On Palm Sunday we joined an enormous crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the Liturgy celebrated by Pope Francis. In his homily he asked the faithful to observe a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the World.
▪ The General Coordination Council of the Union of Catholic Apostolate (UAC) held its annual meeting at the Pallottine Formation Center in Rome, Via Ferrari from the 27th-31st of March. During these days the GCC elected Ms. Donatella Acerbi as President and Fr. Frank Donio, as Vice President of the Union.
▪ In preparation for the Lent, the Generalate and the Procura communities dedicated a day for adoration and a conference lead by Fr. Sylwester Pająk, SVD.
▪ This month saw a lot of travel: Srs. Izabela Świerad and Josephina DʹSouza travelled to Poland, Sr. Stella Holisz to Belize and Sr. Patrice Wales to USA. Srs. Josephina and Magdalena made a pilgrimage to Naples together with a large group of priests, sisters and laity from Mangalore, India, who are residing in Rome.
▪ Many UAC members from the communities in Rome participated in the Golden Jubilees of Fr. Alois Scherer of his priesthood and Fr. Norbert Hannappel of his consecration, both of which were celebrated on the 18th in the Church of San Salvatore in Onda.
▪ Srs. Diane Bushee, Mary Grace Barile and Mary Terence Wall have attended special Lenten offerings at St. Stephen's parish in Ona, West Virginia, where St. Mary’s Hospital Chaplain, Fr. Godwin, was the guest speaker at the first Lenten Soup for the Soul Event. ▪ The Sisters in Huntington are enjoying the presence of Sr. Blanka Sławińska from Poland, who is spending three months in the USA, improving her English. On their trip to the Board Meeting in Buckhannon and then on to Laurel, Sr. Blanka accompanied Srs. Diane and Mary Grace to see St. Joseph's Convent and Hospital where she was welcomed to the Board of Trustees Meeting, and Vincent Pallotti High School. She met the Sisters in these apostolates.
▪ Because of the severe winter this year in West Virginia, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon gave away several dozen blankets to the poor in the local area. ▪ Holy Rosary parish church in Buckhannon has been filled with Lenten Activities and Sr. Francesca Lowis made the people aware of the many Lenten Resources available on the Internet. ▪ Sr. Francesca attended the Emergency Food and Shelter Board meeting of Upshur County, which allocates government funds, which the County receives through Federal Emergency Management Agency. Sister also was invited to recite the Invocation and Benediction at the Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner.
▪ A special documentary, Seeking God In All Things, which chronicles the Pallottine Missionary Sisters´ one-hundred year history in the United States, is the first film that was shown this year by the Marshall Artists Series - Spring Film Festival. The Sisters hosted this free and open to the public presentation at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in downtown Huntington on March 26th.
▪ During Lent, the Sisters at Pallotti Convent in Laurel were on their Lenten journey with renewed prayer and resolutions, Rice Bowl contributions, and the parish “Friday Fish Suppers”. The Pallotti High School students were involved in several activities: 1) a weeklong Lenten Food Drive for the poor; 2) a monthly “Happy Helpers” outreach to the homeless; 3) a watershed cleanup at Suplee River; 4) a 30-hour prayer, fast, and food collecting event by Life Team; 5) Catholic Charities Youth Day of Service; 6) Second year student service days for the elderly and pre-schoolers; and 7) mini-basketball clinics being offered by our basketball teams.
▪ A Recollection Day, guided by Fr. Erich Schädler, SAC, the coordinator of the Union of Switzerland-East, was held on March 13, in the Convent of the Pallottine Sisters. Lay members and friends of the Union participated together with the Sisters in this recollection with the theme Ageing with dignity. This is a highly topical theme, as Switzerland counts among the countries of the highest expectancy of life. The Civil Chart promotes a dignified and confident ageing process and presents this stage of life as a chance, comprehending the ageing person as a precious resource. The speaker highlighted that faithful persons can, especially in old age, experience God as their true companion, who walks with us at all stages of life. In him solitude and every distress are held. This faithful God, who remains present in all that disorients us, encourages us, to carry together the destiny of the brethren.
▪ Since the end of February Sr. Raphael Fuchs, Delegature Superior of the Swiss Pallottine Sisters, stayed for some weeks in a hospital, due to blood poisoning. The Sisters see it as an Easter gift that she recovered from this life-threatening illness, and is now back in the community.
▪ In the month of March Sisters were experiencing in their Region a time of grace during the official visitation by Regional Superior Sr. Liberata Niyongira. In each community, the Sisters had nine days of spiritual preparation, and a novena to the Holy Spirit. They prayed that the visitation might be a fruitful time for the Region and for Sisters’ personal and community renewal. ▪ In terms of vocation animation, a team of Sisters is going on with the visits to young people. On Sunday the 15th, they went to meet the students from the University of Health Sciences in Kigali and gave a talk about Consecrated Llife and our Religious Family. Many students attended and were interested.
On March 30th a new Provincial Council of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters of Polish Province was appointed by the General Council for the term of three years. The new Provincial government consists of the Provincial Superior - Sr. Mirosława Włodarczyk, Vice Provincial - Sr. lwona Nadziejko, and Councilors: Srs. Magdalena Szymczak, Ewa Brandt, Anna Małdrzykowska, and Treasurer - Sr. Lucyna Wójtowicz. Through the intercession of Mary Queen of Apostles and of our founder St. Vincent Pallotti, we ask God’s blessings upon our Sisters as they shoulder their responsibility of the Province.
L to R: Sr. Lucyna Wójtowicz, Sr. lwona Nadziejko, Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska, Sr. Mirosława Włodarczyk, Sr. Magdalena Szymczak, Sr. Ewa Brandt
We remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. M. Irmunde Spelthann, SAC * 01.11.1915 † 15.03.2015 England