[Province of Graz–Central Europe] On November 30, 2015 the City Council of St. Pölten in Austria decided to honor the commitment of one of our Sisters by naming a new street in the city after her: SKAFARSTRASSE.
Who is Ursula Skafar, Sister Andrea (1893-1976)? She was a Daughter of Charity since 1912 in the Province of Graz-Central Europe (formerly – Graz). She spent all her life in service to the sick at various hospitals. Between 1939 and 1946 she served the sick at the public hospital in St. Pölten, capital of Lower Austria, not far from Vienna. Towards the end of the Second World War the battles were very close. The guards at the Nazi camp, which housed Jewish people from Hungary, quit their posts and left the prisoners to their own devices. This camp wasn’t far from the city, hidden in the forests of Viehofen. Most of these poor deportees did not have the strength to leave.
There was a family of 5 whose father was a doctor who managed to escape. They went to a hospital in hopes of finding another doctor there that they knew who might eventually hide the family until the arrival of the Russian Army. Knowing the consequences if discovered, the doctor hesitated but finally accepted. The poor family had to stay silent, without moving, in a little underground room, in back of a pile of dirty laundry, infected with all sorts of serious illnesses. A sign on the entry door read, “Attention, danger of infection.” But, according to the notes of the family, it was Sr. Andrea who, at the request of the doctor, put her life in danger. She brought them what they needed to survive. The cornette became a sign of hope for the family, of life and possible freedom. After a week of mixed anxiety and caring attention, Sr. Andrea announced their release. What joy !
A grandson of the family came out of nowhere to tell of the reality of the camp and the survival of his family, thanks to a doctor and one of our Sisters. She herself never spoke of it, it was her secret with the Lord, encountered in those who are poor.