Maria von Trapp, a member of the singing family whose story inspired the Sound of Music, died at the end of last month at her home in Vermont. She was 99. The family won fame around Europe for their singing and escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. For a time Maria tested her vocation as a Benedictine nun and later worked as a lay missionary in Papua New Guinea where she adopted a son, Kikuli Mwanukuzi. The film inspired by the von Trapp family story was one of the most successful ever made. Although press coverage only touched on the subject, Maria von Trapp’s faith was a key element in her life. In Look back over the years, she once remarked: “We can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our lives: the will of God.” On another occasion she described Christianity as a big household where many cousins live under the same roof. “They all belong to the same clan, but at times they have different ideas about how to run family affairs.” She went on to say that some of the cousins had given up on outward expressions of faith, including liturgy, but voiced her own belief that we cannot lie on earth as pure spirits. We have a body and faith pushes for bodily expression.