Friday, March 17, 2017

Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf

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."

Court Proceedings Regarding Finances
"With the introduction of the court proceedings regarding finances in 1935, an extreme manner of defamation and persecution of religious congregations began.  As was later uncovered in secret documents, the aim was to have them disappear completely, step by step.  'The religious Congregtions, in which we see only the negation of life and a great danger to the morale of the German people, must disappear. . . We can no longer tolerate these clerical-conventual confinements in the Fatherland.  There is only one Reich, one religion with the leader of the Reich as the head' (Chronicles of the German Province).  Our Congregation and the German Province were also involved in these proceedings."
. . .
"After Hitler seized power . . . general economic distress grew worse from month to month.  The German Province found itself in a difficult financial situation, because for years already the municipal and state subsidies had practically ceased, the number of students and children in their care had decreased, and, as a result, the missions had been able to send little or no funds to the Motherhouse.  Thus, it was barely possible to meet the increased interest obligations.

With a heavy heart, on February 19, 1934, Mother Godeharda Koch, Provincial at that time, addressed a call for help to the missions and suggested ways they could save money.  These dealt with travel, clothing, correspondence, repairs and purchases.  Regarding living expenses she wrote:  'By a basic reduction in our cost of living, it would be possible for each house to save at least 10 Pfennig per person per day, which could then be sent to support the burdened Motherhouse.  We also hope for and expect, that by avoiding expenditures and improvements, etc., each foundation will find it possible to send the Motherhouse a donation in proportion to the circumstances in that house.  That is the only way that will make it possible for us to meet our payment obligations and to avert disaster for the Congregation.'"

[The explanation for and a detailed chronology of the arrests and seizures during this time can be found in the text of the book.  They are far too detailed to include in a blog post, but are very well worth the time and effort to read.]

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

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