European meeting of leaders
Poland, 21-27 August, 2016
It was a pretty lively week in our house in Sulejówek. There was a meeting among the 44 Sisters from the various SSpS countries in Europe. The theme of the meeting was: to be able to live more for God and another human being today in the 21st Century.
Great joy accompanied us because it was an opportunity to share not only our successes, but also our poverty, which we are becoming more and more aware of. We were happy with the presence of Sr. Margaret as representative of the CLT. Her modesty and good words gave us hope.
Our Congregation is present in the following European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Rome, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, Siberia, Austria and Poland. Therefore, our meeting had very international dimension.
There was a great joy for us that all Sisters felt at home in Sulejówek. This sense of being accepted accompanied us from the beginning to the end of our meeting. The Sisters enjoyed our Polish hospitality.
Based on our sharing, our biggest concern is lack of vocations in the whole Europe. We pondered at the causes of this form of poverty. We have a lot of openness to the world and many ideas, but we lack young people who would be willing to serve God as Missionary, Servants of the Holy Spirit. Maybe this is an invitation for us to give our life to God more and more, to offer to Him everything by living our vows in the spirit of our Founders.
Together we visited the church, the tomb and museum of the Blessed Jerzy (George) Popieluszko, who strongly moved us. Some Sisters in Western Europe were crying, seeing how much the people in Poland fought for faith and freedom, how much Bl. Jerzy (George) suffered. With great emotion, we listened to the words of Bl. Jerzy’s Mother, who, three days after the murder of her son, raised the rosary up and said loudly that she forgives the murderers of her son, after which the great crowd of Polish recited the beautiful prayer “Our Father”.
At the end of the meeting, it was hard to part. The internationality of our Congregation is a great enrichment. We learn from each other tolerance and love. Our Fr. Arnold often said that the best thanksgiving is to love.
We hope that this meeting will spur us with more love for God, Congregation and every person, regardless of skin color, nationality, social or religious status, above all for every homeless refugee.
Sr. Dolores Zok, SSpS – Poland