The purpose of the chronicle is to reflect the spirit of our gathering more than for information and to take have our readers taste a morsel of the joys of our days together. We thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.
Sisters of the General Administration Team
Sr. Gail Borgmeyer, Provincial of the U.S.A.
Sr. Helga Weidemann, Provincial—Germany
Sr. Mary McNulty, Provincial—England
Sr. Consuelo Burgos, Provincial—Belize
Sr. Bernadetta Turecka, Provincial—Poland
Sr. Clara J. X., Provincial—India
Sr. Bellancile Mukandahiro, Regional Superior—Rwanda/Congo
Sr. Boscona Schämann, Provincial—South Africa
Sr. Raphaela Fuchs, Regional Superior—Switzerland
Monday – Morning
Our Pallottine Missionary Sisters’ leadership—from the Generalate, the provinces, and the regions—all these maturing branches came to Germany to visit our root—Kloster Marienborn. We receive the inspiration from this Assembly, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and gather our strength from the footsteps of our pioneer Sisters. From this Motherhouse beginning in 1886, our foremothers went to the Cameroon impelled by the Gospel and desired to bring Christ our Light to the people. Since that time, we are now throughout the world committed to the vision of St. Vincent that all are called to be apostles.
The Central Assembly opened with a Mass of Celebration with many people interceding with us for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Included in those present were the community of Marienborn, former superior General Sr. Maria Knaus; our host, Sister Helga Weidemann, young missionaries who have offered to serve in other countries for a year’s commitment. Our celebrant, Rev. Alexander Holzbach , S.A.C. gave us a warm welcome and brought forth a sign of concrete unity when we recited the Our Father in Latin.
When we gathered in our Cenacle space after the Liturgy, Provincial Superior, Sr. Helga Weidemann, welcomed us to our Congregation’s “cradle”. Sr. Izabela Swierad’s opening remarks reminded us of our common heritage, voicing the names of Sisters, who marked our beginnings and history with great missionary zeal and unshakable faith.
Monday – Afternoon
Like our ancestors in faith, we did not sit still and took off venturing into the picturesque and narrow streets of the ancient city of Limburg. Tracing the footsteps of our Pioneer Sisters our eyes took in some of the same buildings that time has not erased.
Our tour of Limburg centered on the first home where our sisters lived, and where some died of tuberculosis because of the poor condition of the house. We stood outside its gates gazing at the small windows in the roof and spiral, wooden staircases trying to imagine the life of our sisters and those in their charge.
Moving forward on the cobblestones, we were awestruck when we entered the Church of St. Anna. This is the Church where our first religious Sisters in Vincent worshipped and made their vows of profession.
The wonderful houses contain treasures for enlightened eyes. Sr. Helga stopped to explain one of the landmarks on our way to the Cathedral of Limburg. Carved on the side of the building are the faces of the seven vices. These were to help pilgrims to identify their sins before they would go to the sacrament of penance.
Welcoming us at the Cathedral of St. George was Sr. Mary Therese, OSF, who gave an entertaining and meaningful tour. She shared her love and passion for the Cathedral, encouraging us to experience the spirituality of these hallowed and ancient stones. Built during the medieval period, the Limburg Cathedral reflects both Roman and Gothic architectural styles. She walked us through two levels pointing out the Biblical reference “that my Father’s house has many mansions.”
Returning from the tour, Sister Helga’s suggestion to stop for ice cream did not meet with any rejection. Sr. Bellancile Mukandahiro savored a new flavor—strawberry.
Back to Kloster Marienborn, we joined the Sisters for adoration and evening prayer, thanking the Lord for a rich day on graced soil, with deep gratitude towards God and all our Sisters who lived before us and who are our spiritual treasurers.