Born in Maxville, Missouri, Sister Matthias was one of 10 children and the daughter of Frank Haberberger and Mary Ziegelmeier. A Sister of Mercy for 70 years, she entered the Community in Webster Groves, Missouri. She attributed her call to religious life to a Jesuit priest, who asked her one day whether she was doing anything about her vocation. When she responded, “No, not really,” he said he thought she’d better begin doing something. He invited her to come see him, which she did, and a few years later, she entered the Sisters of Mercy. “I can truly say it was a call from God,” she said later.
Sister Matthias earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas, and ministered primarily as a teacher in St. Louis, Springfield, and Sikeston, Missouri; Gillespie, Illinois; and Brownsville, Texas. In her later years, she assisted in healthcare ministry through various positions, including pastoral care, most recently as a volunteer at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. She had a deep love of music, especially the organ, and she was known as a hard worker. In 1977, Sister Matthias was treated for cancer, an experience that had a profound impact on her life. She wrote: “I perceived God’s presence in the surgeon, nurses and others around me. It was indeed a graced time which changed my life.”