Friday, October 20, 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.

Lay Associates

With the decrease in the number of Sisters, more importance was given in the Provinces to good cooperation with qualified laity. . . . The concern was not simply cooperation or the continuance of activities, but there was a desire to hand on Mother Pauline's charism and to carry it into the future.  The first such group of laity was begun in the Western Province in 1988, when 14 young women promised to live in accord with Mother Pauline's spirituality.  They were able to help in specific apostolic activities and participate in prayer and community events.  The covenant signed during the celebration of admission was to be renewed annually.  The number of Companions of Pauline grew very quickly and there was no longer a limit as to age or gender.  In 1998 a new group, Prayer Companions, was begun, which enabled those who wanted to live in Mother Pauline's spirit, but who have no time for additional activities or who because of age and health reasons can no longer participate.  

The concept of Lay Associates quickly spread throughout the Congregation.  In the Eastern Province the first 47 members were accepted in 1995.  In 1997 the report mentions 70 members who renewed their covenant and several new members.  The very active Lay Associates (Kaisa) in the Philippines have already been mentioned.  Without "the cooperation of the laity the carrying out of the apostolate there would hardly be possible."  Besides, they form an "extended family" for the small community so far away.  In Chile it was above all our former students who wanted to live their lives as lay women in the spirit of Mother Pauline. . . . Since 1998 the community is open to all, including male members.  It is a very large active group, from which many responsibly participate in apostolic activities.  Today a number of administrative positions in our schools are held by members of the [Lay Associates]. . . . The first members of the Laicos Asociados in Uruguay who made their covenant came from the so-called Damas Paulinas.  In the meantime there were different groups who worked for the poor and needy there, as well as in Argentina.

At the time of the formation of the first official Lay Association, the Paulinenbund in Germany was celebrating its 40th anniversary and had about 5,000 members.  The original purpose of the Paulinenbund had been fulfilled by the Beatification in 1985.  The League remained in existence with a new goal, to orient oneself according to the example of Mother Pauline's life and to try to make the love of Christ visible. . . . In the course of time, very different groups began in the German Province (Germany and Rome), who meet regularly and want to live their lives in the spirit of Pauline von Mallinckrodt, but without a covenant.

The names, the type of belonging and commitment, their outreach in the social or church sphere are different.  However, all groups are united by common objectives, such as regular meetings, which serve a deepening of spirituality, common exchange and a mutual strengthening, even if the nature and the organizational structure reflect local circumstances.  In 2010, at a general meeting of representatives from all Provinces and the Sister-Coordinators, it was "especially in the variety of forms . . . that the unifying and common elements were felt; the characteristic through Mother Pauline's charism, the willingness and desire to allow the light of the love of God and of neighbor into one's own life, to creatively and empathetically help where help is needed and in all life's situations to trust in God's guidance."  

Friday, October 13, 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.

Challenges in a Changing World -- the Path to the 21st Century

Congregations have always earnestly searched the so-called "signs of the times" to ascertain the will of God and to regulate their decisions and actions accordingly.  During the last fast-paced decades such questions also arose in our Congregation:  Are we, are our activities still addressing the needs of the times, as Mother Pauline did in her day?  How do we as a Congregation ignore the needs of the times? 
. . .
With the closing or shrinking of large communities which represented a specific, common activity, the ministry of the individual Sister became more important.  At the same time, good cooperation with the laity, "who in the spirit of Mother Pauline work with us and continue her work," carried weight.  With the decrease of priests in the parishes and facilities, the need for pastoral assistance grew in all Provinces.  More and more we also had to become aware of the fact, "that the activity as such was not the most important, but rather the main apostolate lay in a witness to a life vowed to God."  Not only our service, but also the nature of our personal and common life were to be witness for the Kingdom of God.  For that reason, in all efforts at renewal, special importance was laid on the deepening of spirituality and a vital community life.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

To Reach Across Borders

The brief video below shares "A Prayer for Refugees: To Reach Across Borders."  During the next two years, as we continue to "Share the Journey" of awareness of the situations of immigrants and refugees, let us remember the message of this prayer.  (Email subscribers, click here to view the video if you do not see it embedded below.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Unity in Diversity

During this Week of Prayer and Action to kick off the "Share the Journey" campaign, the USCCB offers "Unity in Diversity: A Scriptural Rosary" as a way of praying the rosary while reflecting on the plight of immigrants and refugees.  Click here for the rosary reflections.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Prayer for Migrants and Refugees

We offer this prayer as part of the Week of Prayer and Action in the "Share the Journey" campaign to raise awareness of the situation of refugees.  This prayer and more resources are available here.

Good and gracious God,
We thank you for the gift of families.  We are grateful for all of the joy and love that they bring into our lives, and we ask that you provide special protection for all families, particularly those who face hardships as they move in search of a better life.  Show mercy to those who travel in danger, and lead them to a place of safety and peace.  Comfort those who are alone and afraid because their families have been torn apart by violence and injustice.  As we reflect upon the difficult journey that the Holy Family faced as refugees in Egypt, help us to remember the suffering of all migrant families.  Through the intercession of Mary our Mother and St. Joseph the Worker, her husband, we pray that all migrants may be reunited with their loved ones and find the meaningful work they seek. Open our hearts so that we may provide hospitality for all who come in search of refuge.  Give us the courage to welcome every stranger as Christ in our midst.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen

Monday, October 9, 2017

Catholic Teaching on Welcoming Refugees

As we continue to observe the Week of Prayer and Action in the "Share the Journey" campaign, this brief video from Catholic Relief Services remids us of why we are called to welcome refugees. (Email subscribers who do not see a video embedded below, click here to view it.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Share the Journey

As we reminded you in this post from August, Caritatis Internationalis is seeking to raise awareness of migration with its two-year campaign, "Share the Journey."  During his weekly audience on September 27, Pope Francis began the campaign.  This week (October 7-13), in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for a week of prayer and action.  Click here to find resources and information about the campaign, as well as suggestions for prayer and action.

Friday, October 6, 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.

New Foundation in the Philippines (continued)

Soon the first home was too small for the growing number of blind.  A nearby building with a garden was purchased for a reasonable price in 2000.  After a thorough renovation, the group was able to move in that same year.  The things that the residents considered essential clearly showed what they had been deprived of in their lives:  first of all, security, "We are safe because we have gates, an alarm system and a fire alarm."  The topic "having room" plays an important role, e.g., one's own bed, closet, a place to do homework, a place to play, a place to do laundry and a place "for visitors."  The garden, the piano, the chapel, the grotto and the fans in the large room were also explored.

The Mother Pauline Learning Center for the Blind, an idea which had come about when we accepted the first mentally-challenged blind children a few years ago, was further developed and changed.  In this in-house facility for the mutli-handicapped blind, who, even with additional help could not successfully attend any public school, learn as far as they are able to write, to read, to do math, and above all, many practical things they need for life.  There is much emphasis on religious education.  The other children and young people, according to their ability, attend the public elementary school (6 years) and High School (4 years).  If they are qualified, they continue in a college.  In 2006 the first girl who graduated from High School left the Margaretha Home.  She had begun her schooling at the age of 15 when she came to the home.  Even though here mother was a teacher, the girl had never attended school because of her blindness. She was able to skip class levels and completed her preliminary education in six years.  She then attended college near her home and is now a teacher.  Experiencing such successes are moments of glory for the Sisters and their co-workers and the reward for their daily, patient, arduous, detailed work.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Respect Life Month

Click here for resources from the USCCB for Respect Life Month.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Reminder: Online Prayer Service

As we announced here on Sunday, the ecumenical online prayer service for the Feast of St. Francis will occur on October 4 at 10 am EDT.  Click here to register. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Online Prayer Service

On Wednesday, October 4 at 10 am EDT, the Global Catholic Climate Movement invites you to an ecumenical online prayer service to celebrate the feast of St. Francis.  Click here to register