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Switzerland 1932

At the Very Beginning

The history of the "Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate", known as the Pallottine missionary sisters, finds its beginnings in Switzerland at the start of the 1930s. The call at that time read: "WANTED: WOMEN FOR WOMEN!"

An industrial community in the East of Switzerland: UZWIL. For farmers and farmers' wives – and for factory workers the same applies: working all days long, income is meagre, leisure time is almost unknown and families are mostly large! A heavy load and responsibility is placed on the mothers. There is a great deal of quiet need! The parish priest, Jakob Gähwiler, sees their hidden plight. His dream is that of nuns offering the women of the parish and environs a home where they can bring their children into the world and where they can then experience a few days of recovery. The presence of the nuns means a guarantee for the priests that besides competent care and attendance, the faith dimension will also be brought to bear in the maternity home. The priest's vision is primarily taken on by a few women from the village and by a brother of the Pallottines.

Niederuzwil - 1934

1932 - The dream begins to come true. There are two SIGNS that affirm the priest’s plan. They give him the certainty that God’s Hand is at work! The first sign: The Superior General of the Pallottines, at that time headquartered in Limburg an der Lahn, Germany, understands and supports the plan of the priest from Switzerland. She agrees to send a few well-trained German sisters to Switzerland soon. (At this time there is already a link between the German Pallottines in Limburg and Switzerland. A few sisters have already been working in the Pallottine Brothers branch in Gossau since 1926.)

The second sign: A few factory buildings have been standing empty in the middle of the town of Niederuzwil. An association is founded that is to look after the concerns of the sisters and their planned maternity home. These buildings can be purchased by the association on favourable terms.

 

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* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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