South Africa is the southernmost country on the African continent. At present Pallottine Missionary Sisters engaged in their apostolate at Cape Town which is situated between Table Mountain Tafelberg and Table Bay and surrounded by the greenery. Sr. Izabela Swierad, Superior General and Sr. Josephina D’ Souza, General Councilor visited our sisters from March 21- April 6, 2014. Sisters were overwhelmed with our visit and we appreciated their hospitality during our stay.
Our days were marked with meetings with the sisters of St. Vincent Pallotti Convent and St. Joseph’s Home. We valued the presence of our younger sisters from the other provinces and discussed different challenges which need to face with fewer members in the province.
The engagement in taking care of the sick children at St. Joseph’s home is phenomenal. Our sisters work as registered nurses, baby care and massage, pastoral care and as an incharge of the store. Lay members’ collaboration as chairpersons in different Boards and in administration is remarkable. We had an opportunity of meeting and interacting with the presidents of the Board and director of St. Joseph’s Home. Sr. Izabela appreciated their volunteer service and in turn they requested to have more Pallottine sisters to continue the good work with Catholic ethos.
Our visit and conversation with the Archbishop Stephen Brisilin of Cape Town gave us an insight to the present challenges of the Church in South Africa. He implied to us that in Cape Town the Catholic Church reaches out to all the religions regardless of colours. He also expressed his gratitude for the presence of our sisters in his diocese.
We were privileged to participate in the memorial service of Most Rev. Lawrence Henry, Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, at St. Joseph’s Home. Since his ordination to the priesthood, he had been a great collaborator and supporter of our sisters at Cape Town. As an Archbishop, he rendered his service to St. Joseph’s Home as a Board member. He was an eye boll of this home, and the children loved him as a father of all. At the end of the Holy Mass Sr. Boscona Schämann, Provincial Superior and Mrs. Thea Peterson, the director of St. Joseph’s home expressed a few words of tribute as a gratitude for his service and spiritual guidance.
Our community gatherings and meetings were filled with discussions of spiritual thoughts, future plans and socialization. Visit to our sisters in the cemetery spoke to us in volumes of the sacrifices and the fruitful service of each of them in South African soil.
The time spent with the sisters in prayer and fellowship, filled the sisters with much hope and strength to go forward in trusting the Lord as our founder St. Vincent Pallotti said “In God everything is possible”.
Sr. Josephina D’ Souza, SAC