Friday, September 1, 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.

"The years from 1945 until the Second Vatican Council -- Anxious holding on and cautious setting out"

The topic "Lack of Sisters" or "Lack of Personnel" is nothing new in our time.  It is a common theme throughout the Chronicles. Even in the 1950's when there was still a steady growth in the Congregation, there is mention of the small number.  How often the various places which had to be refused for that reason are listed with regret.  The main objective always remained, to further the religious spiritual education and stability of the Sisters, "because all effectiveness will remain fruitless, if it is not the fruit of the inner spirit."  While, during these years the regret was usually that further houses or activities could not be accepted, later on, the regret is more often expressed over relinquishing of foundations or apostolic activities.  Countermeasures to this development were undertaken by easing workloads with the help of technical advances and the gradual employment of lay co-workers.  In the Western Province (USA), e.g., with the agreement of parishes, a lay person was employed for every sixth Sister.  In this way, the Province was able to take on two new schools.  In the 1956 Chronicles of the German Province this revealing sentence is recorded:  "With this pressing need for personnel, we Sisters cannot remain in activities which can be carried out just as well by the laity."  The Church urged the Congregations to combine smaller communities while maintaining their apostolic activities.

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