▪ Holy Father Francis not only continues to draw thousands of people where ever he goes, but one never knows what he might do. During the Penitential Liturgy on the last Friday of this month, he waved aside his escorts and walked to an open booth, knelt, and gave his confession to a priest. With this humble example he shows the world that he leads his faithful by his own example. He walks his talk.
▪ Several canonical visitations are underway: Sr. Izabela visited Gdańsk, Poland, Srs. Izabela and Josephine visited our Sisters in South Africa, Srs. Bożena and Maria were visiting Poland. Because Poland is such a large province, visitations will continue into April.
▪ Our General Treasurer, Sr. Stella Holisz had the privilege to participate in the International Symposium in Rome on The Management of Ecclesiastical Goods of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for the Service of Humanity and for the Mission of the Church that was requested by Pope Francis. The meeting was presided over by his Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The conference included many qualified speakers on such topics as Church History, The Vow of Poverty, Finances, Canon Law, Pastoral Ministry, Charism Development, and Health Care Services. Discussions were on the imbalance of personnel and resources between the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres, sustainability of the mission of congregations, and how to balance business with trust in the Providence of God. The conference was guided by Pope Francis’ statement in Evangelii Gaudium (58): “Money must serve, not rule! I exhort you to generous solidarity and the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.”
▪ Sisters attended the Pallotti Institute’s first lecture for this year, which was held in the Church of San Salvatore in Onda. For this year’s series, the Institute aims to explore the concept of Pallotti, as a Formator. The talk was given by Rev. Filippo Lovison, Professor of Church History at the Gregorian Pontifical University. His presentation was on the theme: The character of the formator in the 19th century and the implications for to-day. ▪ This month has seen more than the usual amount of travel for our Sisters. Srs. Brunhilde and Helene from the Procura community and Srs. Josephine and Beata went to Cologne, Germany to participate in the retirement tribute to Cardinal Archbishop, Joachim Meisner, a long-time friend of our Sisters here in Rome. After reaching the age of 80 years this past Christmas day, Pope Francis accepted Card. Meisner’s request for retirement on the last day of February. Following a solemn Mass in the Cologne cathedral a program of thanks and admiration to His Eminence took place.
▪ St. Stephen's Church observed National Catholic Sisters' Week by inviting all Sisters to a Mass and reception in their honor on Sunday the 16th. Srs. Mary Grace Barile, a parishioner, along with Srs. Diane Bushee, Elisabeth Heptner, Joanne Obrochta, Mary Terence Wall, and Marian Ruth Creamer represented the Local Communities. It was a lovely tribute, and the parish sent back a large basket of fresh fruit and a basket of chocolates the Sisters in the Infirmary. A DVD of the event was sent to the sisters who could not attend. ▪ At St. Joseph’s Hospital and at Holy Rosary parochial Church, Lent is being observed under the three-pronged program of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. In the Hospital, the theme takes on a more interdenominational character as the Methodist Chaplain and Sr. Francesca Lowis aim at dealing with the needs of all patients and employees, as most are of denominations other than Catholic. The cooperation has been a wonderful experience of Ecumenism in action. In the Parish, Lent is observed in a typical Catholic tradition making a special effort to involve children, youth and families, and the elderly. Even though Sr. Francesca works full-time at the Hospital, she is quite active in the local Parish throughout the Liturgical Year. Holy Rosary is the only Catholic Church in the entire County. Much of West Virginia could probably be considered a Diaspora. ▪ The administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital received the Business Woman of the Year 2013 Award during the Annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner. This was not only an honor for her, but also for the hospital. The function began with an Invocation and ended with a Benediction by Sr. Francesca. Although this was a secular function, prayer is important to most people in this area of West Virginia.
▪ Five Junior Sisters participated in a very inspiring 3-day Seminar held at Jordan University in Morogoro on the theme The Figure of Jesus and His Message in the trilogy Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI. Each day there were lectures by a different speaker followed by group discussions. Professor S. Horn spoke on the Beatitudes as the way into the mind and heart of Jesus. Professor M. Maier focussed on the Unity of the two Testaments and of Jesus as the Torah in Person. Prof V. Twomey lectured on The Priestly Prayer of Jesus and on Pope Benedict’s Theology of the Eucharist. Nearly 500 took part – among whom were six Bishops, many priests, religious, seminarians and students of Theology All were awarded Certificates and were given the three volumes of Jesus of Nazareth for their own further study and reflection.
▪ On the feast of the Annunciation five Postulants were accepted with joy into the community in Siuyu. Thanks to God for His gift of vocations.
▪ The closing ceremonies of the Centennial Year took place on the grounds of Novitiate Nazareth on Sunday the 16th at 9:30 a.m. in the midst of 1300 plus well-wishers from all Districts of Belize. After a sprite parade, the crowd gathered for a thanksgiving Mass, followed by words of gratitude, cultural presentations from the main ethnic groups, and a hearty meal on the green lawns. A hundred balloons were released to symbolically remind us that we cannot stay on the mountain top, but must begin again to forage new fields of evangelization across Belize and the world. The people showed their appreciation in many unique ways during this year, and the Sisters expressed their gratitude to the people for their support through 100 years of ministry. Fr. Tony Vega gave a morning Recollection to the Sisters on the theme of The Prodigal Son.
▪ Sr. Alicia went to Barbados to give a Lenten mission at the Pallottine Parish. ▪ Catholic Schools Week opened wth a Mass using the theme, Catholic Schools, Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Mr. Paul Rodriquez was the guest speaker. Many activities were held during the week, such as a convention for High School teachers, and vocation booths exhibiting the charisma and activities of all communities.
▪ A day never to be forgotten! It was shocking news to all the faithful of Cape Town and elsewhere when God called back their beloved, the Most Reverend Lawrence Patrick Henry, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town. A simple and humble man he was, who knew his sheep and pastured them in green land and protected them. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on 15th March at The Good Hope Center. Thousands of people, among whom were Cardinal Wilfred Nappier and Bishops from various dioceses, gathered to show their respect to Him. R.I.P. ▪ On the feast of St. Joseph, Sr. Boscona was joyfully welcomed back from her home holidays in Germany. The day was commorated with a Mass con-celebrated by Chaplain, Fr. Emmanuel and
Frs. Job, MSFS, Belich, SAC, and Peter, a diocesan priest. The children and staff from the Home and school joined in along with the Sisters from the Pineland community. After Holy Mass a fellowship meal was served at the convent. Later, Fr. Manuel Zuzate, SAC came and joined the Sisters for supper. ▪ Another great day came when Superior General, Sr. Izabela and General Councillor Sr. Josephine arrived. The Sisters from both communities went to the airport to receive them. It was a wonderful moment to meet and greet as they were all filled with gladness and joy. After a short prayer and welcome song all gathered together at the table for the evening supper at Vincent Pallotti Convent.
▪ Springtime has come and with that the Sisters in Swizzerland joyfully announce that they have a new member in the person of Sr. Sophie Schuler. Sr. Sophie is Swizz and grew up in Rothenthurm and entered the convent in Bernhardzell. In the 60’s she was transfered to Germany and lived and worked in Limburg for nearly 50 years. She was educated in the Institute for Administration in Cham, and was skilled in all kinds of handcraft and, had an excellent knowledge of problems with cars and motors. Just as she was inventive in finding solutions in practical matters, she was a person that searched for God’s way in her life. Deep within herself there still remained a home sickness for Swizzerland. She courageously spoke about that to her superiors in the Generalate, the Swiss Delegature and the German Province. They all agreed to her desire to transfer to Niederuzwil in Swizzerland. After saying farewell and being sent, Sr. Sophie is feeling at home among her Sisters in her new community. ▪ The Sisters have a belief that it is important even for a small community of elderly members to continue to evaluate the signs of the time and to be open for new ventures. Thus Sr. Maria Dörig has started a part time service of preaching in four parishes in Uzwil. ▪ The parish of Niederuzwil shared great joy at the end of a recent Sunday service when Mesian, a gentleman from Sri Lanka, known to the Sisters for the last six years, and who was looking for political assylum, went to the ambo and declared that he now had gotten his permit to stay in Swizzerland! He was afraid of being imprisoned, if he returned to his home country. At this announcement, great joy and thanksgiving broke out, as everyone shared their joy with him. He then thanked all those who had helped him on his way, among whom was Sr. Hieronyma. The parisheners’s responded to this good news with a rousing applause.
▪ A 3-day Lent retreat is one of the most popular forms of evangelization of children and youth. Sr. Danuta Przybyłek of Gniezno, Petulancy Director, was invited to run 5 retreats among others in Drawsko, Wągrowiec and Nidzica. In two parishes she was accompanied by postulants: Justyna and Kinga. Sr. Agata Hulak is helping her with the retreats for in Nidzica. The evangelizing activity also has a vocational dimension, because it is a good opportunity to get young people acquainted with the religious community. ▪ In Częstochowa there was an annual night vigil for the Pallottine High School youth. Over 300 participants came from all over Poland. Srs. Małgorzata Wyrodek, Joanna Jażdżewska and Mariusza Łuniewska prayed with the youth. The leading theme was Pope Francis’ words Poor in spirit taken from his Message for World Youth Day in 2014. During a conference, the youth considered what evangelical poverty consists of and what kind of challenge it is for them in their daily life. In walking the Stations of the Cross they watched and followed Jesus, the first of the poor. The Holy Mass was the highlight of the vigil after which all were sent to live out the evangelical poverty called by Pope Francis “a revolutionary novelty”. ▪ Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska from the community in Pisz prepared an article titled: St. Vincent Pallotti’s Pedagogy that will be published in the 3rd volume of a series “Pedagogies of Catholic Religious Congregations” supervised by Professor Janina Kostkiewicz of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In the 1st part of the article she presented the historical background, the person of St. Vincent Pallotti, and his vision of education and pedagogical activity. In the 2nd part she showed pedagogical work of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in Poland as a realization of the premises of St. Vincent’s pedagogy.
▪ Together with the whole Church many Sisters are committed to their parishes in different activities planned for this Lent. They also take benefit of this time to deepen prayer and charitable deeds in different apostolic fields; especially in the schools where students and teachers go regularly to pay visits to poor people. ▪Three Novices have come back to the Novitiate after three months of apostolic experience in various communities; they are now continuing with their Formation course. ▪All Sisters engaged in Formation gathered in Ruhango for the annual Formation meeting with the Regional Secretariat of the Pallottine Fathers.
▪ St. Vincent Krupa Community in Bangalore participated in the Night Vigil at the Bridgettine Convent, which was organized by the Bangalore Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services as part of the Lenten preparation. Sr. Angela Devi and the postulants participated in the Women’s Day celebration organized by the Sacred Heart Brothers at Gaddalahali along with the women from 38 villages.
We Remember Our Deceased Sisters
Sr. M. Michaele Partenheimer SAC *16.10. 1926 † 04.03.2014 Germany
Sr. M. Jakobita Zell SAC *19.03. 1924 † 14.03.2014 Germany