▪ Pope Francis marked the 3rd World Day of the Poor on 17 November by celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the poor people of Rome and beyond. The hope of the poor shall not perish forever, (Ps 9) was the theme chosen for this day. In His homily the Pope said “the poor are valuable in the eyes of God because they do not speak the language of self: they do not support themselves on their own, by their own strength; they need someone to take them by the hand. The poor remind us how we should live the Gospel: like beggars reaching out to God. The poor facilitate our access to heaven,” he said, “they are our treasure, the treasure of the Church. For the poor reveal to us the riches that never grow old, that unite heaven and earth, the riches for which life is truly worth living: the riches of love”. This celebration was followed by a lunch with the poor (around 1500) in the Paul VI Hall.
▪ Also on this occasion, there was a beautiful concert organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization in Paul VI Hall: “with the poor and for the poor”. The aim was to offer a cultural and spiritual moment of inclusion for the socially marginalized people and, at the same time, to offer an opportunity to collect donations to support the initiatives for the World Day of the Poor.
▪ Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General, and the members of the Financial Commission: Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska, Commission Chair, Sr. Stella Holisz, Ms. Jennifer Trotter, Mr. Christian Frücht and Sr. Mary Grace Barile, met in Rome from November 4 -7, at the Generalate. Ms. Trotter and Mr. Frücht, a newly appointed lay member to the commission, are the financial advisors from the English and German Provinces respectively. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the financial situation throughout the Congregation, find new sources of income for our newly developed missions and International Novitiate, plan towards financial independence of our young provinces, and professional training of our young Sisters in financial roles. Also, we discussed the importance of having lay professional financial advisors in each of our countries/ provinces.
▪ On 15th November Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska, General Councillor travelled to Tanzania for the blessing of the new mission (convent, school, hostel, dormitory) in Magogo, Dakawa Parish, Morogoro, an area which is inhabited mainly by the Maasai tribe. The Sister also had a series of lectures for Novices. On December 8th, Sr. Anna, together with Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General, will take part in the celebration of the First Profession of the first group of Novices from the International Novitiate and later participate in the Provincial Chapter of Mary, Queen of Peace Province.
▪ On 21st, in the Church of SS. Salvatore in Onda the Juridical Commission of the Pallottine Fathers, under the guidance of Fr. Denilson Geraldo, Director of Pallotti Institute, presented the new edition of the Law of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate. Sr. Izabela Świerad, Sr. Magdalena Pinto and Sr. Helena Sołowińska took part in this event.
▪ For three last days of November the Procura General had a very distinguish guest from Aleppo/ Syria Mons. Jean-Clément Jeanbart. Mons. Jeanbart is a Melkite Archbishop, who currently serves as the Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Aleppo and Apostolic Visitor in Western Europe of the Greek Melkites. He celebrated Holy Mass in our chapel and joined the community for meals. All Sisters listened with great attention his interesting stories and his faith experience during the time of war. Today the country and diocese are facing an enormous need, especially the need to rebuild a community of faithful, churches, schools and all that was destroyed during these long years of unending attacks.
▪ On the 23rd, the Provincial Chapter of the German Province met in Limburg for its concluding session.
▪ From the 8th-10th, Sr. Avani Sousa da Silva attended the meeting of the Sub-Commission for the Process of Re-unification in São Paulo, Brazil. Sr. Astrid Meinert, the Provincial Superior, appointed her as a member of this Commission. Sr. Joselia Giuliani the "Roman" Pallottine Sister from Brazil, who is a member of the Re-unification Commission, very quickly took the initiative and gave the invitation to this meeting. The Sisters from their two Provinces also participated.
▪ A cultural evening was held on 27th at the Social Center of St. Vincent Pallotti in Teresina, where the work with youth at risk was presented. Activities were shown such as: social value education, spirituality, use of social media, dances, capoeira (a cultural dance with African origin showing elegant, non-violent self-defence), graffiti (spraying), production of texts / poems etc. Since this work, was initiated by the Pallottine Sisters in 2006 together with dedicated lay people, they always had in mind the integration of the generations in the Santa Maria da Codipi district. Family members of the youth were invited, and a group of senior women also presented some lively dances. Sr. Avani, Sr. Ieda -Maria, novice Josinalda and Sr. Maria Landsberger from the German Provincial council, who is currently in Brazil, were present and were especially pleased with the PowerPoint presentation, prepared by the youth, about the history and the current enthusiastic commitment in this social work, inspired by the Pallottine charism. There were also very emotional testimonies of former adolescents, today family fathers, who have found their way out of the drug scene into a responsible life in the society.
▪ On the 21st, our new Convent in Magogo was officially inaugurated by the Apostolic Administrator of Morogoro Diocese, Rev. Fr. Lazarus Msimbe SDS, and together with Bishop Christopher Mkude and 12 Priests a concelebrated Holy Mass place on the compound of the Sisters’ new Convent. Before the celebration he blessed the new convent, the classrooms and the dormitory. The choir from Dakawa Parish in collaboration with the Maasai choir of the outstation animated the Holy Mass. The Sisters thanked Fr. Drazan Klapez, the Parish Priest, who took the initiative of inviting the Sisters to this wonderful apostolate among the Maasai. They also thanked his friend, Mr. Giuliano Galbiati, an Italian benefactor who drew the plans of the Convent and paid for the foundation. Many Sisters from our communities joyfully participated in the event. (more in our website).
▪ On the afternoon of November 2nd, a special Mass was celebrated in Park Mount Home for the Elderly in Macclesfield/England to pray for the dead of the Home, the Staff and the Sisters, and especially in memory of the sixteen residents who have died during the last year. Their families were invited to participate. Afterwards refreshments were offered to all.
▪ One of our senior staff, Mr. Michael Betts, was awarded “Carer of the Year in East Cheshire” on November 7th at a public function.
▪ St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, WV celebrated Pastoral Care Week the last week of October. Here are some interesting facts about St. Mary’s Pastoral Care:
The department staff averages 8,000 pastoral contacts a month with patients, families, and community. Our department has ministers from 10 different denominations, staff from 3 different countries. We serve persons of all faiths. Coverage includes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and a Chaplain can be reached at any time. Sr. Mary Grace Barile remains faithful to her very busy schedule.
▪ On November 6th, St Mary’s Medical Center had their 95th Birthday. Many employees commented on the lovely prayer that was prayed over the public address system that day. Our Pastoral Care Director, Rev. Greg Creasy, read the same prayer that Sr. Rosella Sparks composed and prayed, when we celebrated the 70th anniversary, in 1994. Her prayer was again used for the 95th Birthday.
▪ National Vocation Week took place from 3-9th in the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese. A Novena was prayed in our Convent communities, schools, and churches, for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. ▪ Holy Rosary Parish in Buckhannon, WV celebrated a special Thanksgiving Mass with families coming together to begin their Thanksgiving holiday by giving thanks to the Lord for all the blessings they have received during this year. Sr. Francesca Lowis, as a member of the parish, was happy to be a part of that liturgical celebration.
▪ SPAR Western Cape Charity Golf Classic organized a fundraising day and managed to raise five hundred thousand Rand for St Joseph’s Home. Among the invited guests who were present at the event and witnessed the handing over of the check, were Mrs. Thea Patterson, the Director of the Home, Alrika Hefers Resource Development Manager, Sr. Honorata Lyimo, General Councilor, Sr. Annemarie Niehsen the Provincial Superior and Sr. Prescilla Rego. The event was enriched with an agape meal and entertainment from the Golf players and a comedian. ▪ Another generous donor was Stellenberg, a beautiful flower garden centre, owned by a family which for many years has set apart a day with the special goal of raising funds for the children of St Joseph’s Home. This year we were so amazed with the crowd that flocked into the garden with the desire of supporting the Home and bringing hope to the chronically ill children. The Sisters, the Staff with some friends and volunteers of St Joseph’s assisted at the event. Another big achievement!
▪ As every year, at the beginning of the month there was a night vigil prayer at Jasna Gora, Czestochowa for our apostolic co-workers prepared by Sr. Consolata Majewska SAC. Approximately 800 people gathered in the main hall of St. Paul's Monastery to participate in a conference and a concert, followed by a night vigil of prayer in the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Fr. Krzysztof Czapla SAC from Zakopane, gave a discourse on the Fatima apparitions bringing the people closer to the young Saints Jacinta and Francisco. At midnight, Holy Mass was celebrated, and all the participants were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
▪ On the 10th, five Candidates were admitted to the Union of the Catholic Apostolate in Sonderborg, Denmark. The reception took place during a conference conducted by Mr. Marek Kalka the President of NCC UCA in Poland with the theme: The Union of the Catholic Apostolate yesterday and today, while the spiritual message of the Act of Apostolic Engagement was presented by Sr. Monika Jagiełło SAC, Vice-President of NCC.
▪ The Third Ordinary National Assembly of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate, was held in Shanti Niwas Renewal Centre, Bilaspur, India on November 8-10, with the theme: Celebrating, Living and Sharing the Word of God. The participants (72) consisted of GCC President Ms Donatella Acerbi, Pallottine Missionary Sisters’ Vicar General Sr. Josephina D’Souza and General Councillor Sr. Liberata Niyongira, Ex-officio members of the NCC of India, Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate, Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate, Khristsevikas, Cenacle Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Pallottine Fathers from different Provinces, and representatives of the UAC in India. The Assembly, contemplating on the Word of God wished to respond to the invitation of our Mother Church who constantly calls her children to celebrate, live and share the Word of God. Therefore, the working paper helped to discuss and evaluate on how to respond to this invitation with the people whom we encounter in our lives. The Assembly concluded with the election of the seven members to NCC. Sr. Lillian Kaniampuram, was elected as one of the NCC member together with Fr. Pedro Camilo SAC and Fr. Manohar Noronha SAC.
▪ On the 22nd, with joy we welcomed to our Region Mr. Tadeusz Makluski from Poland. He is responsible for the Adoption of Heart Program which supports many children in their studies. He will visit all our communities, meet with the children who benefit from this program together with the Sisters responsible for organizing it.
▪ The 38th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho gathered thousands of people from Rwanda and from other countries to Kibeho. The celebration was preceded by pilgrimages to the Shrine and many of our Sisters fully participated. The Solemn Mass was presided over by Rt. Rev. Célestin Hakizimana, the Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese together with other Bishops and many priests who concelebrated.