On 16 December, the members of the three Pallottine General Councils participated in an online meeting. This meeting had a formative character and focused on the latest encyclical of Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti. The document was presented by S. Nicla Spezzati, ASC.
What wonderful news! On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis announced the “Year of St. Joseph”. I first heard the news when I was watching the Mass on Facebook (because our Parish Church was closed for two weeks because of Covid-19.) The celebrant announced it at Mass and my heart jumped for joy because my first thought was, “Great, this coincides with St. Joseph Hospital’s 100th Anniversary.”
This year, due to pandemic restrictions, we are experiencing Advent… at home. We focus on work and prayer. In the domestic community we use the ministry of Fr. Stanisław Omiotek SAC, our chaplain. Thanks to this, we have the possibility of daily participation in the Holy Mass, in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and common divine prayer. Every day at 8.30 p.m. we join thousands of other people, praying the Rosary for our homeland and the whole world, asking for peace, faithfulness to Christian values and the end of the pandemic.
In Voroniv (Belarus), we try to do what the current situation allows. We conduct systematic catechesis, only in smaller groups. Therefore, there are more lessons. Religious education starts later than usual due to the extended breaks. In our situation - a community of two – we must pay special attention to maintaining community prayers. We are happy, however, that children have the opportunity to participate in religious education, because during the previous time of strict quarantine many left the presence of God and the Church.
Since my earliest childhood I was aware of how much Mary and Joseph belong together. The crib by the Christmas tree at Christmas, the Christmas story, the Christmas carols. Children have their own logic; they understand more than they can put into words.
OF THE HOLY FATHER
ON THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE PROCLAMATION OF SAINT JOSEPH
AS PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
Matthew and Luke, the two Evangelists who speak most of Joseph, tell us very little, yet enough for us to appreciate what sort of father he was, and the mission entrusted to him by God’s providence.
In 2016, on the basis of the statute of our house in Gniezno, a psychological and psychotherapeutic aid office "Bridge" was established. The responsible person is s. Kinga Skórska (psychologist, psychotherapist), who works together with Sr. Monika Jagiełło (soft skills trainer). The aim of the cabinet is to provide support in crisis situations, offering consultations and diagnosis.
May the Lord go along in our midst. Ex 34: 9
During the Advent Liturgy, we hear the cry of Marana tha! Come Lord Jesus! This year, longing for God is a cry for help, facing problems that have stopped almost the whole world. The Scriptures say, like e.g. in the parable of the ten virgins that Jesus, the Bridegroom, comes in the middle of the night. The Book of Wisdom also teaches us: "When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word like a pitiless warrior into the heart of a land doomed to destruction, carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword" (Wisdom 18 , 14-15).
“Send laborers into your vineyard and spare your people”.
The 7th of December was a very special day for the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate in East Africa, as they witnessed the first commitment of five Novices from their International Novitiate in Arusha, Tanzania. One Novice is Rwandese and four are Tanzanians. Sr Honorata Lyimo, a General Councilor, was delegated by the Superior General, Sr. Izabela Świerad, to receive their vows in the presence of Sr. Basilisa Jacob, the Provincial Superior of the English/Tanzanian Province and Sr. Liberata Niyongira, a General Councilor, representing Sr. Angeline Kambugu, the Regional Superior of Rwanda/Congo Region.
On September 30, 2020, three sisters of the Polish Province: Sr. M. Elżbieta Lidzbarska, Sr. M. Elżbieta Malicka and Sr. M. Paulina Szałek accompanied by Sr. M. Iwona Nadziejko, the Provincial Superior and Sr. M. Ludwika Jastrzębska, the Mission Procurator, went to Spišská Nowa Wieś in Slovakia to take up the ministry of the sacristan and organist at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy and the work as a community nurse.
For one month I have been living - temporarily - in the community of the Pallottine Sisters in Munich with our sisters. Here our mission procurator Sr. Ingrid Schuler with her small, aging community is active every year at the Advent bazaar in favor of our various missions. In the Benedictine parish of St. Bonifaz, the Pallottine Sisters have been working for many years in the Mission Committee, where there is a network of sisters and other committed collaborators.
The O Antiphons, also known as The great Os are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the Alleluia verses on the same days in the post-1970 form of the Catholic Mass. They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the vocative particle "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture.
According to Fr. William P. Saunders, "The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known. Boethius (480–524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time [the sixth century]. At the Benedictine Fleury Abbey, these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, "Keep your O" and "The Great O Antiphons" were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church."
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,
you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care:
Come and show your people the way to salvation.
Donald Jackson, artist and scribe
Matthew Frontispiece: The Genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:1-17)