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Conference in Budapest for Heads of Mary Ward Schools in Germany, Austria and Hungary.

At the invitation of the sisters of the Congregatio Jesus, school heads from 24 German and Austrian Mary Ward schools of the Middle European province met their Hungarian colleagues for the first time in Budapest.  The concern was clear for everyone.  Increasingly, these schools have no more religious sisters. But the schools in this situation carry on, and discern their educational responsibility in close collaboration with the Congregatio Jesu. Mary Ward’s educational aims are pursued with great commitment even where there is no sister of the Congregatio Jesus  to work in the spirit of the founder. So it was still more important for the school heads to reflect on the common roots and to encourage one another in sharing ideas and strengthening each other in the task.

This news item expired on 30/06/2012.

Prison Chaplaincy

When I was moved to Augsburg at the end of November 2010, and looked around to see what kind of pastoral work might still be possible for me at the age of 75, a priest very familiar with parish and diocese told me that everything was very well organised and no-one else was needed.
Somewhat cast down, I went home, and on my way I passed the prison. Then I had an inner impulse: Look after the inmates! So I asked a prison chaplain whether, as an old sister, I could dare to offer myself for such a task. He answered ‘Certainly! Your great experience of life is a good preparation’. He informed the chaplain responsible for that prison, who took me to meet the prison governor.
At that time a young man was already waiting for a talk, and was assigned to me by the educational organiser. The officer who was to bring him asked me ‘Do you really want to take him on?  Last week he hit somebody in the cell, was in the punishment-block and only came back yesterday.’  I agreed all the same.  I was led into a room with a glass wall to the next room, where officers were on the watch. Then a slight young man was brought to me, shy, and happy to talk without fear of saying something that could be used against him.  He understood what he had done wrong. It was clear that talking to me had done him good, and he thanked me very much for it. I went home very thoughtful from this meeting. I was born into a good family and had a good, well-ordered childhood and youth. Since then I have  been doing this work I read the newspaper differently, but also many passages in the Bible strike me in a new way. So I have come to realise that the Good Shepherd did not scold and beat the lost sheep, but put it on his shoulders and brought it home. That is a model for me, as well!
Sister M. Irmtraud Fickler CJ

This news item expired on 30/06/2012.

News from the Children and Young People’s Centre, Mary of Peace House, Velbert Langenberg.

There are three new initiatives to widen the already broad spectrum of educational expertise offered in Mary of Peace House.
In Anchor-point House (blue flyer) children between the ages of 0-14 years can be received who do not have the help they need for healthy development in their home circumstances, or who have fallen into severe difficulties. The help offered provides respite from the situation causing acute crisis, a bridge in times of transition, and collaboration with all those involved to develop possibilities for the future.
The Special Needs Day-group (green flyer) is for children of school age who need help and support because, for example, they have learning-difficulties, cannot get on with others, are withdrawn, and their parents cannot see a way forward.   The aim of the Special Needs group is to accompany and support the whole family as it embarks on a learning-programme that relieves the burden and opens up and stabilises new ways of behaving.
Sheltered  accommodation for handicapped people (Yellow flyer).  For many years the Children and Young People’s Centre has provided help for young people on their way to adulthood.  Now this opportunity is open to (young) adults with disabilities. The aim and scope of the agreement is laid down in a care-contract   Great emphasis is given to ongoing accompaniment by a regular contact-person.

This news item expired on 30/06/2012.