▪ His Holiness Pope Francis during Urbi et orbi addressed to the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square and to every person in the world His Easter message as he began; “Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope” (Christus Vivit 1-2).
▪ The experiences of severe illness of our fellow sisters during lent, shaped our lives in all the three local communities in Germany. Two sisters died in just one week – in Refrath and in Limburg.
▪ On April 10, 2019, Fr. Eric Riechers SAC came to Limburg for a recollection day. Since Sr. Helga Weidemann our Provincial Superior had previously asked him to administer the anointing of the sick to all the sisters and residents who wished for, he took the opportunity to first give a conference on this sacrament.
▪ The next day, April 11, 2019, the funeral of Sr. Gertrud Czinczoll took place. Among the many funeral guests were relatives, former employees from Bensberg, Erlenbach and Refrath, as well as former students of the nursing school in Bensberg, who had been trained as nurses together with Sr. Gertrud.
▪ On April 13, 2019 we had the funeral of Sr. Ann Hovens, which was also attended by relatives and friends from Germany and the Netherlands, as well as by people of her former workplaces of Sr. Ann: Pallottine Fathers from Rheinbach, employees of the provincial house and of the prison in Limburg, where Sr. Ann had ministered as chaplain for a long time.
▪ On April 22, the second session of the Provincial Chapter took place in preparation for the provincial election on May 25, 2019.
▪ In Limburg, we were happy to welcome Sr. Helen Lourdusamy from India and Sisters Annemarie Niehsen and Elizabeth Hartnick from South Africa, who came to us while Sr. Annemarie and Sr. Helen were heading to the Central Assembly in Poland.
▪ Sr. Hedwig Kaiser and Sr. Mary McNulty were invited by the parish team of St Alban’s in Macclesfield to the Passover Meal which was celebrated on April 6th. Thirty participants took part. The joyful event was led and animated by Fr. Peter Burke, the parish priest, who has a rich appreciation of Jewish ceremonies. During his seminary years in Rome he was adopted by a Jewish family who took him regularly to the synagogue for services.
▪ On April 12th Sr. Leonie Rowan and her friend Bridie McCabe were honoured during a special ceremony at the Methodist Church in Rochdale, and were presented with a little Angel and an Angel among Us Certificate. Sr. Leonie and Bridie were nominated by a member of their parish where for many years they have been doing voluntary work for the Church and the local community.
▪ At the end of March Sr. Cesilia Kimario and Sr. Veronica Ghuliku joined other religious in St. Mourice Parish in Zambia where each congregation was given a chance to promote vocation. As a result two girls have shown the interest to join us. We pray for them that what God has planted in them may prosper and bear fruit.
▪ In Siuyu a group of 18 people with visual impairment joined the sisters to celebrate on Easter Sunday. Among them were also Muslims. Together with them we joyfully chanted Easter songs and shared the meal.
▪ The two new sisters from India, Sr. Amutha Motcha Mary and Sr. Sahaya. M. Ambrose, are adjusting to life in the USA in our Pallotti Convent in Laurel, MD. They have had some opportunities to be involved in school and parish activities. Sr. Sahaya was a part of the group of parishioners which feets have been washed in the Holy Thursday liturgy. Srs. Karen Lester, Stella Holisz, and Danuta Przybylek, Sahaya and Amutha joined the high school students and teachers for “Pack and Pray” day, packing over 40,000 meals for people in need. We also donated from our personal budgets to the Rice Bowl, supporting the poor and hungry.
▪ The Hospital’s Medical Mission Team “Hands and Hearts for Christ” from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Buckhannon spent a week in Guatemala where they performed 130 surgeries and saw about as many other patients as in the various clinics, including dental work. Sr. Francesca conducted the traditional Anointing of Hands and Missioning Service. She explained to the group the origins and meaning of the anointing with oil.
▪ Fr. Ricardo Smuts, our chaplain at St. Vincent Pallotti Convent, received his doctorate in Scripture. We celebrated with him his achievement with a Thanksgiving Eucharist followed by a surprise breakfast with our faithful Pallotti friends and at supper with our Sisters from St. Joseph’s. We have been privileged to have Fr. Ricardo as our chaplain, who broke open God’s Word to us every morning and set us on the path for the day. The hospital patients were also richly blessed by his ministry. As Father took his leave from us, we pray that he will be strengthened by the gift of the Holy Spirit as he goes to prepare future priests to work in the vineyard of the Lord. The Archbishop appointed Fr. Francis Ngadi, CMM as chaplain for the Hospital and Convent temporarily. Once again we are blessed by the appointment.
▪ During Easter our parish prepared the Paschal meal of which some sisters from both of our communities, St. Vincent Pallotti and St. Joseph, participated.
▪ The Central Assembly under the theme: Jesus Christ is the same today as He was yesterday and He will be forever (Heb13:8, was held in Poland from 24 April to 04 May 2019. The gathering took place during the Jubilee Year of the Polish Province who is celebrating the 85th anniversary of its foundation. It was here from Ołtarzew, in April 1934, where two Missionary Sisters from the German Province and 7 Polish postulants accompanied by Fr. Alojzy Majewski, SAC left for Rajca (today Belarus), to establish the first community of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters.
The meeting was organized in two parts. The first three days took place in Warsaw, Ołtarzew, at the Pallottine Fathers´ Seminary with the participation of the General Council and the Major Superiors of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters (SAC) from all over the world: Germany, England, South Africa, USA, Switzerland, Belize, Poland, India, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon; also attending were the General Mission Procurator, the Novice mistress of our International Novitiate, and special guests of the Pallottine Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate (CSAC): M. Ivete Garlet, General Superior and her Councilors and Sr. Daniela Siniscalchi, Provincial Superior of the Italian Province with Sr. Beatrice, her Councilor.
These first days were very meaningful, especially the unforgettable pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa and the gathering on Saturday, 27 April. This was an important day for the history of our two Pallottine Sisterly Congregations, which gathered all of the above mentioned Sisters of different countries and cultures as well as the Provincial Council and local Superiors of the Polish Province, 35 in number. All joined for a one-day session to deepen our Pallottine charism, listen to our common history and discuss the topic of reunification of the two Congregations. The two Superiors General Sr. Ivete Garlet, CSAC and Sr. Izabela Swierad, SAC gave presentations on these topics.
On 28th all Major Superiors of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters travelled to Gdańsk, for the second part of the meeting. There the first community of the Polish Pallottine Sisters was established after World War II in 1945. This house served as the headquarters of the Sisters until 1983. The participants experienced joy in meeting many Sisters of the community and the warm hospitality. In Gdansk, we experienced many significant events which took place during our meeting: feastday of Sr. Josephine D'Souza, Vicar General, blessing and inauguration of the beautifully renovated first and old house on Gòrka, funeral ceremony of Sr. Władysława Sitarz, former General Vicar and Provincial Superior, as well as on 3rd of May the national feast of the Queen of Poland. These were strengthening moments inspite of the various, not always easy, congregational matters that were shared and discussed by all the entities. However from every aspect of life, we still learn to be grateful and to be hopeful as Sr. Izabela Swierad, the General Superior highlighted from the word of Card. Robert Sara: Christ is hope. There is only Christ who can help us in the current Church/world crisis and it needs an institution to lead to Him: that is the Church. Therefore, let us never stop of being the sowers of prophetic hope in this troubled world. (see our website for more news)
▪ The community of Assagao, Goa, had the rare opportunity to participate in the Sedar celebration (Jewish pass-over) at the novitiate of the Blessed Sacrament fathers in Badem. This celebration was also connected with the present life of the individuals. There were 50 participants and Sr. Clara Joseph Xavier, Novice Mistress was blessed to lead this celebration. It was a unique and enriching experience for the entire community and meaningful preparation to celebrate the Holy week.
▪ Two of our Silver Jubilarians, namely Sr. Angela Devi and Sr. Jacquine Mary Susai had gone for a Jubilarians' renewal course at Ryshivana, situated in the vicinity of Mangalore. It is a center for inner silence and contemplation. The program consisted of input sessions on Biblical perspectives of religious life, psycho- spiritual maturity and joy of being a religious and a retreat on initiation into the art of contemplative prayer.
Let us remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. Gertrud Czinczol SAC * 21.12.1934 †02.04.2019 Germany
Sr. Ann Hovens SAC * 02.02.1929 †05.04.2019 Germany
Sr. Władysława Sitarz SAC * 18.03.1931 †27.04.2019 Poland