For one month I have been living – temporarily – in the community of the Pallottine Sisters in Munich with our sisters. Here our mission procurator Sr. Ingrid Schuler with her small, aging community is active every year at the Advent bazaar in favor of our various missions. In the Benedictine parish of St. Bonifaz, the Pallottine Sisters have been working for many years in the Mission Committee, where there is a network of sisters and other committed collaborators.
The bazaar used to have great dimensions with book market, cards for wishes, handicraft articles, the sale of jams and the Christmas cookies so popular in Germany. Throughout the year, the sisters in Munich could be seen in the evenings “armed” with wool, yarn, knitting and crocheting needles and busy with handicrafts, in preparation for the big action during Advent.
This year the bazaar could take place only very reduced because of Covid -19, with the sale of Advent wreaths to Christ King and the sale of marmalades and cookies before and after the Masses in Advent. I witnessed the sisters taking turns in the kitchen to bake their favorite cookies, parcels with a donation of cookies arriving, or people delivering cookies to the sisters. In between, the juicer was in use and jams and jellies were produced with a variety of compositions and ingredients, then finished with labels and colorful pieces of cloth over the lid. This created a huge storage of large cookie tins and jams in the house. Finally, a volunteer friend of the community made chocolate confectionary with nuts and fruits in the sisters’ kitchen for several days. It was a great temptation to just look and smell at all of this… – only at the very end was there a small tasting. In the end, everything was put together in cooperation with a few women – with a face mask and keeping a distance – into tempting mixtures and beautifully packed.
I was then allowed to take over the cash desk on the first Sunday in Advent and experienced how some people came to the church already prepared with a backpack to do a bulk purchase of jams or cookies. Sr. Ingrid had already put out an invitation to the bazaar in the church weeks ago. This year the project was called “Children and Youth Work of the Pallottine Sisters in the Northeast of Brazil”.
The contact with the people attending the Mass, who came to the tables one after the other, was also an opportunity to exchange good wishes for the Advent season and to thank for the support of the mission project. Many rounded up the amount.
It was also a beautiful moment to watch two women with children praying next to the bazaar tables in front of a statue of St. Elizabeth. From the remaining money each child was allowed to throw a coin into the offering box and light a candle. We Sisters in Munich wish all our fellow sisters worldwide and to all of you a blessed Advent SSeason and the joy of the Birth of our Lord on Christmas.
Sr. Maria Landsberger SAC