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.