Dear Brothers and Sisters in the family of St. Vincent Pallotti, dear Friends
A grateful heart is a thankful heart, is a joyful heart! With these words I wish to express my joy and gratitude to you for the many wishes, cards, letters and gifts that I have received on the occasion of my Feastday. Thank you for your prayers, support, words of encouragement and every sign of love and friendship. I am truly strengthened by your faith, unity, spiritual and physical presence. September 3rd was indeed a beautiful day with many joyful surprises. It will surely remain in my heart. Thank you. With a gift of prayer-
Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC
▪ Pope Francis once again appealed to all Christians for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our Planet. Considering this call, here in Rome, the presidents of the Council of the European Bishops` Conference (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) held a joint meeting and invited the faithful to take part in the Season of Creation from 1 September to 4 October. It is celebrated under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth, precisely in this year that marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. In the Holy Scriptures, a Jubilee is a sacred time to remember, return, rest, restore, and rejoice.
▪ In the month of July, the Sisters from the Generalate and Procura communities rejoiced at the return of Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General, who was in lockdown in the USA for 4 months due to Covid-19 travelling restrictions. Few days after her arrival, she had different meetings: on-line meetings with the Superiors General of different countries, with the UISG president, with Superior General Sr. Ivete Garlet CSAC and Fr. Jacob Nampudukam SAC, Rector General. These encounters were undertaken to update each other regarding the present situation in the Church, in the world and in the different Religious Congregations, as well as to plan for the future of our Congregation.
▪ On July 31st, the Community of the Procura General bade farewell to Mrs. Rita Ponziani, who after 42 years of faithful service, completed her work with us and began her well-deserved retirement. We had Holy Mass in the Procura chapel, which was presided over by Fr. Jaroslaw Rochowiak, SDB, with participation of the Staff, family members and friends of Mrs. Rita. Sr. Magdalena Pinto, the Superior, together with her Sisters had prepared a beautiful liturgy and subsequent small celebration. At the end of it, Sr. Izabela Świerad, in the name of the whole Congregation, expressed her cordial congratulations to Mrs. Rita, her appreciation and gratitude for her service, concern, dedication and all good that she has given to the guests and the Sisters.
▪ In the month of August, on the occasion of different Marian feasts, the communities of the Generalate and Procura recited the Rosary at our Garden Grotto and on St. Peter´s Square for the intentions of our Congregation, the Sisters who celebrated their jubilees of profession and for the needs of the world.
▪ On August 15th, we celebrated in Limburg the anniversaries of profession of eight sisters. 70 years of consecration: Sr. Agnes Leinweber, Sr. Amanda Jobst, Sr. Aquilina Aumann and Sr. Johanna Oberreuter; 65 years: Sr. Vincenta Kopowski; 60 years: Sr. Adelgund Gemander, Sr. Augustine Weber and Sr. Ingrid Salzer. In the inner courtyard of House Felizitas Fr. Heinz-Walter Barthenheier celebrated Holy Mass with us, so that all the sisters in Limburg could take part. To celebrate such a community feast under Corona conditions felt strange: without sisters from our other communities, without relatives and friends, without personal congratulations and without meals in large groups. Nevertheless, all hearts could joyfully resonate in the songs of praise and thanksgiving that a trumpeter played.
▪ On August 1st, in Timbiras/ Brazil, our Sisters celebrated 40 years of presence there and their missionary commitment in the northeast of their large country. Only about 100 persons could assemble - according to the regulations during the corona epidemic that is currently unleashed there. Together they thanked God for the precious history of 40 years of giving witness of faith and love.
As a special sign that God has always accompanied the missionary journey of our sisters and is calling also today, the assembly was privileged to witness the profession of the first religious vows of Sr. Josinalda Machado Oliveira Coelho. Sr. Maria Avaní Sousa da Silva, as delegate of the Provincial Superior, Sr. Astrid Meinert, received the vows. Due to travel restrictions, no one from the provincial leadership was able to be present. Sr. Avani thanked all who participated in this history through their prayer, friendship, and material support of social projects. Sr. Josy also expressed her gratitude to all those who had helped her up to now in her formation process, mentioning the Sisters in Brazil, Germany, Belize, Tanzania and the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate in Sao Paolo.
▪ In July, we experienced the rare joy of attending a priestly ordination. Our Bishop Markus Büchel, Diocese of St. Gallen, presided over the priestly ordination with great joy. An additional joy and gratitude was the fact that the new priest in the Diocese of St. Gallen will work in the parish pastoral service. For the Pallottine family it is a gift that Kiran Gottipati is a member of the Pallottine Fathers, Swiss Province. The people are also very happy, especially since they came to know Kiran in his pastoral work as a deacon. We have already heard from two families calling their newborn child “Kiran”. The name means: Beam of light. Fr. Kiran, however, is also experiencing something very painful: his father had made all the preparations to travel from India to Switzerland to attend his son's ordination in May 2020. Because of the Corona pandemic, the priestly ordination had to be postponed by a few weeks. During that period of delay, his father died. Via live streaming, the family in India was able to participate in the priestly ordination. There were very moving moments, especially when the newly ordained priest greeted his mother and siblings in his mother tongue; then he pointed his finger to heaven and sent his Father a greeting and thanks.
▪ Sr. Daniela Schumacher will move to a new flat in Bernhardzell on 1 September 2020. The reason for the move is the demolition of the previous apartment.
▪ We thank God that our Park Mount Home for the Elderly and Keele Crescent Respite Centre in Macclesfield, with nearly fifty residents, have been kept safe from Covid-19. We appreciate and thank our Staff who have acted responsibly and strictly obeyed all the regulations given by the government and the Health Authorities to keep our residents safe. The lockdown since March was a stressful and difficult time for all, especially for the residents who have dementia. They could not understand why their families were not visiting them. Since August 1st, the regulations have relaxed. Now visitors can meet their relatives for short periods but under strict guidelines.
▪ In our little community in Macclesfield, on August 3rd we celebrated Sr. Hedwig Kaiser's 92nd birthday and on August 15th Sr. Jucunda Kutsch’s 65th Jubilee of Profession. For months we have had no opportunity to go to Holy Mass, but we were blessed to be able to have a Communion Service every day in the Home for the Sisters and the small group of Catholic residents. Also, we used to participate in the Mass on the Internet. In mid-July the Churches in England were allowed to be opened but under very strict regulations. We are grateful that we can go to Mass again in our parish.
▪ On August 22nd, with deep sorrow we received the news of the death of Fr. Victor Cyprian Sanka, SAC. Fr. Victor has suffered from heart problems for almost twenty years. He felt better and went for his home leave whereby after few days, he became seriously sick and died in the hospital. Many Pallottine sisters from Siuyu and Arusha Communities attended his funeral Mass which was celebrated by Bishop Edward Mapunda from Singida Diocese. Fr. Victor will be remembered for his kindness, hospitality and gentleness. May he rest in peace. Amen.
▪ August 30th was a great day for us at Siuyu Parish. The Vicar General, Fr. Francis Lyimo, bestowed the Sacrament of Confirmation on about 150 pupils. Our Sisters took time to prepare them with catechism and faith formation. Fr. Francis in his homily emphasized that family is the best teacher and has a great role in instilling the faith. He also spoke about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that all those received during their confirmation, and that all have to collaborate with the Holy Spirit in nurturing all the gifts given to them by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Mass was followed by short refreshment in the parish hall.
▪ On July 6th, the Provincial Council took part in a virtual council meeting with Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General, before her return to Rome. It had been planned earlier to have it in Laurel in-person, but because of pandemic that has lingered so long, we had to reschedule it as a virtual meeting. The Agenda, which covered many important topics, was jointly prepared by Sr. Izabela and Sr. Mary Grace Barile, Provincial Superior.
▪ The pandemic has changed our lives, and our plans for the Jubilee celebrations. Sr. Francesca Lowis (60) did not travel to Huntington as planned, to celebrate her Jubilee with Sr. Annette Crnkovich, but she had pleasant surprises in Buckhannon, WV. On August 15th, her Pastor announced her 60th Anniversary in the Church before Mass and prayed for her especially during Mass ending with a special blessing. Besides the in-person participation by the St. Joseph Hospital leadership team, at a surprise celebration, were invited guests attending virtually on a large screen including Provincial Sr. Mary Grace Barile and Vice-Provincial Sr. Mary Terence Wall.
▪ Saturday, August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary was a festive day at St. Mary's. Sr. Annette Crnkovich celebrated her 75th Jubilee, as well as her feast day, for July 26th. Sr. Annette renewed her vows and we all joined her, reciting our vow formula. The Community continued the feast day at dinner, with the Infirmary Sisters joining us at the Convent. Sr. Annette has reached another milestone in her life. She was 96 years old on August 25; the Infirmary staff had a little party for sister. She accepts each of her days in quiet, prayerful moments, which are highlighted by attending daily Mass.
▪ In Laurel, Maryland, our sisters welcomed a new Pastor, Rev. Lawrence Young. On Friday, August 14, our sisters celebrated the Jubilees of Sr. Karen Lester, 65 years and Sr. Patrice Wales, 60 years. Their Pastor, Fr. Lawrence Young and Fr. Christian Huebner, Parochial Vicar of St. Mary of the Mills Parish, were able to come to Pallotti Convent and celebrate a special Jubilee Mass for both sisters. Fr. Christian was the main celebrant for this liturgy. Following the Mass, they along with some invited guests joined the community for an evening meal as they all shared an enjoyable evening together.
▪ Srs. Karen, Stella, Danuta, Amutha and Sahaya continue to be involved with assisting at the Parish Pantry twice a week, packing boxes to be distributed to those in the area that need food during this pandemic period. Sr. Danuta continues to be actively involved with parish ministry to the sick, and as the school year begins, Sr. Karen is keeping active at Pallotti High School attending preparatory meetings; Sr. Amutha is assisting at our High School with the CDC and County Board of Health mandated temperature checks, of anyone entering the school, making sure that those who enter are healthy. Sr. Sahaya is again involved at St. Mary’s Parish Day Care Center three days a week now that the school year begins.
▪ In spite of Covid 19 regulations, on August 15th, in a simple way we inaugurated our new convent building in Belize City. This was a dream which came true regardless of all the difficulties and challenges that we had faced during the time of construction. The Holy Mass was celebrated and the convent was blessed by Bishop Lawrence Nicasio of Belize diocese. At this juncture we are very grateful to our General Council for their support, as well as to our Provinces, the organizations and benefactors. Special thanks to the Friends of Pallotti (lay group) from Belize City who supported this project with a great dedication in all ways!
▪ On August 15th, we celebrated 65 years of profession Jubilee of Sr. Boscona Schämann. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Most. Rev. Stephen Brislin, Archbishop of Cape Town Diocese together with some Pallottine Fathers. Sr. Boscona is a German missionary, serving in South Africa for 59 years. We give thanks to the Lord for her mission vocation, courage, and love as well as for her daily life testimony, which gives courage to our young missionaries from India and Tanzania, who serve in the South African Province. Congratulations Sr. Boscona for your selfless service as a missionary and your perseverance in God's works in Africa!
▪ On July 16th in Gniezno, in memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, during the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Andrzej Kozakowski, Sr. Iwona Nadziejko, Provincial Superior, accepted one postulant to the Novitiate. During his homily Fr. Kozakowski presented the spiritual silhouette of a holy person who is hidden in God, lives in Him and contemplates the beauty of His love.
▪ On August 4th, in our house in Gdansk seven sisters celebrated their Jubilee of the Religious Consecration. During the Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Czeslaw Parzyszek SAC, the Jubilarians thanked God for their vocation and for the path of their success: Sr. Teresa Rut for 70 years of consecration, Srs. Aldona Grondowska, Floriana Doncer and Sylwina Krzyżak for 65 years, while Sr. Alicja Karaś, Sr. Felicjana Litwin and Sr. Barbara Kamieniak celebrated the 60th anniversary of their religious profession.
▪ Though some of the countries are relaxed from the COVID 19, India seems to be getting worse every day. The number of the affected cases are spiking throughout the country. Christ is our hope. This gives us courage to face the present situation. Each community is having special spiritual activities according to their suitable time for praying to the God of compassion and Mercy to heal the Corona affected humanity and to find medicine for this dreaded virus along with just economic aid measures. Understanding the cry and suffering of the poor we are involved to reach out to them by offering food, groceries, medicine and counseling, whenever and whatever possible our by different communities. Our large number of Sisters who are teachers are occupied with on-line classes for the students. To meet this challenge, sisters need to be well equipped with technology. It has become a stressful job which is taking lot of time and energy.
▪ Despite this difficult time, our Senior Citizens´ Home in Mumbai organized Parents´ Day on July 26th and Independence Day on August 15th. Both events offered opportunities to the residents to bring out their talents and refresh their energy.
▪ Our Hostel for Students in Bangalore is closed since June onwards and now only on-line admission is taking place. Moreover as the days and months go by we understand that we have to cope with this pandemic situation and walk the path to have an Emmaus experience and look for the day of resurrection.
▪ In July/August, the Sisters in Rwanda had their annual retreats in Kibeho. The theme was For me to live is Christ (Phil 1:21). One day in August the sisters of Masaka community went to Ruhengeli Diocese to visit the families of our Sisters who come from this area. From August 18-22 five candidates had come for their last seminar. Those candidates are preparing to begin religious formation in our Congregation.
Let us remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. M. Lidwina Dietz SAC * 03.09.1933 † 13.07.2020 England
Sr. M. Agnieszka Otta SAC * 10.02.1928 † 14.07.2020 Poland
Sr. M. Nicola Schubert SAC * 21.02.1932 † 28.07.2020 Germany