▪ At the beginning of the Lenten season, Pope Francis addresses all christians: “ Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive”.
▪ On the 15th of March, the General Councils of the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate and Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate came together to continue the tradition of sisterly collaboration. This was the first gathering after the General Chapter of our Congregation in 2016 and took place in our General House. During the session we discussed our current affairs and we reflected on how to strengthen our collaboration, in order to work more effectively as Congregations with one Founder, one charism and one spirit. The main topics of our discussion were common formation and a fruitful presence in the UAC. The recalling of experiences from our shared history became a clear motivation and encouragement to continue along our common Pallottine heritage.
▪ A leadership program for the General Council team, took place in our Generalate conducted by Frances Herry from Ireland who is a member of the Faith and Praxis organization in Rome. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn and gain a knowledge that helps to see leadeship in a more perspective way.
▪ Sr. Honorata Lyimo, Sr. Liberata Niyogira and Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska participated in the 4-day African Christian Theology Symposium organized by the University of Notre Dame in the USA. The focus was on new ways of thinking about the study of other religions, cultural diversity in the Church of Africa, and the history of interactions between the Church and the religions on the African soil.
▪ Sisters from the Generalate and Procura, participated in a very special Eucharistic celebration in our local Parish Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci, during which His Eminence, Mario Cardinal Zenari took possession of this Church as his titular Church. At present he is the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See in Syria. During his homily the Cardinal spoke of the suffering of Christians in Syria and requested the people to pray for the peace.
▪ From March 17 – 19, eleven new temporary missionaries met at the mission house of the Pallottine Fathers at Limburg, in order to prepare for their year of voluntary service abroad. Besides receiving an intensive vaccination advice, they dealt with spiritual matters. During this weekend, Sr. Simone Hachen, took part in it and gave the young women an understanding of religious life. Many questions were raised regarding the life of Sisters and Brothers, structure of a religious congregation and times of prayer. A beautiful closure was prepared by common Eucharist, in which Sr. Helga Weidemann, Superior Provincial and Sr. Astrid Meinert took part.
▪ It was a great day for all of us as well as Chronically Ill Children of St. Joseph’s Home, as we celebrated a new beginning after the completion of the renovation of the Home, which took approximately three years. The theme of the day was: “Creating healing spaces for Children through innovation!” On this special occasion, many guests were invited including, the donors and funders who supported so much the named project. St. Joseph’s Home was started 82 years ago, and the Sisters are still involved in this great apostolate.
▪ Sr. Promila Kiro, our junior Sister from India, has started four months nursing skill programme which was organized by St. Joseph’s Home.
▪ St. Joseph’s Hospital Obstetrics Department has mostly been a place of joy and welcome of new life. Sadly, more and more babies are born with drug addiction because their mothers are drug users even during pregnancy. The Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, WV was specifically created to help residents of Upshur County and surrounding area to respond to the needs of the people.
▪ Fr. Joe Koyickal, SAC from the Pallottine Seminary has volunteered to say a weekly Mass for the Sisters in Laurel community.
▪ Have you heard of GoNoodle or GoNoodle Plus? It is a fast-growing digital kids' program providing movement videos and games at both home and school. The premium version (PLUS) allows teachers to build activities into their lesson plans that engage students in active learning and have proven to increase math and reading scores. St. Mary's has, recently, signed a 3-year contract to provide GoNoodle Plus in every classroom in a six-county area. The Marketing Department will assume half the cost of providing this program; our Foundation is looking for Corporate partners to assist with funding the materials. St. Mary's, as well as logos of Corporate sponsors will accompany all video and printed materials used. This is just the latest way that St. Mary's Medical Center Foundation has assisted with children's learning. During each school year, St. Mary's sponsors a full page of fun learning activities in the daily newspaper - each Tuesday brings something new and different for children of all ages!
▪ During these Lenten days, the Sisters are taking advantage of various functions and devotions. Sisters Mary Grace Barile and Mary Terence Wall attended a "Soup for the Soul" evening at St. Stephen's Parish in Ona; an excellent talk was given by Fr. Chuck McGinnis from Sacred Heart Parish in west Huntington. Our former chaplain, Fr. Godwin Olugbami is slated to give a day of recollection at Sacred Heart Parish; the theme will be "Pope Francis' Lenten Message of Active Christian Faith. Some of us will attend. We pray with you in preparation for a beautiful spring and glorious Easter.
▪ Sisters Adalberta Chuc and Margaret Gongora, had a retreat for seventeen members of the Santa Anna Sodality. The sessions were all scriptural topics. It was held by the riverside near our church. All spent their time in prayerful atmosphere.
▪ Pallotti High School had a unique program for Catholic Week. Each student was asked to search and choose a saint and dress like that particular saint throughout the day. Sr. Consuelo and Sr. Stephen assisted the teachers in sorting out all the clothes which could fit them. Many Sisters form other congregations came and enjoyed the program which was so beautiful and enriching.
▪ Some of our Sisters attended the Drama Meeting of the High School which was an outstanding exhibition of talents of our young artist. Many prizes were distributed to the outstanding students.
▪ The teachers at Pallotti High had a special day of Recollection followed by confessions. They appreciated such a spiritual treat and were very grateful.
▪ Sr. Mary McNulty visited London for a few days after returning from Tanzania. Sisters of the community took the opportunity to celebrate her Birthday and Feast Day on St. Patrick’s Day.
▪ The newly elected Provincial Council from Tanzania attended a leadership orientation program in Arusha at the Lumen Gentium Institute directed by the Priests of St. Francis De Sale, (MSFS). Fr. Mathew Kozhuppakalam, by using his own life experience, brought the Sisters to the awareness of servant leadership in religious communities with emphasis on collaboration and team work.
▪ On 20th March 2017, Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General and Sr. Josephina D’Souza, Vice General arrived in Tanzania to carry on the preliminary study to open the International Novitiate in Polis Singisi, Arusha. They had several meetings with Provincial Council and the Formators from of Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania (Sr. Anne Kot, Sr. Marie Claire Mukeshimana, Sr. Agripina Mmassy, and Sr. Florida Mjengi) as well; they also visited some Congregations, who have the International Novitiates. The two Sisters together with Sr. Basilisa Jacob, Provincial, visited the Archbishop of the Arusha Diocese, Josaphat Louis Lebulu, who blessed the Pallottine Congregation and this new joyful venture.
▪ Marian Entrustment Group from Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish in Gdańsk had a day of recollection in our house at Malczewskiego in Gdańsk. The group was initiated by Sr. Urszula Kłusek SAC and with her guidance they are getting ready to make an act of Consecration to Jesus through entrustment to Our Lady. The group has about 20 people who meet once a month to meditate and Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Louis Grignone de Montford. In their daily life they practice Lectio divina, trying to live the word of God as Mary did.
▪ Caritas Group run by Sr. Iwona Małachowska SAC, in the primary school in Chojnice, where she works, collected food for the needy. The students could experience how sensitive people are and ready to share what they have with others. The smiling faces of the donors and their generosity were very meaningful for the youth and encouraged them to keep on helping the weak and the less fortunes.