[Province Portugal] As is known by all the Sisters, it has been a long time since the Peniche community had been closed down because the set of resources needed to properly supply the services for the kindergarten could not be met by the Conference of St. Vincent DePaul of Carnide. On the other hand, the Sisters were also no longer able to work in this ministry. With the shortage of children, the high cost of the staff who worked there, and the lack of Sisters, the necessary steps were taken with the Carnide Director for the withdrawal of the Sisters. They left on August 16, 2017
The parish priest, Father Diogo, who was very sensitive to our Charism of dedication to the most needy and did not wish to see the sisters of Peniche leave where they were always accepted and loved by the people, tried by all means to see the possibility of the Sisters being able to continue there. For that, he made available the parish residence, where he was with two other colleagues.
The Visiting Sister, the Director and the Counselors went to see the place and to analyze the work that would be asked of the Sisters. For his part, the parish priest undertook to do some renovations so that the house had the necessary privacy and the necessary comfort for the Sisters to be able to feel well.
On October 30, after a visit to Vendas Novas to bring Sister Conceição Olival, we had lunch at the Provincial House and at 3:00 p.m., we began our journey towards Peniche. At 4:00 p.m., we all met: The Parish Priest, the Sister Visitor and the Sisters of the new community. We talked about what we felt about the new mission and we listened to the priest’s words of welcome and the directions of the Visitatrix Sister. At 7:00 p.m., the celebration of the Eucharist was very solemn with the official presentation of the Sisters to the parish community by the parish priest. The Sister Visitor was invited to say a few words.
In the end, they offered each Sister a red rose, a symbol of love and gratitude for the presence of the community in this city of Peniche. After Mass, dinner was offered by the parish priest.
November 27 – Feast of the Miraculous Medal – We had planned to solemnize this feast this year, more directly in the Home of Santa Maria de Aged. For this we ask our parish priest, who welcomed this idea with great joy. He celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel of the Home, which by the way was very poor lacking liturgical implements and other adornments indispensable for a worthy celebration. We tried to fill a little, bringing some objects from the Colony of remedies: towels for the altar etc. On the 26th we had a joyful surprise: “A man who did not want to make himself known came to offer to the Chapel a beautiful towel and set for the celebration of the Eucharist. He wanted to know only the name of the Sister who received this gift, to ask her not to divulge the fact, only asking for prayer for him. We consider this event as a grace of Our Lady of Grace, since there was only a small towel. Our Lady wanted to celebrate her feast with dignity. Despite the hour of the Eucharist, 3:00 p.m., not being very suitable, the chapel was filled with many people from outside.
The parish priest devoted to the Chapel of Our Lady of Graces expressed great joy at having there the presence of the Sisters in the Parish. He appealed for the use of the Miraculous Medal, not as a magical charm, but instead putting into practice the message contained therein: conversion, amendment of life, openness to God’s plan for each one. At the end of the Eucharist there was the blessing and imposition of the Medal. All were happy and at the end, many continued the prayer with the image of Our Lady of Grace.
Sister Albina Sevivas Daughter of Charity,
Province of Portugal