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?
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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.