▪ With gratitude and joy we participated in the celebrations of the Pasqual Triduum at St. Peter’s with the Holy Father! Alleluia and Happy Eastertime to all of you who will read our March edition! Easter in this Jubilee Year of Mercy followed an especially rich Lenten period. According to the desire of Pope Francis, many events, catechesis, Ways of the Cross in the streets etc., invited all the faithful to discover in their personal lives the infinite Mercy of God which does not exclude anybody, in any sinful situation. The Lord, “cheek to cheek” with us (a word of Pope Francis with regard to the logo/icon of the Year of Mercy), helps us and calls us to be merciful ourselves!
▪ The Sunday of Divine Mercy was solemnly celebrated with many pilgrims and preceded by a vigil prayer on St. Peter’s Square, which coincided with the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s death. ▪ We also participated in an ecumenical Memorial service at the Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere, organized by the Community of San Egidio, praying for the numberless martyrs of all continents who in the last few years have given their lives for the Gospel. Cardinal Beniamino Stella guided the expressive celebration with crosses brought in from every continent. Roman Catholics and four other Christian communities were represented. ▪ Fr. Taddeo Wojda, SAC, Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples gave us two talks on Consecrated Life on our recollection days, together with the Procura and Moncenisio Community.
▪ During the Lenten Season, Sisters were invited to give a talk or a homily: Sr. Simone Hachen guided a recollection day for a women’s organization in Balduinstein, close to Limburg, on the theme: Islam – a spiritual search for traces. In the context of a series of homilies in the Year of Mercy, Sr. Astrid Meinert spoke in the Pallottine Parish St. Jacob in Friedberg on Humility – from the perspective of a consecrated woman. ▪ Invited by the Cathedral Chapter, Sr. Helga Weidemann concluded this year’s series of Lenten Sunday preaching in the Cathedral of Limburg with her meditation on Mary, the Mother of Mercy. “To place oneself with Mary under the Cross and to be able to endure the pain is possible, if we allow the flow of graces which the mercy of God wants to pour out into the hearts of men. ▪ In an attitude of silence and joyful anticipation of the encounter with the Lord who calls us to new and vigorous life, the Sisters in Limburg met after the celebration of the Easter Vigil in the refectory to share the joy of the Risen Lord with each other. ▪ On Easter Monday six young singers of the Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir were confirmed. Sr. Astrid had prepared them for this Sacrament and the Sisters in Marienborn accompanied them with their prayers. ▪ In Bensberg, at Vincent Pallotti Hospital, the sisters were highly surprised that about 200 faithful came to celebrate the Easter Vigil. All were invited to an agape in the Cafeteria of the Hospital. There were many more guests than planned, - who shares the joy of Easter, is also ready to share the bread!
▪ Our Sisters’ Convent at 35 Wilmington, London WC1 was refurbished. In spite of its age (built 1832) it now looks fresh, clean and light. The garden, having been the rubbish area during refurbishment, has been cleared, but is still unkempt. ▪ Sisters feel gratified to have Sr. Jucunda Kutsch, who came from Tanzania works hard to complete the writing of the Province´s history.
▪ Sisters communicate that March has been filled with the graces of a fruitful Lent and the anticipation of the glorious celebration of Easter.
▪ The day after Easter, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Buckhannon, observed its 95th Anniversary. The entire week was filled with activities to commemorate the many stages in the history of the hospital. Our Pioneer Sisters and those who ministered at St. Joseph’s Hospital throughout the 95 years were honoured. We recommend to all of our Sisters to check out St. Joseph’s Hospital history on our international website: Go to Blessed Beginnings, click on USA 1912 and find St. Joseph’s Hospital, Buckhannon) So far, the transition to the new holder West Virginian University Medicine has gone smoothly. The new Administrator is an active Catholic and has been very involved in Parish activities. He, his wife and five children will be an asset to Holy Rosary Parish.
▪ In Pinelands, on March 5th, Sr. Annemarie Niehsen received a call from the Prioress of the Carmelite Sisters from Cape town asking for accommodation for four Sisters of their frail care center, as the roof of their convent needed an urgent repair work before the rainy season. Sr. Annemarie welcomed them on behalf of the community, and with the help of everyone, especially Sr. Prabha Varghese, rooms in the Provincial house, in the bay for the sick Sisters were made ready. The four contemplative sisters settled in quite quickly and very happily. Four days later another emergency call came from the Rev. Mother, this time straight from the building site where the company executing the restauration had been stopped by the authorities, as the old materials were asbestos-contaminated, resulting in the evacuation of the whole compound. So they were asked if they could take the remaining sisters, inclusive the Prioress, into our house. Now Sisters feel blessed with the sudden increase of eight Carmelite Sisters from four different countries! They find it very fitting in this Year of Mercy and beneficial for them in many ways. Prayers are offered for so many intentions, for vocations in the religious life, our general chapter, and for peace in the world. Together all find it “super” and are enjoying community with music and lovely recreation. Carmelite Sr. Carol has renamed the community “CARMELLOTTIES”! Two more Carmelite Sisters still are to arrive from the Philippines and to join the “Carmellotties”.
▪ Sr. Theresia Gurti attended a massage workshop at Cape Town offered by St. Joseph’s home. At present she is able to practice with the children.
▪ St. Joseph’s Home was privileged to inaugurate the renovated ward “SUNFLOWER” which was blessed by Chaplain Fr. Emmanuel Siljeur. Both Sisters’ communities were present for this event. ▪ Our Sisters also attended the Annual General Meeting of all consecrated persons at the Holy Cross Sisters’ Provincial House.
▪ From March 1st to 3rd, six of our Sisters engaged in the different levels of formation attended a seminar on The challenges of the Religious Formation at the Benedictine Abbey of Sovu in Rwanda. It was led by Sr. Immaculée Umubyeyi, a Benedictine Sister.
▪ On March 12th, in Kibeho/ Rwanda, the new buildings of the Health Center were blessed in a ceremony. Our sisters are engaged in that Health Center since 2008. At the beginning, there were only some old buildings. It was in 2010, due to the general improvement of the health condition and the quality of life of the local population of Kibeho as well as that of Pilgrims coming to the Shrine Our Lady of Kibeho, that the Sisters started the project of constructing a new Health Centre. It now has more buildings to house the required services in more comfortable conditions. The ceremony of the blessing was held during the Holy Mass presided by Msgr. Celestin Hakizimana, Bishop of Gikongoro in concelebration with other Priests.
▪ At St. Vincent Krupa Convent chapel, a Lenten Night Vigil was conducted for all the religious communities belonging to the Henur Zone of the Indian Conference of Religious. Around 100 Sisters including Novices and Postulants participated in it. Adoration was concluded with the Eucharist by Fr. Manuel Raj, SAC and Fr. Adakalam, a Guanalian priest. On this occasion the International Women’s Day was remembered as well.
▪ Rt. Rev. Victor Henry Thakur, Archbishop of Raipur paid a visit to St. Vincent Krupa Convent, Bangalore and gave the Sisters his blessing.
▪ Sr. Lillian participated in a meeting for Superiors held at St. Peter Claver Convent, Chelikere, where they studied and planned on how the religious can reach out to the migrants in that locality.
▪ On Good Friday around 20 African students under the guidance of Sr. Inacinha Fernandes gathered in the chapel of the Provincial House and prayed the Way of the Cross in their mother tongue.
▪ At our dispensary in Gurundia, twenty-six village health workers participated in a program conducted by Child Development Project Officer. ▪ Sr. Alda Isa Paes conducted a retreat for the students of Don Bosco College, Goa.
▪ In Manjeshwar Sr. Isabela Tirkey along with parishioners paid a visit to a Home for the Destitute.
▪ The Sisters at Vincent Krupa Convent received a visit from Fr. Fedelis, SAC from Cameroon along with UAC cooperator Mr. William, a student and missionary from Cameroon living in Bangalore.