traveling to Germany with you on the school sponsored trip to Germany taught me many a life lesson. Your warm heart and the truth in your words and experience made my travels with you very memorable.
I had the privilege of working with S Goretti at the Academy of Mt St Vincent in Tuxedo Park.
She was a “ house” mother to our freshman, sophomore and junior boarders as well as 4 live in teachers.
She was a spark of laughter and a ray of sunshine always willing to lend a helping hand be it washing dishes, or making snacks or offering a ride out on the town
God Keep her in the palm of His hand
I loved Schwester Goretti. She made learning German fun and exciting. I will always remember her in my heart and to this day can still recite some Christmas Carols in German. You live in my heart. God bless you. Rest in peace
I just now learned of the demise of my most favorite and loved teacher at St. Stephen Elementary School on east 28 Street in Manhattan. Sister Goretti, aptly named for she was the very spirit of innocence and love to me, taught eighth grade in school year 1965/1966. Her gentle mannerisms, attention to each student, obvious dedication to her work and caring not only for the learning of each individual student but her tender attentive care for us. Sister Goretti as I always loving addressed her haunted me for the rest of my life which should show the impact she made on me. I even called her once just to talk to her somewhere in the early 2000s. She sounded as I remembered with her heart in her angelic voice. I have always remembered her fondly and have prayed for her and as I talked to her in my mind sometimes I will continue to talk to her and pray our Lord Jesus will allow my speech to Sister Goretti’s spiritual ears. I feel loss knowing she is not here on earth but so glad she realizes the beatific vision for which we all yearn. Respectfully, Sincerely and Loving Rest in the true Pax Christi Dear Sister Maria Goretti.