Friday, March 3, 2017

Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf

We continue our reading of excerpts from  Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf (In Response to God's Call), by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC (copyright 2016, Bonifatius), translated by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC.

The First World War and its Consequences
The limitations set on travel and mail service, e.g. strict censorship, specified length, very slow delivery, caused a major break in communication for our international Congregation.  It was no longer possible to send German Sisters to America on a regular basis, as it had been previously.  It was not until 1920 that another group was sent.  Communication with Provincial Leadership and with the convents in America was often only possible via a neutral country or through trusted persons who were traveling there.  One tried to keep up contact as best one could.  When the USA entered the war in 1917, there was no longer any direct postal contact with North America.  In vain did the Sisters attempt to send food supplies to Germany via neutral ships.  A year after the end of the war, in August 1919, they began new shipments.  At the beginning of November the first precious packages reached Paderborn.  Many others were sent during the following years.  The Chronicles recorded these with deep gratitude.  Many poor people could be helped with these supplies.  The Superiors in the American Province also repeatedly helped with considerable sums of money.
. . .

The news of the completion and dedication of the new Province Motherhouse in Wilmette was the last direct communication to the Generalate in Paderborn from an overseas Province until the end of the First World War.  The Sisters found the limitations placed on travel and mail service, which presented a major obstacle to communication with Community Leadership, very painful.  This fact is repeatedly mentioned in the Chronicles from 1914-1917.  Contact with America was completely cut off for a long time or was possible only occasionally when sent via a neutral country.  So much the more, did the willingness to help show itself in the form of donations once the war ended, an invaluable aid to the survival of the European Province and many other people in Germany.  How precious every package and every financial help was, could only be understood by the generous donors when the representatives from all the Provinces gathered in Paderborn for the General Chapter in 1920 and experienced the situation firsthand.

Reflection:  What do you find most interesting about this excerpt?  Perhaps you could share this with someone today.

No comments:

Post a Comment