▪ After few months of lock down due to COVID19, life in Italy seemed to return to normal, though many people are still living with a great phobia. St. Peter’s Basilica and Square is open for visitors but the Mass celebrations with the Pope were still reserved for only a few people. The Feast of Corpus Christi normally gathers thousands for the Holy Mass with the Pope in the Basilica of St. Peter, however, this time only 50 people could participate. Thanks to technology we were able to follow through livestream, although this is not the same. The Pope’s rich and profound homily reflected on the Eucharist as the sacrament of the memorial of love which heals our fragile memory. He highlighted three aspects of our weakened memory that the Eucharist heals: the celebration of the Lord’s Body and Blood heals our “orphaned memory” also heals our “negative memory” which focuses solely on our problems and errors. Lastly, he said, the Eucharist heals our “closed memory”. In conclusion Pope Francis reminded everyone that the Eucharist makes us all links in a chain of solidarity. “In the Eucharist, Jesus draws close to us: let us not turn away from those around us!”
▪ Sr. Magdalena Pinto, Superior of the Procura General community, on 9 June 2020 successfully concluded her Master of Arts studies at St. John’s University, New York. She followed an online study course for Master of Arts in the area of Global Development and Social Justice (GDSJ) from 2018-2020. In this course, followed by a group of students from America, Europe, Africa and Asia, Sister got a wide-ranged view on social, political and economic themes, reflecting them on the basis of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. The theme chosen for her Master thesis was: The Hospitality Industry at the Intersection of Faith-Hope-Love: Re-casting the Charism of the Pallottine (Catholic Religious) Congregation. Congratulations Sr. Magdalena!
▪ Sr. Grazyna Wojnowska, who had been serving in Rwanda and Cameroon for many years, had been a member of the Procura community from October 2019 and has now returned to her home country Poland. We thank our dear Sr. Grazyna for her great commitment and wish her rich blessings!
▪ During the past weeks, some sisters from the communities at Limburg and Refrath had to go to the hospital for a few days of treatment. We find it difficult that we were not allowed to visit them and that they had to be quarantined for two weeks after their return home.
▪ On 4th, Sr. Dominica Rose moved from Refrath to Limburg, where she had begun her religious life almost 69 years ago. Our wish for her is she settle in well in House Felizitas.
▪ On 13th, the results of the diocesan project "Listen to persons affected – prevent abuse" were published in Frankfurt. Bishop Georg Bätzing and UAC member, Mrs. Ingeborg Schillai as President of the Diocesan Assembly were the commissioners for the project, which provides insight into the cases of sexual abuse in the diocese of Limburg that has become known in recent years. On this basis, measures are now to be developed that will help to prevent abuse in the Church. Sr. Helga Weidemann, who as spiritual director for victims and perpetrators belongs to the advisory staff in the diocese, took part in the presentation.
▪ This year in Siuyu to minimize the number of participants, the feast of Mary Queen of the Apostles and Pentecost were combined and celebrated in a simple way. The Holy Mass was presided over by the parish priest Fr. John Makabe. As Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Cenacle in prayer, the Pallottine Priests, Sisters and Lay members, reliving the Cenacle icon, also gathered in this Holy Mass celebrating together the memory of our foundation. After the celebration of the Eucharist, all were invited for lunch and some refreshments. ▪ On this day our Sisters in Zambia had the commemoration of the beginning of the mission three years ago placing their community under the patroness of Mary Queen of the Apostles. We pray for their fruitful apostolate.
▪ We are grateful to God that in Tanzania so far, the Covid - 19 cases have been reduced to some extent allowing some activities to be resumed. On the 1st, all the colleges and the universities were reopened and on the 29th all other schools from kindergarten to secondary schools were reopened as well. However, the government still urges all to continue taking all the required precautions since it can never be absolutely claimed 100% free from this corona virus. Our President John Pombe Magufuli always reminds people, saying “Eventually we must learn how to live with this virus therefore, take precautions”. We are praying especially for God’s protection over these young children in schools who are not used to such situations of wearing masks and of all kinds of sanitation use.
▪ Pentecost was a great day for all the Sisters. It was our second Sunday celebrating Mass in our Hospital Chapel since Covid-19 restrictions were set in place. Our Pentecost Mass was beautiful, with music, liturgy and decorated altar with dozens of red carnations and tiny white baby breaths. During the petitions, Sisters joined with prayers in tongues of their native language. These included English, German, Polish, Spanish, Nigerian and Zimbabwean. At noon, the Infirmary Sisters also joined the Community for lunch at the Convent. Although we were unable, due to restrictions, to celebrate the liturgy of the Easter Triduum culminating with the Feast of the Risen Lord, at least we enjoyed ending our Easter season together.
▪ June began with St. Mary’s Medical Center actively taking part in the Annual American Heart Associations, Heart Walk. This was a very different event, as Covid-19 continues to change so many ways we celebrate events. Normally this event takes place in Ritter Park of Huntington, where all gather for the walk around the lovely city Park. With the use of technology, Sr. Mary Grace Barile opened the event with prayer; following the prayer, she and Sr. Mary Terence Wall, along with Ms. Melanie Kersetter, one of St. Mary’s Medical Center’s employees, began their walk around the Medical Center and the Highlawn neighborhood, joining over 100 individuals who were encouraged to walk for at least 45 minutes, in their own neighborhood or park. These activities were shared virtually, through the American Heart Association Facebook page.
▪ On 13th, the St. Mary’s community celebrated two special occasions: Sr. Angela Madera’s 91st Birthday, and Sr. Diane Bushee’s Feast Day. All four Infirmary Sisters were present for the event.
▪ Holy Rosary Parish in Buckhannon, WV experienced the end of an era when the Marist Congregation withdrew from Holy Rosary Parish after serving there since 1903. It was one of their priests, Fr. Nicholas Hengers, SM who invited the Pallottine Sisters to Richwood, WV in 1912 and to Buckhannon, WV in 1921. Our bishop Mark Brennan, celebrated a special Mass at Holy Rosary Church on 14th to thank the Marists, especially Fr. Joseph McLaughlin, SM and Brother Roy Madigan, SM for their years of service and to welcome and install Fr. Edward Tetteh, SVD (who is originally from Ghana) as new Pastor. Several Marists and some former parishioners made a special trip to Buckhannon for the occasion.
▪ In the beginning of this month the government gave permission to conduct public worship under strict rules. No more than 50 people can gather, maintaining distance and hygiene. However, after prayer and reflection, our Archbishop Stephen Brislin came up with a difficult decision of not reopening the churches in His Archdiocese of Cape Town. This is because Cape Town is more affected with the Covid and with higher rates of deaths.
▪ On 16th, South Africa commemorated the sacrifice of youth in Soweto Johannesburg who in 1976 protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools. The uprisings tragically ended with hundreds killed by the apartheid government. The Church in South Africa called on youth encouraging them to stand up for what is right holding up the word of God “I say to you arise stand up” (Lk 7:14). They must believe in themselves that they are able and have all the abilities to do so much in society and in the Church to bring about good changes.
▪ During this time of uncertainties Christelle Cornelius, the Chief executive officer of St Joseph’s home organized one hour of prayer for the staff. Fr. Coetzee came to share the word of God that offered us courage and strength to continue our ministry with the children. All the staff were happy and appreciated this so much.
▪ The Sisters at St. Vincent Pallotti Convent in Pinelands after three months finally started having morning Masses in the convent chapel. However, following the regulations from the Archdiocese no lay faithful were allowed to join. Permission was also given by the Archbishop of having 3 times communion services per week in the convent.
▪ On the day of the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist, during the Holy Mass one postulant was received to the Novitiate by Sr. M. Iwona Nadziejko, Provincial Superior ▪ On the 28th, in Gniezno, three sisters: Sr. Konstancja Świderska, Sr. Lucyna Dziedzic and Sr. Maria Świątkowska thanked the Lord for the gift of vocation and 50 years of consecrated life in the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate. The Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Zdzisław Szmeichel SAC, Provincial Superior of the Province of the Annunciation. At the end of the Mass, Sr. Lucyna, in the name of the Jubilarians, expressed their gratitude to God, to the Superiors and to all the Sisters. Then all were invited to the refectory to offer their good wishes and for further program.
▪ On the 29th, Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in our chapel of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in Gniezno, the novices, Sr. Agnieszka Pawlak and Sr. Katarzyna Gruca made their first religious vows, received by Sr. Iwona Nadziejko the Provincial Superior. The Holy Mass was presided over by Bishop Bogdan Wojtus - Senior Bishop of the Archdiocese of Gniezno - and concelebrated by the priests who accompanied the sisters during their formation. At the end of the Eucharist, the newly professed sisters expressed their gratitude to God and to all present but particularly to Sr. Jolanta Groszczyk, the Novice Mistress. The celebration was witnessed by many of our Sisters and the family members of the newly professed Sisters.
▪ During the month of June, we received 7 candidates to start their pre-postulancy. Among them is one Congolese who is currently in the community of Rutshuru/ Congo, waiting for the borders to be reopened so that she can join the other candidates who are in Masaka community.
▪ A workshop on Accompaniment, was organized in our Region for all the sisters, facilitated by Father Romuald Uzabumwana SAC, the General Consulter. This took place in Ruhango community in two divided groups. The first group was made up of the sisters with perpetual vows from 11th to14th and the second group was of the sisters with temporary vows from 18th to 21st. It was an interesting workshop with challenging theme but very essential for human life. Unfortunately, only the sisters present in Rwanda were able to participate in it because of the Covid 19 travelling restrictions.
Let us remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. Maria Hetnal SAC * 01.09.1929 † 14.06.2020 Poland