This morning Fr. Martin Manus SAC gave us in his homily during Holy Mass the impulse that we are called to co-responsability. He reminded us of a passage of the testament of St. Vincent Pallotti: "Act, as if you were the founder of the Union - the congregation." Let us use our talentsand work with them - as the servants in todays gospel were told to work with the gold coins they were entrusted.
Sr. Helen Lourdusamy, our moderator of the day, welcomed all capitulars and gave word to our Superior General, Sr. Izabela Swierad, who expressed her heartfelt gratitude towards our translators. They share their beautiful talent with us - collaboration in the spirit of our founder.
Then we listened to the report of the Delegature of Switzerland. Sr. Maria Dörig SAC presented our now smallest entity and took us back to the beginnings of the presence of Pallottine Missionary Sisters in Switzerland. A parish priest asked for sisters to work in several fields in his parish and directly sisters came from Limburg. In a short amount of time they errected a hospital for women, a kindergarden and an old peoples home and werde engaged in ambulante health care. The first superior was a very powerful person and soon there was so much good work done. And today the sisters keep the spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti alive in the two places they now live.
The second report of the day took us to the Polish Province. Sr. Iwona Nadziejko SAC, Provincial Superior, showed us a video of the various apostolates of her province. Eight flags symbolized visually the eight countries, where sisters of the Polish Province are engaged: Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Slowakia, France, Italy and Cameroon. The apostolate is universal as given by our founder: To be there for the people in all ages and situations and to care for all needs. They dedicate themselves to the goal to revive faith and increase love among all people. Connected with the Union and the church they are attentive to be witnesses of Christ wherever they are.
Before starting our afternoon session we had a very special moment when Sr. Izabela called Sr. Elisabeth Heptner SAC, a former Gerneral Superior on her feastday. We wished her God's blessings and she gave words of encouragement to our General Chapter.
Afterwards we continued hearing reports. Sr. Angéline Kambugu SAC, Regional Superior, took us to the Region of Rwanda/Congo. Founded by the Polish Province the Region is a reason for pure joy. 31 sisters with final vows, 16 with temporary vows and 23 young women in formation give hope to the whole congregation. Sisters of this young region are present in five countries: Rwanda, D. R. Congo, Uganda, France and Tanzania. Their main apostolates are health care, education and having spiritual centers. Sr. Angéline emphasized that prayer is the first duty. Beeing active and contemplative - exactly as St. Vincent Pallotti wished his foundations to be. This region is flourishing and a sign of hope for our whole congregation. We praise the Lord for the gift of so many talented young sisters!
Last but not least we went to South Africa. Sr. Prabha Varghese SAC, Provincial Superior, adressed at first words of gratitude towards Sr. Izabela who initiated to build an international community in South Africa so that this entity could remain a province. Her support and her dedication made the development possible, that we witnessed today. Now there are 11 sisters from four countries in this province. Sr. Prabha emphasized that the most important apostolate is the care for the elderly sisters. And the sisters are engaged in the care for chronically ill children and pastoral work. Living as an international community is challenging, but following St. Vincent Pallotti this is a task in this concrete time. We chapter members all know this province in very good and capable hands. And we were touched by the love Sr. Prabha has for her elderly sisters. She said: "You can win their hearts by giving them love, care, attention and your time."
Our day ended with a prayer in which we expressed our gratitude towards our Lord. What a joy to be a Pallottine Missonary Sister!