May God Bless And Guide Us All During This New Year And May It Be A Year Of Rich Blessings For Our Congregation.
We participated in the solemn Celebrations of the Nativity of the Lord, being reassured of God’s infinite love which we are called to share with each other and with all. In his Message at the Urbi et Orbi, Pope Francis exclaimed: Today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord! - We thank our Sisters for all Christmas and New Year wishes which reached us. Many of our Sisters worldwide were committed in the different Parishes, institutions and in our own communities to spread and share the joy of Christ’s Birth with many! This fills us with joy!
▪ The Sisters from the Generalate Community participated in the Congress Faith in Religious Life offered by the University Claretianum. Venue was the Aula Magna of the Urbaniana.
▪ The three General Superiors of the core communities of the UAC, Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, Sr. Ivete Garlet and Sr. Izabela Świerad met on 28. 12. in our Generalate to share communications with each other and to plan common programmes for 2014.
▪ Preferring not to spend the Christmas days alone or in their homes, twenty-five persons attended the invitation for common celebration in the Retreat house in Limburg from December 21 to 27. Sr. Simone Hachen, Sr. Astrid Meinert and Sr. Helga Weidemann guided the programme which, besides several talks given by guest speakers had the goal to invite for silent time and recollection in preparation of the Feast of Christmas. Strengthened by the experience of community and prayerful moments all went back to their homes with great satisfaction.
▪ The Sisters in Brazil were happy to welcome Superior General Sr. Izabela and her vicar Sr. Maria for the General Visitation. The visitors shared with them their daily community life, visited the diverse parishes where every one of the Sisters accompanies the pastoral groups of one parish sector; they saw the social projects with children and youth, participated in the Eucharistic celebrations and lay-guided celebrations of the Word of God in the city and in the outward villages. Together with Sr. Silvia de Almeida, the representative of Provincial Sr. Helga Weidemann, they were invited by Bishop Sebastiao Bandeira Coelho to a meeting and dinner in Coroatá. The great joy of being together was overshadowed by the quickly progressive disease of Sr. Marylande Rodrigues Lopes who on December 16 was called to the house of the Father. The loss is painful for the small group of now 7 sisters in Brazil and the whole German Province. It was very strengthening and providential that Sr. Izabela and Sr. Maria could be with the Sisters during these days.
Junior Sisters and second year Novices were on retreat in Poli Singisi in preparation for the renewal of vows on January 1st and for the First Profession on January 6th. At Pallotti Secondary School the students too had a short retreat before the end of the school year, and in the Formation House in Siuyu the Aspirants had their retreat. ▪ Eleven girls came for a Come and See experience. For the first time a girl from Kenya was among the group.
▪ On December 8th Sr Mary arrived back in Tanzania after being in England for three months. On the 20th during a short ceremony at Evening Prayer, she missioned Sr. Theresia Gurti to South Africa, on Sunday, December 29th several of the Sisters and Postulants joined in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Diocese of Arusha. Fifty years ago it began with 4 parishes, now it has 49. God be praised for all His blessings.
▪ December has been a month of reaching out to the poor and less fortunate. The Parish Community in Buckhannon as well as the Hospital family members has been extremely generous. The Parish collected 1600 pounds of food for the local interdenominational clearing house, “Parish House.” A collection of money is still underway for the program ABLE Families in Southern West Virginia for families in need of education and offers academic and civic education to help families get out of the system that causes their poverty in the first place.
▪ St. Joseph’s Hospital collected close to 200 new boots for Pre-school children in the county. The collection of food items for needy families, donated by the Employees will continue till the end of January, when the shelves of the food pantries will start to get bare after the Christmas rush. Another food drive is planned for July, called “Christmas in July.”
▪ A group of High School students brought gifts to the Emergency Department for children who had to be in the hospital during the Christmas Season.
▪ The sisters in Laurel opened their home to participate in the neighborhood Christmas House Tour, and at least 60 people visited them. ▪ The whole week before Christmas, the High School - in cooperation with the parish and other churches - hosted about 40 homeless people in the Winterhaven program, which provides overnight and three meals.
▪ Sisters were engaged in the two parishes in the Huntington area, St. Stephen’ Paris, and Sacred Heart Parish. Members of St. Stephen’s parish family delivered 20 Christmas baskets, prepared with collected food items, to needy families. Along with collected food, the Religious Education Students from St. Stephen’s parish also gifted 20 young boys and girls with a Christmas gift.
▪ On the 7th December, seven young women were welcomed to Our Lady of Good Counsel Convent in Corozal by Sr. Gabrielle and Sr. Rosalyn. On that same weekend Nazareth welcomed 15 young women for a live-in experience. In Corozal, Sr. Gabrielle related her own faith journey from childhood to her answering the call of God to becoming a Religious. The theme for the live-in at Nazareth was, ‘the Call’. Sr. Stephen and Junior Sisters Sr. Catarina and Sr. Ester took care of the live-in.
▪ Throughout the entire Diocese, December 12 was celebrated as a Thanksgiving Day to Our Lady of Guadalupe for her protection against hurricanes and disasters. Provincial Sr. Consuelo Burgos and Sr. Clara Teul and attended the celebrations at Divine Mercy Church, followed by a folkloristic Serenade in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
▪ In all Communities, food packages were distributed to poor and needy families. Sr. Alicia Buddan and UAC team distributed toys to needy children. ▪ In Punta Gorda, all the Sisters assisted with the Christmas HOPE dinner. About 200 elderly received a delicious turkey dinner, gift and a bag of fruits. Some danced to the melodious sound of the golden oldies Christmas music.
▪ Six sisters attended a meeting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercy Center on Pastoral Challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.
▪ Sr. Lydia Vasquez celebrated her 90th birthday in grand style. Many of her relatives came to see her and shared drinks and food with her. Sister enjoyed all the company on that day.
▪ Seven of the sisters attended the Christmas dinner at the Bishop’s residence for the clergy and religious of the diocese, which was a fitting way to celebrate a good year ended.
▪ On 14th December, the UAC communities belonging to Warsaw-Praga diocese had their recollection day in Pallottine Fathers’ provincial house. Sr. Małgorzata Wyrodek was responsible for the program and was assisted by Srs. Anna Ozon and Monika Cecot; Sr. Barbara Rohde, UAC formator in Poland, also took part in it. Fr. L. Woroniecki, SAC encouraged the participants in his homily during the Holy Mass to be brave apostles in their milieu. Then Sr. Monika with the help of electronic media presented St. Vincent Pallotti as a discoverer of lay people’s charisms who also encouraged them to use their gifts in the UAC. After dinner all the participants broke traditional Polish “opłatek”. Most of the participants were advanced in age but there were also some young persons from groups accompanied by our sisters.
▪ On 28th and 29th December, Warsaw and Gdańsk were venues of the meetings of local treasurers from the Polish Province. The meetings were conducted by the Provincial council and treasurer. To both meetings Mr. K. Ratajczak, consultant of the Poznań Curia for sacral architecture and advisor of many religious congregations, was invited. The participants highlighted that the meeting helped them in dealing with economic issues.
▪ From 14th of December, the lay members of the UAC had a three days Recollection on the life and Spirituality of our Holy Founder St. Vincent Pallotti at the Spirituality Center of Rebero. They left full of zeal to take Pallotti as model in their everyday life and their apostolic commitment.
▪ In terms of ongoing formation, all junior Sisters gathered in Kibeho from 26 to 31 December for a seminar on the theme The challenges of the Consecrated Life’ lead by Sr. Consolée Mukayirabuka.
▪ During the same period, the 12 Candidates gathered as well in Ruhango for their annual seminar lead by Sr. Catherine Nikuze.
▪ In Bangalore, Sr. Josephine Arul Sudha, made her Final Profession on December 8 at St. Vincent Krupa Convent. Fr. Ralph Besterwitch, Provincial Consultor of Assumption Province, Bangalore, was the main celebrant and gave an inspiring homily on the meaning of Vowed Life. The Sisters from our different communities, representatives of nearby religious houses, friends and the members of Sr. Sudha’s family all had a splendid celebration.
▪ Provincial Superior, Sr. Inacinha Fernandes attended a Major Superiors’ meeting.
▪ The Sisters and novices spent a day in prayer at Old Goa that was designed for priests and religious during the novena in honor of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa.
▪ The sacred relic of our Founder was welcomed by the community along with the UAC lay members on December 20th. The next day Sisters and novices took turns to conduct the services for one hour each, and the lay members joined for one hour of veneration and adoration. Around 5:30 pm all moved in procession to Casa Pallotti and handed Pallotti’s Holy Bible over to the Rector of Casa Pallotti, Fr. Oswald D’ Souza.
▪ In Manjeshwar, the sacred Relic was brought to our Sisters’ community and Sr. Evujin D’Sousa conducted the prayer service in Konkani for the parishioners. Around 60 people along with the parish priest and youth of the parish took part in it and all enjoyed refreshments at the end.
▪ At Casa Pallotti, Assagao, Goa, the Novices and the Pallottine Brothers along with Sr. J.X. Clara and Fr. Sebenius Kujur, presented a Christmas program at Mapusa Jail where Sr. Jacquine Susai renders her service as a volunteer. ▪ Sr. Sinha Pereira and the novices joined the youth of the parish for carol singing and on the 23rd Srs. Alda and Sinha joined for the live crib and carol singing at the neighbouring villages. ▪ In Raipur the Sisters and the aspirants joined the Pallottine Fathers at Abhanpur for the Pallottine Family Christmas gathering. During the solemn Eucharistic celebration 10 residents of Jeevodaya, Leprosy center received the Sacrament of Baptism and Holy Communion. Fr. Vijay, Rector of Jeevodaya, blessed the engagement of two inmates as well. Then followed a cultural program and festive meal.
▪ The Conference of Religious in India (CRI) West Unit Karumathur, known as “The Mini Vatican”, celebrated the joy of Christ’s Incarnation, at the Pallottine School, Pillar campus. Around 300 Fathers, Brothers and Sisters from 29 religious houses came together. The members from different formation houses contributed through songs, prayer, dance, skits, etc. Fr. Eugene, Rector of Christ Hall Seminary, presided at the celebration and delivered the Christmas message, which was focused on Emmanuel- God is with us. Krusantony, the President of CRI West unit, distributed a small address book with all the addresses of the 30 houses belonging to this unit. The team together with Sr. Lowrencia organized this Christmas celebration.
We Remember Our Deceased Sisters
Sr. Marylande Rodrigues Lopes *23.03.1963 † 16.12.2013 Brazil/Germany
Sr. M. Theresia Lütticke *28.02.1933 † 27.12.2013 Germany