“God is born in Lbiska”

[Province of Warsaw] The story of the House for Children in Lbiska dates back to the beginnings of the history of Company of Daughters of Charity in Poland. Responding to the invitation from Marie-Louise Gonzaga, Queen of Poland, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac sent the first three sisters to the Royal Court in Warsaw. (Priests of the Mission arrived at the court in Warsaw in 1651).  Sisters settled in the then suburbs of Warsaw, now the Powisle district. From the beginning, the estate has been the home of the Motherhouse of the Province of Warsaw. Here, in 1659, the Institute for Poor and Orphaned Girls was founded thanks to the Queen’s foundation.  In 1667 the Queen died. In her will, she entrusted vast estates south of Warsaw to the Daughters of Charity, the revenues of which were used to finance the activity of the orphanage and hospitals in Warsaw. Additional land estates, the area of the present village of Lbiska, about 28 km from the Provincial House, were bought from the funds in the will.

By the Tsar’s decree of 1842, the Daughters of Charity, like all other orders in occupied by Russia territory of Poland, were deprived of their works. The land in Łbiska was returned to the Sisters in 1923. At that time, a summer home for girls from a Warsaw institution was established here. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, children from the Warsaw Institute were transferred to inter alia Lbiska. From 1945, the communist authorities took property belonging to the church, including the religious orders, leaving only a small part for the continuation of the works. In 1952, the communists took the children from the Orphanage in Lbiska and instead gave children with intellectual disabilities. This was to prevent the young generation from being brought up in faith. At that time, a centre for intellectually disabled children was organized. After the fall of communism, thanks to many donors and with the help of the state, a new home was built. There are currently 65 children. They attend the Special Care School Complex in Lbiska.

September 1, 2006, the Daughters of Charity launched a new ministry here: Non-Governmental Integrative Kindergarten where children with disabilities are educated together with other children.

Every year, children and youth from the Centre for Special Education, as the house is named these days, prepare a Nativity play, traditionally known as “Jaselka” in Poland. The “Jaselka” play, “God is born in Lbiska” was performed again this year on December 21.  On this occasion many significant people were invited to watch the play. Among guests first of all were parents of the pupils, the parish Priest of the local parish, some officials from the Municipal and County offices, some staff from the local Social Welfare Office, teachers from the Special Care School Complex and the children’s home in nearby Pechery.

The performance was a wonderful time of introduction and preparation for Christmas celebrations. All those present shared the traditional Polish Christmas bread, “Oplatek,” wishing each other Merry Christmas. A special Christmas dinner followed.  Everybody enjoyed it very much remaining in a joyful and festive mood. The parents enjoyed meeting each other. Their conversations were endless. The Children and youth sang all known Christmas carols, also enjoying small Christmas surprises. 

Sisters from the Community in Lbiska

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