NEW START OF THE SSpS MISSION IN HUNGARY
„This the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it! This is the day when Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit re - open after 58 years their Mission in Hungary!”
These words were joyfully proclaimed by the Provincial Leader of the Slovak Province Sr. Veronika Theresia Rackova, SSpS at he beginning of the solemn celebration of the Holy Mass in Budapest, 08/11/ 2008 .In the presence of Bishop Laszlo Nemet, SVD from Serbia and SVD Brothers and SSpS Sisters from Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Ukraine the Sister presented to them and to other guests brief history about the presence and mission of the SSpS in Hungary.
In May 1943 Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit established a new community in the SVD Mission House in Köszeg. In the community there were 4 sisters from Hungary, 3 sisters from Slovakia, 1 Austrian and 1 German sister. Apart from the German sister, Sr. Pankrata, all sisters had Hungarian roots. This community belonged to the Austrian Province, which asked the Slovak Region for personnel.
The names of the sisters from the Austrian Province were: Sr. Edelwina, Sr. Sebestine, Sr. Valentilde, Sr. Aliciele and Sr. Philonella. From Slovakia there were: Sr. Marimíra, Sr. Makaris, Sr. Školastika a Sr. Pavla. Mother Virgilia Beláková, the first regional superior of Slovakia accompanied them for the fist two weeks. The rector of the SVD House was waiting for them in Köszeg. The sisters were working mainly in the kitchen and took care of the household. The work in the house was very demanding because 400 inhabitants of the Mission house needed to be fed. In 1945 Sr. Pankrata was temporally imprisoned because of her origin. The political situation influenced negatively after the World War II. our stay in Hungary. The Provincial Leadership Team in Stockerau/Austria decided to close the community in Köszeg. On 2nd February 1950 the sisters from the Austrian Province had to go back to Stockerau and the Slovak sisters to Slovakia. During that time there were postulants from Hungary who because of that situation entered our Congregation in Austria in Stockerau. Their names are: Sr.Margit, Sr. Ilona, Sr. Magdalen and Sr.Theres.
In 1990 there was an attempt of the Austrian Province in collaboration with the Slovak Province to open the SSpS community in Köszeg again. Unfortunately, it was not successful.
In 2006 the Provincial of the SVD in Hungary, Laszlo Nemeth asked the CLT for SSpS Community in Hungary. The permission to open a community was given, but there was at that time only Sr. Klara Vörös from Slovakia available for it .She got her appointment for Hungary already in 1990.The Austrian province handed over the further development to Slovak and Polish Province.
In 2007 the new Provincial superior of SVD in Hungary, Fr.František Juhos, SVD invited the sisters of the Slovak Province to come to Budapest. The PLT of Slovakia informed the CLT about that and presented the invitation at the Euro- Assembly in Steyl in August 2007. The European provinces and regions agreed that Hungary would be common European project. The provinces of Slovakia and Poland would provide the personnel and the other provinces/region would help according to their possibilities. The new international community would belong to the Slovak Province. The following sisters - Sr. Klara, Vörös and Sr. Kristína Doboova from Slovakia and Sr. Malgorzata Zygar from Poland will be the first sisters to build that community. Sr. Klára Vörös, who was waiting for this day for 18 years, was appointed to be the local superior.
His Eminence Cardinal Dr Peter Erdö, Primas of Esztergom- Budapest accepted us into his Diocese in April 2008. We are happy and we thank the Holy Triune God for the grace to continue our mission in Hungary again.
It is interesting to note that exactly 58 years ago started Sr. Ortrud Stegmaier, SSpS the beatification process of Mother Josepha and in this year exactly after 58 years we re- opened our Mission in Hungary. Could it not be a little surprise of Mother Josepha prepared for us in the year of her beatification?
Bishop Nemet blessed the SVD house which is dedicated to Mother Josepha. The house was very important to the Hungarian SVD esp. during the communist time. The community existed secretly. Bishop Nemet stressed in his homily that:
”The opening of this international SSpS community, which is going to get sisters also from Indonesia and India is a great sign of hope for the people today. when most of the religious congregations in Europe are closing their houses the SSpS are opening a house and a new community in a country where it is not expected to get many vocations and where the church is rather diminishing.”
Sr. Veronika Theresia underlined that”This is our time and this is God’s time!” She asked to pray that the new SSpS community together with the SVD and local Church may proclaim the Crucified and the Risen Lord and that they may be authentic witnesses of His presence here and today.
After the celebration the invited guests moved to the SVD Nazaret House for meal. On this occasion relationships among the European SSpS and SVD Provinces have been strengthened and we realized that we need each other and together we are able to do great things!
We wish Sr. Klara, Sr. Malgorzata and Sr.Kristina that they may serve the people in simplicity and with ready hearts. May the Holy Spirit help them to “Open the hearts of all for love”.
prepared by Slovakia Provincial Leadership Team