Thursday, February 16, 2017

Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf

During this year in which we celebrate the 200th birthday of Pauline von Mallinckrodt, the Sisters of Christian Charity are happy to delve more deeply into the life of their founder and the history of the Congregation.  One of the newest resources is the book published in Germany, Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf  (In Response to God's Call), by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC, using the notes of Sister Gregoris Michels, SCC, former General Superior who died in 2014.  The book -- a history of the Sisters of Christian Charity from 1881 until the present -- was recently made available to the English-speaking Sisters thanks to the translation efforts of Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC, of the North American Eastern Province.  Between now and June 3 (the actual date of Pauline's 200th birthday), we will share portions of this book (Copyright 2016, Bonifatius).

Today's excerpt comes from "The First World War and its Consequences":

"Apostolic activities were able to be carried out almost unhindered both during and after the First World War, but the political and economic situation brought new challenges with it.  The unrest caused by internal politics and the tensions of foreign policy increased before the outbreak of the war, which began in Germany on August 1, 1914. . . . On August 4, Mother Regina LeClaire wrote to the Sisters that 'our active help' was required to 'alleviate the manifold needs, which are the result of war. . . . It is desirable that we meet the challenges that arise as best we can, but approach everything with wisdom and circumspection, because our obligations must also be continued and faithfully fulfilled.  Wherever need arises, we must also assist in the actual care of the wounded and do it as best we can. . . . We must also help the oppressed in so far as our means allow.'   She made St. Joseph House in Paderborn available to be used as a military hospital, and by the end of August the first 40 injured were brought there.  In the Motherhouse, the Sisters completed a course in the care of the wounded.  The episcopal facilities:  Leokonvikt with 200 beds, the Major Seminary with 67 beds and the Minor Seminary with 80 beds were converted into hospitals and our Sisters ministered there.  St. Lorenz-Hospital in Anrath was also used for that purpose.  In April 1915, a large transport arrived bringing critically injured soldiers of various nationalities: French, English, Canadian, Arabic, Turk, Senegalese.  The Chronicles relate many details about life at that time and about the friendly atmosphere that reigned between the wounded and their nurses."

Reflection:  What do you find most interesting about this brief excerpt?  Perhaps you could talk to someone about it today.

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