▪ On the 8th, despite a global pandemic and civil unrest, Pope Francis launched a three-day historic apostolic visit to Iraq, as the first Pope ever to visit the dwindling Christian community in the country aiming at bringing attention to the plight of the church there, which dates back to the time of Jesus, and to promote interfaith peace. The Pontiff urged Iraq’s Muslim and Christian religious leaders to put aside animosities and work together for peace and unity.
▪ On 19th, He announced the year of family recalling the publication of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia on the beauty and joy of conjugal and family love, and invited all to live a year of rereading the Document and reflecting on the theme, until the celebration of the Tenth World Meeting of Families which, God willing, will take place in Rome on 26 June, 2022.
▪ On 6th an on-line session was organized by the Pallottine Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate on the biography and history of Mother Rafaela Castellani, first Superior General of Pallottine Sisters. This conference was presented by Sr. Lilia Capretti CSAC.
▪ The zoom meetings program for the leadership teams of the entire Congregation have continued together with the General government. This month at different intervals, the Provinces of Our Lady of Divine Love-India and the Our Lady of Guadalupe-Belize, had an opportunity to share the current situation of their respective Provinces. It has been a good time when the sisters as a team were able to express their concerns and preoccupations, outlining their strengths and challenges in their regular basis, likewise their future plans.
▪ On the eve of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, we joined in the 2nd online conference from Pallotti institute delivered by Fr. Denilson Geraldo SAC under the theme: The paternity of Saint Joseph in Saint Vincent Pallotti. Fr. Denilson drew some inspiration from the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde on the person of Saint Joseph published by Pope Francis to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Catholic Church by Blessed Pius IX.
▪ In Codó, Brazil, at the end of February, a junior Sr. Joliane Alves Lima offered a "cinema afternoon” with a film about Mary of Nazareth to a group of girls, in the spacious place near the convent. Her intention was to reunite the youth of a vocation animation group who had been scattered by the Covid pandemic and to encourage them through Mary's example. Mary's life should be conveyed to them as a symbol of faith, strength and as an inspiration for all women, yesterday, today and tomorrow. After the film, there were light refreshments and a sharing session followed.
On March 6, Sr. Joliane travelled with the parochial vicar of Sao Raimundo, Fr. Deusdete, to the country's interior, where she spoke with a group of young people about the themes: Being young - being a young Christian - deciding to enter religious life.
▪ In Timbiras, on March 22, Sr. Maria do Espírito Santo and junior Sr. Josinalda gave an insight into the history of our Congregation through a PowerPoint presentation for the entire Pallottine family in Brazil. Lay members, Priests, Roman Pallottine Sisters from all over the country participated in this program organized by the National Coordination Council and broadcast by the YouTube channel "Ospalotinos".
▪ We are glad that in Limburg the renovation of the chapel of the provincial house could be completed before Easter. It was repainted and the lamps had to be renewed. There is now also the possibility of direct video transmission to all rooms of the nursing home House Felizitas. In this way, the bedridden residents can also participate in Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. The renovation work is coming to an end as well; it will be possible to start moving into the rooms during the weeks after Easter. In the future, the house will offer space for 91 people.
▪ Since December, the Health authorities in the UK have focussed on a Vaccine campaign, and over half of the population has now been vaccinated. As the lockdown was gradually alleviated, new arrangements were setup in the home so that our residents could accept their visitors. However, many regulations are still in force and all visitors need to have a negative Covid test. On 29th, all the residents and Staff of Park Mount Home in Macclesfield and us Sisters received the second vaccine. We thank God for all His blessing and pray that soon the virus will lose its control on society worldwide.
▪ The month of March was an eventful month for the Province. On March 2nd Sr. Redempta Mallya, a qualified experienced teacher, was missioned to Zambia to support the two Sisters who have been working there for the last three years. She was warmly welcomed by the Sisters and Fathers in Lusaka with a thanksgiving Mass as an official welcome.
▪ A joyful celebration of welcome to Siuyu Community was given to our four newly professed Sisters: Sr. Rebecca, Sr. Valeria, Sr. Lidya and Sr. Beatrice. A fare well ceremony was held for Sr. Dorothea Lyimu and Sr. Suzan Amon who will be going to our mission in South Africa/ Cape Town. We also bade fare-well to Fr. Steven Muli, SAC the Assistant Pastor of Christ the King Parish in Siuyu missioned to the USA.
▪ The death of our Catholic President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, at the age of 61, was a deep sorrow for Tanzania people. He was noted for being a God-fearing leader who worked hard and fought against corruption. He had a deep trust in God. His motto for his second term of office was: “God first, then work continues”. We thank God for his life and his service to the Tanzanian nation.
▪ On March 10th, several board members of the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington had the privilege of visiting Sacred Heart Church’s most recent development. Sacred Heart Church was founded in 1934, where the Pallottine Sisters provided many years of classes and services. Still today, Sr. Mary Terence Wall faithfully serves at Sacred Heart Church. It is amazing what God does through the cooperation of Sacred Heart Parish, Catholic Charities, and zealous church volunteers and professionals do
▪ St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, WV continues celebrating its 100. Anniversary. March 10, 1921 was the month the Pallottine Sisters actually moved into their new home, the Barlow Mansion. Even though the Dedication and opening of the hospital was set for March 28th, they welcomed their first patient on March 24th, a pregnant woman who gave birth to a baby girl that same evening. On March 24, 2021 we welcomed our Anniversary baby boy. Baby and parents received a variety of gifts with our anniversary logo on them.
▪ A local television station broadcast an interview with Mr. Skip Gjolberg, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Sr. Francesca Lowis, SAC, Vice President of Mission Integration. The local newspaper also interviewed Mr. Gjolberg and Sr. Francesca. Besides the lengthy interview, they also included a six full-page section with stories and pictures of our history as well as our Mission, Vision and Values. Local merchants and organizations placed congratulatory advertisements throughout the special section.
▪ The Sisters in Laurel, Maryland during Lent were contributing food, making monetary donations to "rice bowl" at the parish and, participating faithfully in Lenten liturgy in preparation for Paschal Triduum and Easter. They have also been saying the prayer for the General Chapter every day and following the monthly reflection. All the Sisters have received vaccinations against the Covid virus.
▪ On Ash Wednesday the Sisters in Orange Walk began to read and put into practice, "Do Something Beautiful for God”, which consists of the Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa. They meet on-line daily for an hour with a group of 12 ladies. They will continue this program until Easter.
▪ The Sisters at Pallotti Covent give provisions twice a month to about 65 needy people. On10th March the people received the regular provisions plus a blanket. The "Food for The Poor" Organisation sends things to the parishes that are in need of donation, to cover the expense of transportation. A member of "Friends of Pallotti" who is involved in the project paid for the donation. The Sisters in Orange Walk and Novitiate Nazareth also received blankets for their poor.
▪ On 26th -27th, the Provincial Council had a two-day retreat at Chaa Creek, a beautiful scenic resort in the Cayo District. The days were spent in prayer, sharing, discussion and planning. Fr. Anthony Anderson, a SOLT priest from Benque Viejo heard confessions and celebrated Mass which some of the employees also joined. The owner of this property gave the Sisters a tour of this beautiful resort. It was a joyful, profitable retreat.
▪ On 22nd March 2021 was a remakable day for the SouthAfrican Province to receive two other missionaries from Tanzania. Sr. Dorothea Laurent and Sr. Suzan Amon were joyfully welcomed by all the sisters from both communities. Sr. Prabha Varghese, the Provincial Superior led them to the chapel where all gathered for a thanksgiving prayer. The Sisters will stay in the Provincial House at Pinelands for some orientation. We are indeed grateful for the Queen of Peace province for sharing their missionaries..
▪ On 19th the Solemnity of St. Joseph, being a Patron Saint of our chronically ill children's Home, the day was marked by the opening and blessing of a new playground for the Children. Our special guests were the Sisters from the Pinelands community, Mrs. Thea Patterson the former Director of St. Joseph’s and Mr. Shawn Brown the former financial manager. After the blessing by Fr. Luigi Benigni our Chaplain, the children enthusiastically entered into the playground and joyfully performed different games.
Poland/ Russia/ Cameroon
▪ On 27 in the Parish of Christ the King - Gdańsk a meeting of the Job Community, founded by Sr. Urszula Kłusek SAC a year ago, took place gathering more than 50 people. The meeting was led by Bp. Wiesław Szlachetka, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Gdańsk. After Holy Mass, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, the Bishop prayed for the grace of healing, and then gave a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament individually and to members of the Job Community. Every Wednesday and Sunday during Lent, Sr Urszula through the Radio Plus-Gdańsk broadcast two programs under the title: Lent with Job; referring to the Book of Job and God in the nooks and crannies of life. This program helped listeners to discover the sense and value of suffering and that God is present in all human life.
▪ The German volunteers who for many years have been collaborating in our different communities, and, have now for the first time been helping in our newly opened nursery school at Ruhango. However, the big challenge for them is language since most children come from French and Kinyarwanda background and only few can speak a little English. Nevertheless, they enjoy working and collaborating well with the teachers. Needless to say, they are also very happy to live in the community with the sisters joining for Holy Mass and prayers.
▪ On 14th, our sisters in Kyabakuza community in Uganda together with their parish priest visited a refugee camp in the northern part of the country having about 6,500 refugees of whom 302 are disabled. This was a touching gesture for them which gave them a lot of consolation. The sisters are grateful for the help from the Caritas Polska that enabled them to accomplish this mission.
▪ On 25th, our Region had a joyful occasion to celebrate the Final commitment of Sister M. Delphine Murekatete. The ceremony took place during the solemn Mass presided over by Fr. Jean Pierre Nsabimana SAC, Vice Superior of the Pallottine Fathers at our Regional house, Masaka. In his homily, Fr. Jean reminded all that God calls us to accomplish the mission of Christ which is to do the will of His Father. Like Blessed Mother Mary at the Annunciation, we too are called to witness this Yes by our consecrated life. After Mass all the guests were invited to share a meal and exchanging of wishes to our Sister.
▪ Our three postulants from Queen of Apostles Convent, Rajambadi, Madurai had a two week apostolic experience at the Mercy Home run by Claretian Missionary Fathers at Karmathur. This home takes care of the children left on the streets, hospitals and those abandoned by parents. The later are given for adoption to some couples so that they can feel and experience the love of parents. The postulants were grateful to have this unique experience at this stage of their formation.
▪ At long last our Vidya Deepti Study House, Bengaluru was reopened getting filled with new the admission of students reaching 90 in number. However suddenly the joy turned into fear and worries as one of the students who traveled from Kuwait tested positive with Corona. Thanks be to God with His mercy all the other students were tested receiving negative results.
▪ On 25th Sr. Mary Eugine Nirmala received “Life Time Achievement Award” from Jayanthi Seva Samithi, a trust in Bengaluru for her untiring services to the Senior Citizen in the Nishkalanka Seva Home. We congratulate her and pray for the strength to continue her good work in faith.
Let us remember our Deceased Sisters
Sr. Vera Altemeier *20.12.1929 †10.03.2021 Germany