[Province of Warsaw] The Superioress General of the Company of the Daughters of Charity, Suzanne Guillemin, visited Poland on June 4 – 21, 1967. She was accompanied by the General Councillor of the Company for the Slavic Provinces and the General Secretary for the Polish Provinces.
On greeting the Sisters she said that it was love that brought her to visit her daughters in Poland and a heartfelt concern for the path of renewal of the Company after the Second Vatican Council and also care for how to breathe new forms into the ever-present spirit of Saint Vincent and Saint Louise.
Mother spent the first days of her visit from June 4 to 9 in the Warsaw Province,. Then she visited the Krakow and Chełmno-Poznań Provinces. After that she returned to Warsaw where from she flew to Paris to the Mother House on June 21.
All the sisters werecharmed by Mother, she was so simple and close. The sister secretaries collected her words, which she so generously scattered like seeds in the Province of Warsaw and which bring fruit to this day. In every provincial house there is a collection of statements by Mother to sisters in the visited houses. This year, 50 years have passed since the death of Mother Guillemin.
In what she said, in what she wanted to pour into her Daughters in Poland, we discover a great truth in life that we have to change nothing from the teaching our Holy Founders whose thoughts were well ahead of their time and are still up-to-date. We have but to change ourselves.
On the first day of her visit, Mother said to the gathering that every sister,whatever work she does, always serves the poor.
During the visits of the sisters in individual houses, hospitals, parish houses, in children’s and adults’ establishments – everywhere – she wanted to see and directly touch the conditions in which the sisters live and work. She was interested in everything and answered the simplest questions about our life or the life of the Company in the world.
She talked a lot about the Mother House and the graces that people receive at prayer at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal. She also visited Częstochowa, the Polish Marian Sanctuary. She was deeply moved by that place and the faith of people praying at the Mary’s feet.
To the sisters working with children during the visit Mother said: “St Vincent once said to St Louise, that if she had angels, she should give them for the care of the children. I expect every Sister working here is an angel … It is a great grace caring for children, because you are among the souls who have not lost the grace of baptism. In general, there is freshness, purity, truth among children – children are very close to God. “
And to the sisters working in one of the Warsaw’s hospitals, she said: “The situation which you are in is not easy, you make a lot of sacrifices, but it is a very beautiful thing and completely in the spirit of the first Daughters of Charity. Dear Sisters, you give a good example.”
May these few memories of our Mother Guillemin be an opportunity for the renewal of our original spirit.