▪ Pope Francis designated February 8th, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking. United with the Pope, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), set apart this day as an annual day of prayer and awareness about this phenomenon. Participating in the evening service that took place at St. Antony’s Church, we all, with loud voices, supported the theme that said “Together Against Human Trafficking”.
▪ During the first week of February, 2019, the Mission Commission of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters held their 2nd meeting at the Generalate in Rome. Afterwards Sr. Josephina D’Souza, Vicar General, accompanied by Sr. Maria Landsberger travelled to Brazil for an offical Visitation.
▪ On the 23rd Our Generalate hosted an African gathering of about 53 religious men and women from different Congregations known as the Association of Africans and Malagasies at the Service of Generalates in Rome (AMSG). Sr. Honorata Lyimo and Sr. Liberata Niyongira are members of AMSG.
▪ On the occasion of the Day of Consecrated Life, 2nd of February, the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers invited all the religious from Limburg for coffee and cake, and this provided an opportunity for mutual sharing. Twelve Pallottine Sisters accepted the invitation. Afterwards all met in the Church for a Prayer Service animated by the local Superior, Sr. Gertrud Meiser.
▪ As in many countries today, the topic of abuse within the Church is upsetting the faithful in Germany. Already for several years, the Provincial Superior, Sr. Helga Weidemann, is working in this regard as a member of a “team of advisers” appointed by the Bishop in the Diocese of Limburg.
▪ The Province begins its intensive preparation for the Provincial Chapter, which will be held in two sessions: in March and in May during which there will be an election of a new provincial government. After 12 years of service, Sr. Helga Weidemann will complete her term as Provincial Superior.
▪ Sr. Juliana P. Qaresi who, for four years, was Headmistress of St. Leo the Great English Medium Primary School in the Archdiocese of Tabora, Tanzania, has now been appointed as the Headmistress of Elisabetta Sanna Pre- and Primary English Medium School in our new Mission at Magogo among the Maasai people in the Diocese of Morogoro. Sr. Martha Lohi, the former Headmistress of Pallotti Secondary School, has been appointed as the new Headmistress of St. Leo’s. Bishop Paul Ruzoka of Tabora, who is very pleased with the apostolate of the Pallottine Sisters in his Archdiocese, expressed his gratitude to Sr. Juliana for her tireless service at St. Leo’s, and with joy welcomed Sr. Martha. He wished them God’s blessings in their new missions.
▪ At the celebration of Consecrated Life in the Archdiocese of Lusaka, Zambia, all the religious played a particular role. Each congregation had an exhibition of their ministry reflecting their mission, vision and charism. The Pallottine Fathers in collaboration with our Sisters, Veronica Michael and Sesilia Kimario, prepared a banner that displayed The Charism and the life of St. Vincent Pallotti. This was also part of vocation promotion.
▪ One year has passed since the Marian Health Post in Westwood was opened under the administration of Sr. Sesilia Kimario. The number of patients has grown up to 20,050 without counting the under fives and pregnant women who receive antenatal care.
▪ The Sisters in the Laurel Community participated in a "Life-in-the-Spirit" retreat in the parish. The weekly meetings have a spiritual presentation and times of prayer, sharing and fellowship. The biggest event of the month of February for the Sisters of Pallotti Convent was when they welcomed into their community Sr. Sahaya Mary Ambrose and Sr. Amutha Motcha Mary from India. Sr. Amutha is a nurse and Sr. Sahaya an educator. After a brief prayer, the Sisters gathered around the table for a get-acquainted dinner, happy to see that all but one of the places is now filled. We wish God’s blessing on their life and ministry in the USA Province and in this country.
▪ February 1st saw the annual Tri-State Goes Red Luncheon to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA). The Invocation was offered by Sr. Mary Grace Barile. Sr. Joanne Obrochta and Sr. Mary Terence Wall also attended. The event, locally sponsored by St. Mary's Regional Heart Center, encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease. Many women do not realize that heart disease is their #1 killer. Something new! "Hearts" are being sold at the Cafe cash register for $1.00 each to benefit the A.H.A. These hearts will be posted within the Medical Center. It is 40 years since the first open-heart surgery, in Huntington, was performed at St. Mary's Medical Center.
▪ St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, West Virginia observed World Day of the Sick on February 11th. One of the highlights of the day was a Prayer Service for the employees during which Sr. Francesca Lowis anointed their hands and missioned them with the words: “Go forth in the name of Jesus,” as a sign of their renewed commitment to serve the sick. Sr. Francesca is Senior Vice President of Mission Integration and Director of Pastoral Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and keeps quite busy in both roles, as she continues to share the mission and vision of the Pallottine Sisters with hospital staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and their families.
▪ On February 2nd, the Sisters renewed their vows during the morning Mass in St Martin’s Church witnessed by a good number of the parishioners.
▪ The fund raising for our building has been an ongoing process. On February 5, Pallotti High School had their annual fanfare, where we the Sisters were given a stall called a “While Elephant" for selling our own products. ▪ The Dion Family from Canada who always visits Nazareth, spent three weeks between Pallotti and Nazareth and was extremely helpful in whatever needed to be done in preparation for the fanfare. They also made a contribution of $3,000. We are indeed grateful to them and to many others who without fanfare bring their offering for the building project.
▪ Sr. Consuelo, Sr. Josefina and Sr. Benedict attended a special Service of Thanksgiving for the recovery of Shirley Mahung who had colon cancer. Shirley is an outstanding woman of the Punta Gorda Civic community who is always willing to give support and service to anyone in need.
▪ On the 2nd, all the German Missionary Sisters in the Archdiocese of Cape Town had their Holy Mass celebrated in our Chapel at St. Vincent Pallotti Convent Pinelands. It was presided over by Fr. Charles Prince. After the Mass they shared light refreshments together.
▪ Sr. Promila Kiro took part in the Youth Meeting at Christ the King Parish, Pineland. The theme of the meeting was: ‘The role of parents in the family in passing on the faith to their children’.
▪ Sr. Adolphina Kilu, Elizabeth Hartnik, Margaret McFarlane and Prescilla Rego were among the 60 Sisters who attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the religious female and male that took place at the Provincial House of the Holy Cross Sisters. At the closing of the meeting there was a Holy Eucharist celebration presided over by Archbishop Stephen Brislin of the Archdiocese of Cape Town. The Bishop took this opportunity to share his experience of his participation at the Parliament Session, to which he had been invited, when President Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African President addressed the State of the Nation. This was the first time that the Government invited Catholic Church leaders. Archbishop was happy to find that quite a good number of Catholics are members of the parliament.
▪ Our dear Sr. Othmara was called to her eternal home on February 17th, the feast of Bl. Elisabetta Sanna, at the age of 102. The funeral Mass was on the 21st at St. Joseph’s Chapel, Montana where Sr. Othmara spent most of her life working as a nurse in St. Joseph’s Home for the Chronically-ill Children. A number of ex-patients, who are now adults, attended the Holy Mass, regardless of their physical disabilities, in their wheel chairs they made great efforts to come and say farewell to their beloved mother and Sister.
▪ A retreat for youth took place in our convent in Zakopane led by Sr. Grażyna Powierża SAC with the theme: The Mountain of my Ups and Downs. Their program included: the celebration of the Eucharist, adoration, prayers of the church-breviary, conferences and discussions. The young people also enjoyed mountain expeditions. Saying “goodbye” to the Pallottine Sisters, they cordially thanked them for their hospitality.
▪ The Provincial Superior, Sr. Iwona Nadziejko, and Sr. Ludwika Jastrzębska, Mission Procurator, paid a visit to the Cameroons from 14th of February to March 1st. During their stay, the Sisters visited all the communities in the Cameroon, to "more closely" experience the current life and problems of the Sisters working in this mission country.
▪ On the World Day for Consecrated Life, our local Church officially opened the Jubilee Year dedicated to the Consecrated Life, in memory of the first Rwandan Religious who was professed in 1919. To mark this day, hundreds of religious from all over the country made the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho where a Conference on the historical view of the Religious Life in Rwanda was delivered, followed by a Solemn Mass presided over by the Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese, Celestin Hakizimana who is in charge of the Religious in the Episcopal Conference.
▪ A few Pallottine Sisters participated in a Colloquium on ‘The Relevance of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 50 years later’ which took place in Kabuga. Different topics where shared by resource persons from Rome, France and USA.
▪ Sr. Bellancila Mukandahiro and Sr Angeline Kambugu were invited as observers by the Pallottine Fathers to their Second Provincial Assembly that took place in Keshero/ R.D.C,
▪ Special guests from Rome, Ms. Lucia and Marta Carboni, friends of the Pallottine family together with Fr. Romuald Uzabumwana, SAC, General Councilor, visited the Pallottine Sisters in the Masaka.
▪ St. Cajetan’s, Assagao Parish Church, had a Thanksgiving Mass after its renovation, presided over by the Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao. Afterwards, there were cultural programs in which our Novices and Aspirant took part presenting a prayer dance. ▪The Novices participated in a day program of the inter-novitiate in Old Goa with the topic; “Formation for Transformation”, given by Fr. Sunoj, OP.
▪ 27th February 2019 was a remarkable day for the Province of Mary Mother of Divine Love when Sr. Helen Lourdusamy, our Provincial Superior, conducted a farewell ceremony for Sr. Amutha Motcha Mary and Sr. Sahaya Mary Ambrose. During adoration of the Blessed Sacrament they were entrusted to Jesus the Apostle of the Eternal Father that He might be the center of their missionary life. Our two Missionary Sisters have been appointed to the United States of America to support the apostolate of our Sisters in Mary Queen of the Apostle Province.
▪ The Sisters and students of St. Vincent Pallotti English Medium School, Gurundia, had a joyful maiden ride in the new school bus, donated by the Diocese of Limburg/ Germany. We are grateful to our Sisters in Germany who gave their time and energy, supporting our apostolate and mission.
▪ On 24th Vidya Deepti Study House in Bangalore celebrated 15 years of its existence, naming it as ‘Crystalia’. We thank God for all the blessings upon the management and the many young girls for whom this hostel is their second home.
Let us remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. Othmara Metzeger SAC * 07.07.1917 †17.02.2019 South Africa
Sr. Pallotta Biermann SAC * 09.01.1927 †24.02.2019 Germany