▪ The first month of the year is always a busy and very special time for the Pallottine Family. From January 6th to 13th, during the Epiphany Octave, organized by the Pallottine Parish Regina degli Apostoli in Via Giuseppe Ferrari, we could daily experience the beauty of the liturgy in another Catholic rite. This year the last day was dedicated to an ecumenical service together with the Lutheran Community of Rome.
▪ The Triduum and Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti was celebrated at San Salvatore in Onda. In tune with the Year of Mercy, the theme was: The Mercy of God in the life of St. Vincent Pallotti and in Our Lives. Homilies were given on St. Vincent Pallotti and the Needy on the 1st Day. Pallotti and the Suffering the 2nd day, and on the 3rd day Pallotti and Sinners. The preachers were: Fr. Giovanni Villa, the priest from the parish of Sts. Biagio and Carlo Catinari, Fr. Tadeusz Wojda, SAC, Under Secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples and by Rector General Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, SAC. The traditional answer to the letter of St. Vincent Pallotti to the Students of the Pontifical Urbanian College was read by a Nigerian seminarian. Every year this is a touching moment. On the Feast day, Card. Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education presided over the Eucharist. After the Mass all enjoyed the agape in the Hotel Ponte Sisto. We Sisters gathered on the 22nd in the Procura for prayer and meals in celebration of this day of our Founder. Sr. Izabela extended wishes and invited us to faithfully walk the path of our Saint.
▪ On January 20th, the three Superiors General, Fr. Jacob Nampudakam SAC, Sr. Ivete Garlet CSAC and Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC met with UAC President Donatella Acerbi and the members of the UAC General Secretariat for exchange and planning. ▪ Sr. Bożena Olszewska participated in a session of the Commission of the “Charismatic Families”, for a new collaboration between the many spiritual families with lay members (as p.ex. Dominican, Franciscan, Pallottine, Combonian, Scalabrinian…).
▪ More than a million refugees, primarily from Syria, but also from North Africa and other countries found shelter in Germany during the last months. Facing this big challenge many helped voluntarily in railway stations, at borders, and in the large reception camps, etc. Within their possibilities the Sisters of the German Province are also giving their contribution.
▪ The Community Marienborn in Limburg: Since several months Sr. Simone Hachen daily engages half of her time for these refugees. In a tent near a camp for 650 persons, she serves coffee, teaches German and offers all kinds of work. She also helps to organize donations for the much needed warm clothes for the new arriving refugees. ▪ The Community Vinzenz Pallotti Hospital, Bensberg: The Sisters joined during the Christmas Season the donation Marathon with several charitable concerts in the Hospital chapel and with a four- week Christmas flee market. A private Foundation redoubled all donations. That double amount was destined to a project for traumatized refugee children. Sr. Margret Harbaum accompanies several families of refugees, and the convent supports her with washables, small furniture, etc., and many bags filled with Christmas cookies.
▪ The Community St. Joseph’s in Refrath: It was something never experienced before by the Sisters in the Home for Elderly, St. Josefshaus having children in their home. There are temporarily 5 Syrian and Nigerian families with 8 small children and adolescents. One baby was born on Christmas Day in the Vinzenz Pallotti Hospital as the “Christ child”- the 1.824th baby of the year! On January 13th, “Miracle” and two other small children of the refugees were baptized in the Chapel of St. Josephs Home. Sr. Simone Hachen prepared three beautiful baptism candles, as a gift of the Pallottine Sisters.
▪ The Sisters at St. Mary’s community, Huntington W.V., planned for the Founder's Day against the background of the warnings of a severe snow storm. Soon after the entire State was nearly impassable, the Governor declared all fifty-five counties a "state of emergency" with shelters opening in many areas. At St. Mary's Medical Center, at least 140 beds including the Infirmary and the Guest House were provided for the staff who could not travel home or into work. The Sisters were not able to go to the hospital chapel for Mass, so their chaplain came to them, with snow up to his knees - though the Bishop had dispensed everyone from the Sunday Mass obligation.
▪ Many persons together with the Sisters stepped forward with help to ease the pain, when two of the St. Mary’s Medical Center employees lost their sister and two young nieces in a terrible home fire.
▪ The Sisters in Laurel welcomed Sr. Margaret Lech from Poland, to their small community. She will be living with them until June. She already has become involved in helping in the convent, parish, and St. Vincent Pallotti High School. Soon, the Sisters will welcome Sr. Hanna Teresa Gnatowska, a Polish missionary from Cameroon. Both Sisters are there to build up the community and improve their English language. On St. Vincent’s feast, Laurel had the beginning of one of the worst snowstorms in the area. However, Sr. Karen Lester and Sr. Margaret – together with hundreds of others - braved the weather to join in the March for Life in Washington, DC.
▪ Six Junior Sisters renewed their vows in Poli Singisi on New Year’s Day. ▪ There was a beautiful celebration in Arusha on the 6th for the First Profession of four Novices. Fr. John Onna SAC, the parish priest of two of the Novices, was the Chief Celebrant. ▪ On the 7th Provincial Sr. Mary McNulty accepted four Postulants into the Novitiate; some days later she welcomed five Postulants. Two of them are women from Malawi, who have been with Sisters in Tanzania since last February. ▪ Newly professed Sr. Edinesta Charles and three Candidates have gone to Itigi Catechetical Center for a Three Months Course on Catechesis.
▪ For the feast of St. Vincent Pallotti, the Sisters in Siuyu joined with the community of Pallotti School, all the workers and the handicapped children from the Rehabilitation Centre for a lively Holy Mass in the parish church. Students from Pallotti performed a play on the life of St. Vincent. ▪ In Arusha many Sisters and Novices joined with the Pallottine parish in Esso for the blessing and opening of the new St. Vincent Pallotti Church, which will hold a congregation of two thousand.
▪ Sisters and Novices participated in the joyful celebration for the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life at Burka Parish Church/Diocese of Arusha. Auxiliary Bishop Prosper Lyimo stressed in his homily that the religious must become Light and be Joyful and Humble servants of the Lord. He also presented the request of the Archbishop to the Religious of Arusha to volunteer to go to the remote Maasai lands, which are still in great need of missionaries.
▪ Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Glancy started the New Year with a visit to the community at Pallotti Convent in Belize City. He shared his home-made pickles and wine with the Sisters.
▪ The community was given a presentation on “Live Mercy”, by Mrs. Sandra McKay. Her talk was about Think, Love and Live as Jesus thought, loved and lived and left much food for reflection on mercy as the fundamental law in our hearts.
▪ During the novena in honor of St. Vincent Pallotti every day more people joined the group in prayer. The Feast day Mass was presided over by Fr. Tony Vega and followed by a social with all present. ▪ On January 21, Pallotti High School staff joined the community for a delicious dinner. Superior Sr. Salesia Gonzales welcomed them and the new teachers introduced themselves to the sisters. Some Sisters were able to attend the feast day Mass with the students. They prepared a program for the Sisters and handed a few gifts to the community. ▪ Sr. Stephen Franco and Sr. Consuelo Burgos went to bless the new home of one of the Sisters´ employees, Ms. Wilma. ▪ Alumni from New York presented Sr. Clara Teul and Mrs. Davis with kitchen utensils for the Nutrition department of Pallotti High School. The school is grateful for this much needed equipment.
▪ The Diocese of St. Gallen invited the consecrated persons for a Celebration of Consecrated Life on January 26th. Pallottine Sisters and Fathers followed this invitation together with more than a hundred religious. The two talks of Abbot em. of the Monastery Einsiedeln, Fr. Martin Werlen on the theme: As consecrated persons on the way with St. Francis were refreshing and challenging. He spoke about the prophetic call of the religious, which requires authentic witness to the Gospel. Jesus Christ is working in today’s world through prophetic persons. The day was concluded with the Eucharistic celebration. The participants walked in procession to the Cathedral, entering through the “Door of Mercy”. They were missioned with the prayer that God’s mercy may accompany them and that their hands may share this mercy with others.
▪ Sisters organized a Pallotti Triduum at St. Joseph’s with talks given by Fr. Manuel Fernandes SAC. Under the theme: God’s infinite Love and Mercy, he spoke first about Consecration, St. Vincent’s devotion to Mary, and The Mystery of Redemption. On the feast of Vincent Pallotti, Fr. Christopher Jesudhason, SAC was the main celebrant and Fr. Manuel again the preacher. The Sisters’ chaplain at Vincent Pallotti Convent, Fr. Riccardo Smuts, joined for the concelebration. The Sisters of Schönstatt and a few lay faithful attended and all enjoyed the company of one another with a delicious meal. Both communities joined with the Corpus Christi Parish for the Feast of our Founder on the 24th.
▪ Sr. Priscilla Rego, Superior of our Community in Pinelands was awarded as an Employee of the Month for January 2016 at St. Joseph’s Home for Chronicle ill children. Congratulations!
▪ At the turn of the year three Sisters and 2 Novices attended the II. Ecumenical Youth Conference of the Great Lakes organized by the Pallottine Fathers in Gikondo/ Kigali. It concluded with a 36 km foot pilgrimage to the Shrine Our Lady of Kibeho on the 31st of December and with the Holy Mass for peace in the world on 1st January 2016. More than 200 young people attended.
▪ In Keshero/ Goma- RDC, the Sisters celebrated the Octave of Epiphany together with lay members, visiting poor people, orphans and prisoners. They brought them food and clothes according to the needs. While one group was visiting, the other remained in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which always closed with Pallottine prayers and the Holy Mass. January 9th was dedicated to a pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Buhimba and the sharing of a picnic at the Lake of Kivu. ▪ January 24th was the day of Pallotti celebration with the whole Local Coordination Council. That day also the Octave of Epiphany was closed and there was the Apostolic Commitment in the UAC of 14 lay people. The Mass was presided over by Fr. Gilbert Kazingufu, Vice Provincial of the Pallottines and animated by the choir of the UAC of Keshero.
▪ In Gikondo/ Kigali, the feast of St. Vincent Pallotti was preceded by a Triduum with the theme "Saint Vincent Pallotti and Divine Mercy"; one of the conferences was given by a Pallottine Father, one by a Pallottine Sister and one by a Lay member. The festive Holy Mass on the 22nd was followed by activities of charity in the afternoon. One group visited the Palliative Care Center in Kabuga and two other ones met elderly and handicapped people in their homes. The main celebration was on the 24th with the parishioners of Saint Vincent Pallotti Parish in Gikondo.
▪ Some of the Sisters from St. Vincent Krupa Convent, Bangalore, participated in the celebration of our Founder at St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Banaswadi and witnessed the historical event of 22 lay candidates making the Apostolic Commitment as members of the Union.
▪ At Gurundia, Odisha, Sr. Antonieta Rodrigues organized a Health Camp for thirty participants in the dispensary for pregnant and post-natal mothers. Sister also organized a training program for 82 kindergarten teachers at Pallotti Girls’ Hostel; Child Development Project Officer, Statistic Officer and supervisors were the resource persons.
▪ The annual meeting of the persons responsible for the Pallotti Institutes took place from 17th to 23rd January in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. Sr. Monika Cecot SAC participated in it, representing Fr. Mariusz Małkiewicz SAC, the director of the Institute in Poland. The meeting was held in the St. John XXIII Spirituality Center, situated on the hill of Mvolyé. It took place along with the continental meeting of the pallottine African formators. Date, place and topics were chosen because of the ceremony of the opening of the Pallotti Institute for the French speaking “pallottine world” (IPAF). It was held on 22nd January - the feast of St. Vincent Pallotti, at the SAC Faculty of Philosophy in Yaoundé-Nkolbisson.
▪ The feast of St. Vincent Pallotti, dies natalis of our Founder, was celebrated in the Provincial House in Warsaw on 30th January. The sisters invited the members of the UAC group “Infinitam” and their neighbors to celebrate with them. After the Mass the guests were invited to a festive dinner. Sr. Wirginina Wołąs SAC, animator of the “Infinitam” community, had prepared special gifts – the papal Bull Misericordiae vultus and handmade notebooks with thoughts of St. Vincent. Sr. Monika Cecot SAC, during afternoon tea, took the participants on a virtual trip to San Giorgio in Umbria, where Pallotti’s family has their roots. The celebration ended with the chaplet of Divine Mercy.