Sisters Reunite: Sisters of Social Service from Taiwan to Slovakia Converge on Hungary to Mark Community's 75th Anniversary. (Religious Life)

By Boys, Grace | National Catholic Reporter, February 19, 1999 | Go to article overview

Sisters Reunite: Sisters of Social Service from Taiwan to Slovakia Converge on Hungary to Mark Community's 75th Anniversary. (Religious Life)


Boys, Grace, National Catholic Reporter


Last August, a group of Sisters of Social Service found ourselves in a small cemetery in Cluj, Romania, the town where our community had its district headquarters before religious life was declared illegal by the communist government in 1947. We were from California, Canada, Taiwan and Slovakia, on an extraordinary pilgrimage in search of our roots.

We were taken to the sisters' plot, surrounded by an iron fence and bordered by flowers. Here lay our deceased sisters in Romania, all interred together. A memorial plaque the size of a desktop contained their names and dates of death. It was an emotional rendezvous.

We Sisters of Social Service have, since called upon by the Second Vatican Council, examined our history and charism in the light of our own times so that we may be of service to the world. Our case, however, was different from most other congregations. Communism had cut us off, not only from our roots but from our own sisters, who were in turn cut off from each other.

Being in the presence of these valiant Romanian women, therefore, who during 40 years of religious suppression had lived their religious lives in secrecy, moved me to tears. Memories went around. Of Sr. Augusta, for example, foundress of the Romanian branch of our community, who for years harbored a strong desire to bring the sisters together for Pentecost, our feast day. But, given the political situation and her own experience as a prisoner for her faith, she knew this was out of the question. Her heart's desire was unexpectedly granted when she died in 1973 near Pentecost and all the sisters gathered for her funeral, in spite of considerable danger.

Now here were 180 of Augusta's sisters gathered to celebrate our 75th anniversary in the birthplace of our community.

The Sisters of Social Service were founded in Hungary in 1923 to address urgent social needs of the time. Observing the Benedictine balance between work and prayer, the early sisters worked among the people, wearing uniforms rather than habits -- a progressive gesture in those days -- and developing innovative services such as a summer camp for Gypsy children and a probation program for women.

Margaret Slachta, one of our founding sisters and the first woman elected to the Hungarian parliament, was a strong advocate for women, children and families. With the spread of anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 1940s, hers was one of the few voices to speak out for the Jewish people. She and the sisters are credited with hiding and saving 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

Slachta aspired to bring her vision to other countries. In 1923 she and some sisters traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., to raise funds: The community back home was itself suffering the very economic and political pressures it sought to alleviate. Within three years, a permanent house had been established in Buffalo and two new groups were formed in Canada and California. Since then, communities have been founded in Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Given our congregation's social and political activism, it is no wonder the communist government in Hungary found the sisters threatening. From 1947 until the collapse of communism in 1989, the Sisters of Social Service were forbidden to practice their vocations or admit new members. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sisters Reunite: Sisters of Social Service from Taiwan to Slovakia Converge on Hungary to Mark Community's 75th Anniversary. (Religious Life)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.