Jubilee of 50 years of presence in Belgrade

petite-soeur-magdeleine-belgrade-1958

Little sister Magdeleine arrived in Belgrade on September 3, 1958, during her trip to the countries of Eastern Europe. 

Just 10 years later, the little sisters opened a community in Belgrade. 

50 years have passed and we now have to close the community because of being so few.  On Saturday, November 17, 2018, we had a Mass of thanksgiving and farewell, with a mixture of joy and tears.  

Our parish church, St. Anthony’s, was completely full, even more than at Christmas and Easter!  Very mixed participation: believers, non-believers, Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims, different nationalities, neighbors, friends, and co-workers…  In his homily, the bishop said that that indicated something essential about our charism.  Besides the bishop there was also the nuncio and a few priests who concelebrated. 

 

We had prepared Mass with some of our friends. There was a choir of friends and also an ecumenical choir that sang in Slavonic during Communion.  It was very prayerful and meditative.  At the end of mass twin girls gifted us with their violin and keyboard music.

Vlado, our baker friend, brought everything we needed for the agape, just as he often did for our different feasts.

The agape after Mass was an opportunity to share and be united with friends.  Our friend Dragana, who is a sociologist in religion, decided to make a booklet about our presence during all these 50 years - with testimonies from people who knew us.  For her, the fact of knowing us brought her back to the faith and she returned to the Orthodox Church.  Her 22 year old son told one of us that for him we were family, and even more than family.

One of our neighbors told us that it will be hard for him not to see the light any more in our little house; at the end of the Mass, one of our friends said: “Little sisters, all the people here, all this friendship, reflects what you have been and still are for each one of us here…”

Here is what our bishop, Archbishop Stanislav Hočevar, said: “At the moment we have to be realistically Gospel like.  The little sisters, myself and all of us know what Jesus says, ‘You are useless servants…’  For myself, obviously and humanly speaking, the departure of the little sisters of Jesus is one of the saddest events of my life as the Bishop of Belgrade.  Why?  Because you know very well how dear to me is the unity between people, nations, religions, and especially between Eastern and Western Christians.  The little sisters have been here like a special gift of God’s grace to be witnesses of this desire and this mission.  And now, the Lord is taking them back.  What does that mean?  It means that the solution, dear believers, is in you.  I hope – and this is my message - that all of you who wish to live according to this spirit will gather together.  I hope that in the coming days all of you who wish to somehow continue, in spirit and prayer, the life of the little sisters and their charism, after their departure, will contact me.”

 

                          

                      

“ We don’t lose what we have lived.  It is already in the Lord’s heart…”

 

 

 
 
 

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