The Pallottine missionaries arrived in Poland on February 2nd, 1934. This was at the initiationof Fr. Alojzy Majewski, Pallottine missionary in Cameroon. Twenty seven years before he had transferred the Association of Pallottine Priests and Brothers from Italy to Poland.
Fr. Alojzy Majewski, SAC - Rajca 1935
The first sisters: Srs. Leona Schettke, Meinolfa Falk, Maura Brener, Norberta Kempkes, Berthilla Neguin , as well as Srs. Aurelia Wachowska* (photo - left) and Sr. Kazimiera Milewska** (photo - right), of Polish origin, came from Limburg, Germany, and acceptedthe hospitality of the Pallottine Priests in Oltarzew. Benefitting from their spiritual and material care, the Sisters prepared themselves for the tasks awaiting them. The ideas of Vincent Pallotti had become widely known in society as a result of the apostolic activities of the Pallottine Fathers, and in a short time candidates interested in the missions appeared at the door. Upon their departure from Oltarzew, there were up to seven. From there, the pioneer track of Pallottines ran to the northeast, to Rajca, near the town of Nowogrodek (today it belongs to Belorussia). On April 12th, 1934, theSisters took over from the Pallottine Fathers the manor-house and 60-acre farm that had belonged to the Counts Wereszczak.
The first two years unfolded to Sisters under the sign of a triple blessing: sacrifice, privation and hard work. Their eager and capable hands tackled worn buildings(sisters themselves performed the work of bricklayer and painter), teneded the farm and garden, and most importantly – served the poor local people. Thanks to the generosity of the society of central Poland, relatively soon the sisters managed to adapt an out-dated corn house to a worship space.
Our house in Rajca, 1934
The new chapel was welcomed by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, much more numerous. The people assembled there, both for Masses and services, and for para-liturgical solemnities, eg. occasional academies, mysteries, singing (in time the first Rajca church choir began under the direction of Sr. Bertilla).And though one did not yet speak of ecumenism, and one made no list of guidelines for this type of activity, systematically there grew a social and religious bond among the Christians at this recess of the eastern borders of the country.