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Poland 1934

History of Polish Province - an Outline

The Pallottine missionaries arrived in Poland on February 2nd, 1934. This was at the initiation of Fr. Alojzy Majewski, Pallottine missionary in Cameroon. Twenty seven years before he had transferred  the Association of Pallottine Priests and Brothers from Italy to Poland.

Fr. Alojzy Majewski, SAC - Rajca 1935

The first sisters: Srs. Leona Schettke, Meinolfa Falk, Maura Brener, Norberta Kempkes, Berthilla Neguin , as well as Srs. Aurelia Wachowska* (photo - left) and Sr. Kazimiera Milewska** (photo - right), of Polish origin, came from Limburg, Germany, and accepted the hospitality of the Pallottine Priests in Oltarzew. Benefitting from their spiritual and material care, the Sisters prepared themselves for the tasks awaiting them. The ideas of Vincent Pallotti had become widely known in society as a result of the apostolic activities of the Pallottine Fathers, and in a short time candidates interested in the missions appeared at the door.  Upon their departure from Oltarzew, there were up to seven. From there, the pioneer track of Pallottines ran to the northeast, to Rajca, near the town of Nowogrodek (today it belongs to Belorussia). On April 12th, 1934, the Sisters took over from the Pallottine Fathers the manor-house and 60-acre farm that had belonged to the Counts Wereszczak.

 

The first two years unfolded to Sisters under the sign of a triple blessing: sacrifice, privation and hard work. Their eager and capable hands tackled worn buildings(sisters themselves performed the work of bricklayer and painter), teneded the farm and garden, and most importantly – served the poor local people. Thanks to the generosity of the society of central Poland, relatively soon the sisters managed to adapt an out-dated corn house to a worship space.

Our house in Rajca, 1934

The new chapel was welcomed by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, much more numerous. The people assembled there, both for Masses and services, and for para-liturgical solemnities, eg. occasional academies, mysteries, singing (in time the first Rajca church choir began under the direction of Sr. Bertilla). And though one did not yet speak of ecumenism, and one made no list of guidelines for this type of activity, systematically there grew a social and religious bond among the Christians at this recess of the eastern borders of the country.

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* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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