▪ With gratitude and joy we celebrated the center of our Christian faith in Holy Week, culminating in the Easter Triduum. Several of us participated in the solemn celebrations with the Holy Father. ▪ During the Easter Octave, the members of the 3 General Councils had a common retreat in Grottaferrata. Sr. Ivete Garlet, General Superior of the Roman Pallottines, guided the day. The reflection based on the theme Giving Witness of our Faith. The Sunday after Easter, Feast of the Divine Mercy which had been introduced by Pope John Paul II, was the extraordinary occasion of the canonization of the two Popes, John XXIII and John Paul II. Rome scarcely can have seen so many pilgrims. The celebration was transmitted on mega screens in several places in the city, where large crowds had gathered. Many had spent the night on the streets in waiting for that event. In our houses we had many guests, especially from Poland and the United States, who had come for that occasion. Among them was Bishop A. Kaszkiewicz from Belarus and Bishop J. Ozga from Cameroon, who stayed for a longer time with us. With Archbishop Stephen Brislin from Cape Town, we had an inspiring meeting after his ad limina visit with Pope Francis. He is President of the South African Bishops Conference.
▪ Earlier this month, Srs. Izabela and Josephine were visiting our Sisters in South Africa, and Srs. Bożena and Maria were in Poland for visitation. At the end of the visitation, the whole General Council met in Warsaw with the Polish Provincial Council. ▪ Srs. Stella and Beata represented our Congregation in a meeting of the members of the three General Councils here in Rome with a group of the San Egidio Community at their Center in Trastevere. The speaker, Fr. Federico Biserna, under the title The Surprise of Pope Francis, focused on how to live with the challenges of the Gospel in response to the signs of the times. He spoke about the peripheries of our modern world which are in need of evangelization and based his ideas on the teaching of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium. After the meeting a common liturgy was celebrated in the Church of S. Maria in Trastevere.
▪ We enjoyed to receive the news, that Pope Francis has nominated Fr. Bruno Ateba Edo, SAC, the Regional Rector of the Most Holy Trinity Region of Cameroon and Nigeria, as Bishop of the Diocese of Maroua- Mokolo, Cameroon.
▪ During Lenten season the sisters at Pallotti Convent in Laurel, Maryland, participated in many of the parish events: the Living Stations of the Cross, the Friday Fish dinners and the Hunger Dinner, Rice Bowl donations, and especially the beautiful Holy Week services. ▪ A friend of the community, Iris Campbell, invited the Sisters to have Easter dinner with her family. She is much in their prayers, as she is on dialysis, still waiting over a year for a kidney donor. ▪ The convent has truly been a “hospitality house” during the months of March and April. The Sisters welcomed a new resident, Sr. Marta from Slovakia; Fr. Greg Serwas, SAC and two UAC lay members from New York received hospitality during the National Coordination Council meeting in Baltimore. Sr. Karen Lester also attended the meeting. For two weeks, the Sisters hosted four high-school girls and their teacher from Ahlen, Germany, who were participating in the biennial Pallotti High School exchange program.
▪ The good weather enables St. Mary’s Medical Center to sponsor several fund-raising events, such as: Heart Walk, in which Srs. Diane Bushee, Mary Terence Wall and Mary Grace Barile walked; a Rally for Autism Walk; and a 25-mile bicycle ride at Ritter Park. ▪ The Paschal Triduum and Easter liturgies were led by the Nigerian hospital chaplain. He washed and kissed the feet of 12 Sisters, sang the entire Exultet in Latin, and literally acted out his homily of Peter and John running to the tomb on the first Easter. ▪ In Buckhannon at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Pastoral Care held weekly Lenten Studies. On Good Friday, their Hospital Chaplain, Rev. Ronald McCauley retired. He had been with them for 8 years, and during that time he established a truly faith-based culture, which permeated every aspect of the organization. He is sorely missed. Sr. Francesca Lowis will have to step in until they find a replacement. ▪ At the beginning of April, Sr. Francesca held a Missioning Service for the “Hands and Hearts for Christ” Medical Mission Team, which consisted of 26 persons. They spent eight days in Orange Walk, Belize. There the surgical team performed 66 surgeries. The dental team treated over 200 patients, and the clinic doctors treated roughly 400 patients. The people came from all over, and the team members also went out to visit the surrounding villages.
▪ Sr. Margaret and Sr. Adalberta have been giving sacramental instructions. Recently five students from different schools, ranging between the ages of 9-17 years, received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. 25 year old Enrique Castillo and 19 year old Adrielle Lopez were welcomed into the Catholic Family as they received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. ▪ Sr. Adalberta attended a retreat with couples who give pre-nuptial preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage. ▪ Sr. Alicia Buddan and lay UAC members held their first Pallottine Expo 2014 on Pallotti High School grounds. Fr. Jordan Gorgora celebrated the opening Mass, Sr. Consuelo Burgos gave the welcome address and Sr. Alicia gave the final thanks. Some displays were done by the UAC groups, musical items were presented by the Pallotti School of music and the Choral Society. The UAC members had poems, skits and songs as part of the program. ▪ Some Sisters attended a Lenten crusade at St. John Vianney Church. Fr. Ian Taylor from Trinidad was the guest speaker. The theme was Whose Kingdom are you Following? A healing service took place on the last night. ▪ A few Sisters went to the Chrism Mass at Holy Redeemer Cathedral. It was well attended and both Bishops were present along with 32 priests. After Mass most of the congregation gathered at the Parish hall for a light snack. ▪ Sr. Stephen and Sr. Ester were in Otoxha village to assist with a youth gathering. There were speakers from Guatemala and our two Sisters were conducting a workshop for over 150 young people from various villages in the Toledo district.
▪ On 28th of March St. Joseph’s Home had a requiem Mass for the beloved Archbishop em. Lawrence Patrick Henry, who was a previous chairperson of the Board of Management of St. Joseph’s Home and present Member of St. Joseph’s Association and Pallottine Property Trust. It was an honor that Srs. Izabela Świerad and Josephine D´Souza could take part in this Holy Eucharist. ▪ In early April all the religious of Cape Town had a Lenten recollection day preached by Fr. Sean Cap. His theme was The Joy of the Gospel. Sr. Izabela took part in this event and was warmly welcomed by the religious gathered there. In turn, she promised them her prayers at the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter. Meanwhile Sr. Prescilla travelled to India for her home holidays.
▪ St. Joseph’s Home organised High Tea for the purpose of fundraising and few of our Sisters participated in this event.
▪ Sr. Izabela, accompanied by Councilor Sr. Josephine made visit to the Province. The Sisters cherished their presence and their guidance. Several Sisters accompanied our visitors to the airport, fortunately or unfortunately that their flight was cancelled. Thus, they had the privilege of hosting them for another day.
▪ A session on the Union of Catholic Apostolate was held in Ołtarzew for the Postulants and Novices, together with the Pallottine seminarians. It was guided by Sr. Barbara Rohde, National UAC Formation promoter with a team of UAC members. The theme was UAC at the Service of the Family. Talks about UAC Initiatives on Behalf of Family by Sr. Anna Ozon, St. Vincent Pallotti’s Family by Fr. Stawicki, The Influence of the Membership in the UAC on Family Life by UAC lay members, and a psychological workshop on the experiences of one’s own family by Izabela Owczaruk. Fr. Chmielniak, President of the Polish UAC celebrated Holy Mass for the group.
▪ The second part of the general visitation of the Province was completed. The community in Gdańsk, Malczewskiego Str. was visited by General Superior, Sr. Izabela Świerad, and the other communities of the north, east and central parts of Poland, by Srs. Maria Landsberger and Bożena Olszewska. At the end of the visitation Superior General with her two Councilors, Srs. Stella and Josephina also came from Rome for a meeting of the Provincial Council with the General Council in Warsaw - a first time event in the history of the Polish Province.
▪ Four sisters went to Rome for the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II to represent the Polish Province. Other sisters who came in pilgrimages from parishes were also present.
▪ The Junior Sisters had their formation meeting in Zakopane, guided by Sr. Jolanta Wagner. Prayer, discussions and climbing on the Tatra Mountains were on the program. The highlight of the meeting was watching the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II on the peak of Kasprowy Wierch, which Karol Wojtyła had climbed many times. Before the canonization they participated in a night vigil in the Holy Family Church.
▪ This Easter was a time of rejoicing over the power of the risen Christ, the greatest hope. Members of the local communities lived in the spirit of prayer and meditation at that sacred time.
▪ Srs. Catherine Nikuze and Cecile Uwibambe led a 4-day series for 8 candidates, who are ready to start their formation. Some were held in Keshero, DR Congo and others in Ruhango, Rwanda.
▪ The Sisters were in union with the whole Church to celebrate the Sunday of Divine Mercy, and to thank God for the canonization of the two Popes; St. John XXIII and John Paul II. Many Sisters participated in the Liturgy in Kabuga at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, where Holy Mass was celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio in Rwanda. Others went to Ruhango, where the Center of Divine Mercy, which belongs to the Pallottine Fathers, received the new status of The Shrine of Divine Mercy under the patronage of St. Faustina and St. John Paul II. The Sisters in Ruhango were committed to the preparation and the reception of more than 100,000 pilgrims, who gathered there for the Holy Eucharist that was presided by Mgr. Smaragde Mbonyintege, Bishop of Kabgayi.
We Remember Our Deceased Sisters
Sr. M. Mirona Cymanowska, SAC *28.06.1929 † 06.04.2014 Poland