Friday, May 19, 2017

Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf

As part of our ongoing observance of the 200th birthday of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, we continue to post excerpts of Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf (Bonifatius, 2016), the history of the Sisters of Christian Charity since 1881, by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC, translated by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC.

Expansion in America

The American foundations were spared the constraints and the horrors of Nazi domination and the immediate acts of war.  While the gradual loss of activities took place in Europe, the Provinces in America were able to expand freely, and, until 1939, with the support of personnel from Germany.  Thus there was much activity during these years.  Because of the times or special circumstances, houses were closed and new ones opened; activities were relinquished, changed or new ones undertaken.  Despite the constant increase in the number of Sisters during these years, not all the offers, by far, for new foundations could be considered.  Again and again, the Chronicles mention this fact together with the regret that there was a "lack of Sisters."

In this regard, the situation was especially difficult in Chile.  A request made to both North American Provinces in the year 1936, asking for missionaries to Chile, called forth much enthusiasm among the younger Sisters.  One Sister was chosen from each Province, and again in 1941.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Holy Hour for Peace

The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth invite you to a monthly Holy Hour of Quiet Prayer for Peace at Holy Family Chapel, 2 Convent Road, Convent Station, NJ.  The Holy Hour will be held on Tuesday, May 16 (and the third Tuesday of every month) from 6:30-7:30 pm.  Everyone is invited.  No RSVP is necessary.  For more information, contact Sister Maryanne Tracey at mtracey@scnj.org.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Pope's TED Talk

Two weeks ago, the attendees at the annual TED conference (TED2017) in Vancouver, British Columbia, were surprised by the unannounced speaker who appeared -- Pope Francis!  In a talk recorded at the Vatican in April and shown on screen at the conference, the Holy Father called for a "revolution of tenderness," and spoke of "why the only future worth building includes everyone."  Because many of the people in the audience were "key players" in the global technology industry, Pope Francis directed a portion of his message toward them:  "How wonderful it would be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion.  How wonderful it would be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.  How wonderful it would be if solidarity -- this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word -- were not simply reduced to social work and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries."  Click here to view this talk, which is about 18 minutes long, but well worth the time it takes to view!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf

As part of our ongoing observance of the 200th birthday of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, we continue to post excerpts of Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf (Bonifatius, 2016), the history of the Sisters of Christian Charity since 1881, by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC, translated by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC.

[We continue last week's post spoke about the Bohemian Vice Province and the beginning of the Sisters' departure from Schlackenwerth.]

"For the 39 remaining Sisters the situation became ever more threatening.  Mother Theresia Strachwitz, the Superior of the Vice Province sent a letter to Mother Liboria in Paderborn on July 9, 1945, in which she wrote that 'it was totally useless to take steps to be able to remain herer.  We would have no prospect of any kind of activity or livelihood.  Our mission here is literally ended. . . .' Mother Teresia risked her life trying to obtain permission to leave.  This meant many trips under difficult conditions (Germans were forbidden to travel by train) for meetings with various officials of state and church. . . . The Sisters left Schlackenwerth on November 8, 1945. . . The journey, in two groups, began . . . amid unimaginable difficulties.  The van that had been put at their disposal proved unserviceable already on the first day.  With great effort, after a 19 hour trip (usually took 1 1/2 hours) and a night in the bitter cold on the highway, the Sister reached Eger, where friendly people from the town came to their aid.  There they found refuge with the Sisters of the Cross, until another means of transport was able to be obtained and the journey to Waldsassen could continue on November 14.  After stopping for another week, they continued on in two groups by train to Bad Kissingen, where the Mary Ward Sisters offered them accommodations.  Finally, on November 25, they were all able to travel together in a furniture van to Fulda, where they were heartily received by the Vincentians and remained for a week. . . . They continued on to Kassel by bus on December 2 and then to the Motherhouse in Paderborn.  As the Angelus bells rang at noon on the second Sunday in Advent, in pouring rain, the large bus pulled into the courtyard.  The Sisters in the Motherhouse had been awaiting the arrival of their Sister Companions.  Due to poor mail connections, the Motherhouse Sisters did not know whether their departure had been successful and, on the other hand, the arriving Sisters had no idea of the extent of the destruction of the Motherhouse.  They wept at the sight."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Stop Trafficking

The May issue of Stop Trafficking is now available here.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf

As part of our ongoing observance of the 200th birthday of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt in 2017, we continue to post excerpts of Als Antwort Auf Gottes Ruf (Bonifatius, 2016),  the history of the Congregation of the Sisters of Christian Charity since 1881, by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC (translated into English by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC).

"Due to difficult political circumstances and the urgent demand of the government, the foundations in Bohemia were united into the Czech Vice-Province in 1925.  The Sisters has been carrying out Mother Pauline's mission in education there since 1875. . . .  All foundations were recognized and esteemed.  The period of National Socialism, however, put them in a difficult position.
. . .
"Toward the end of the war all German Sisters of the Vice-Province lived in Schlackenwerth.  The war took on ever more gruesome forms.  About one million refugees came through Schlackenwerth, of whom often 180-200 persons found refuge with the Sisters; everything was shared.  The unconditional surrender of Germany did not make things easier for the Sisters and the other Germans, but rather made the situation worse.  Especially in the West, hatred against "the Germans" no longer knew any bounds and was directed toward "all" Germans.  During the period following, all Germans had to wear white armbands.

"According to one decree issued in May 1945, all Germans who had entered the country after 1938 were to leave within 18 hours.  This involved four of our older Sisters.  On May 27 they traveled on foot, by train or car through Aue, Gera, Leipzig, Halberstadt and Braunschweig to Höxter, where they finally arrived in Haus Nazareth on June 25, completely exhausted from this unimaginably arduous journey.  They had experienced an incalculable number of refugees, the most difficult conditions of transport and totally inadequate supplies, but again and again they had met good people who helped them."