This week's excerpts from Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf (In Response to God's Call, by Sister Anna Schwanz, transl. Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, copyright 2016, Bonifatius) come from the section entitled, "The Congregation from 1926 until 1945."
Effects of National Socialism on Apostolic Activities
"In 1933, apostolic activities were not affected at first. There were even some permissions granted. . . . The professional education of the Sisters was still possible, especially in the final examination at the close of their studies. Several Sisters took examinations for the teaching profession, for social work in our homes, for nursing or in practical professions, such as dressmaking or gardening. At every examination, regardless of type, a 'socio-political qualification' was necessary. Soon there were obstacles and intrusions into every activity. The sales tax for schools (1933) was followed by the difficulty which Sisters encountered when they attempted to pursue higher education (1934) and in 1936 School Directors had to produce an Arian Certificate. Officials and those employed in public service were not permitted to send their children to private schools. The depleted school population that resulted caused major financial problems."
"When bombs totally destroyed the schools in 1943, our educational activities in Dortmund ended a second time. Several Sisters found shelter with the Vincentians at the orphanage. Until 1945 they ministered in pastoral and charitable activities in various parishes. . . . Not only the schools offering a general education were closed, but also home economics schools and schools for young women. . . . Work in the kindergartens became more and more difficult. . . . In the area of the education of the blind, both the school and the job training department suffered limitations and setbacks. . . . Similar developments can be related about other orphanages and homes. . . . Retreat work also suffered much interference. . . . Nursing services continued to be rendered in the Hospital in Anrath, as well as within the parish. To this was added the vast activity in the military hospitals, because most of the episcopal facilities where our Sisters served as housekeepers had been transformed into military hospitals.
Under the most difficult circumstances, the Sisters tried to work for the Church and the common good, to fulfill their mission by taking on various activities and, as best they could by their contributions, to ensure the survival of the Congregation."
Reflection: What do you find most interesting about these brief excerpts? Perhaps you could share this with someone today.