The Polish Province of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters have lost a great person. On 8 December, the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception, Sr.Władysława Podwórna SAC (1934-2012) went to the Lord and her beloved Mother of Perpetual Help. She was a historian, librarian, bibliophile, and archivist – especially in audiovisual material. She was professional and passionate in protecting, collecting and cataloguing the heritage of the Congregation in the Polish Province, beginning from the early days. She had a great love for the Congregation and for the Church, and an unlimited energy for her mission. As Provincial Archivist she cared very much about keeping all material in perfect order so that it could be easily carried on to others for the next generations. She had a very strong characteristic about not wasting anything. She could discern things for their future good or as fruit that might serve our future. God gave her an unusual gift to recognize the values in any person.
Our Congregation without a preserved history would be like a passer-by who has no face. The Congregation, carrying in their hands the output of previous generations, is a precious treasure; it is wise because of the wisdom of those who are gone. It sees the image of God in the people that this Congregation created with love and by love.
Sr. Władysława for many years was a watchman of this heritage. Her sudden death brings her words to our mind: “I fulfilled the work entrusted to me. The rest I leave to you”. Also this death raises a fundamental question of our relation to the historical collections of previous generations, of our concern for preserving the archived materials that after a few decades the work of Sr. Władysława will not have been wasted.
Having all this in the mind, let us call upon the Lord: to grant eternal rest unto her, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. Dear Sr. Władysława, through the mercy of God, rest in peace – we will take care of your heritage here on earth, but you will still keep an eye on us from above. May Blessed Mother hold you tight in her loving arms.
Sr. Miriam Studzinska, SAC