“ Reading, writing and arithmetic” is a famous phrase used to describe the popular education of ancient times, and that was precisely followed in the schools of Christian Doctrine. This explains St. Charles’ great zeal for the spreading of the Christian Doctrine schools. EDUCATION OF CHILDREN ORPHANED AS A RESULT OF WAR
EDUCATION OF WOMEN OF HIGH STATUS Importance was given for the education of the elite, the families of nobles and higher rungs of society The poor were left to languish in their ignorance and poverty both material, intellectual and spiritual
THE ORIGIN OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO Fr. Adrien Bresy assembled five young ladies in his presbytery on September 27, 1684: Marie Catherine Warquain Elizabeth Lepe Marie Ann Lepez Marguerite Delrue Marie Barbe Delrue
Founder - Rev. Fr. Adrien Bresy Foundation in 1684 At Wez-Velvain, Belgium First sisters vested and professed by Fr. Adrien Bresy on November 25, 1685 Extract from the Vestition Register signed by Fr. Adrien Bresy and Mother Marie Catherine Warquain
The Founder and the First Sisters placed themselves under the protection of St. Charles Borromeo PATRON OF THE CONGREGATION The Church was celebrating with great pomp the centenary of the death of St. Charles Borromeo in 1684. He was : An Ardent Apostle A Reformer An Educator A Saint
Charles was born in the castle of Arona in Lago Maggiore in the very North of Italy, on October 2, 1538. He was born to Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret de Medici, whose younger brother Angelo later became Pope Pius IV. He took his doctorate in law in the University of Pavia when he was twenty-two, and was soon afterwards appointed Cardinal,Deacon and Administrator of the See of Milan. At twenty-four, he assisted ably in the Council of Trent and the publishing of the Tridentine Catechism. He was ordained a priest in September 1563 and three months later, when he was only twenty-five years old, consecrated Archbishop of Milan. He died on November 4, 1584. He was canonized in 1610 and is the Patron Saint of Lombardy and Catechists. OUR PATRON ST. CHARLES BORROMEO
<ul><li>A Saint for all Times and Seasons </li></ul>PAINTING OF THE GLORY OF ST. CHARLES IN HEAVEN
SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO CALLED TO INCARNATE THE COMPASSIONATE LOVE OF GOD
17 TH CENTURY CASTLE IN BELGIUM There are more castles per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else in the world. Beautiful castles to experience, formal gardens to get lost in, peaceful abbeys and historic battlefields. Across the river, off busy Rue de Pont, is Rue Barre St. Brice. On this narrow street stand two romanesque houses from the 12th century. The two, numbers 12 and 14, are possibly the oldest private houses in Europe.
TOURNAI <ul><li>Tournai is considered to be one of the most important cultural sites in Belgium. The mixed Romanesque - and Gothic -style cathedral of Notre Dame de Tournai and the belfry , the oldest in Belgium, have been jointly designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site . Inside the cathedral, the Châsse de Notre-Dame flamande , a beautifully ornate 12th-century reliquary , gives witness to Tournai's wealth in the Middle Ages . Other places of interest are the 13th-century Scheldt bridge ( Pont-des-Trous ) and the main square ( Grand'Place ), as well as several old city gates, historic warehouses, and a variety of museums. </li></ul>
CHURCH OF ST. BRICE <ul><li>On rue Barre-St-Brice are two of the oldest private houses in Europe, dating from between 1175 and 1200 and built in the Romanesque style, while the rue des Jésuites includes a Gothic house from the 13th century. </li></ul><ul><li>As is the case with many cities in Belgium there are a number of beautiful and friendly cafés and pubs in the Grand'Place . In the middle of the Grand'Place there are a series of water fountains that are fun to observe and even play in for people of all ages. Another great interactive experience available is climbing the circular staircase to the top of the belfry. </li></ul>
Fr. Adrien Bresy, the Founder, shifted his residence to this castle. The seminarians were lodged in this castle while the seminary of Tournai was being constructed. RUINS OF THE CASTLE OF WEZ
The Portrait of a Just Man <ul><li>BEAUTIFUL FACE: That radiated the glow of the Father’s love </li></ul><ul><li>that attracted all to a life of Faith. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL HANDS: That weaved bright threads of joy in lives </li></ul><ul><li>that grieved in his parish. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL FEET: That walked on errands of service to educate </li></ul><ul><li>the poor children in his parish. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL LIPS: That spoke words of comfort to the mourner </li></ul><ul><li>and soothed the wearied of his time. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL EYES: That beamed with the radiance of the glory, </li></ul><ul><li>and sending mercy and peace of the Master. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL HEART: That saw, touched and shared </li></ul><ul><li>the compassionate love of the Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL SOUL: That trusted always in Divine Providence, </li></ul><ul><li>seeking God’s will in matters big and small. </li></ul><ul><li>BEAUTIFUL LIFE: That bore for others their burden of cares, </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden yet visible. Yes indeed, He was, </li></ul><ul><li>A FLAME IN THE DARKNESS!!! </li></ul>
A QUIET AND HOLY PRESENCE We know very little of Fr. Adrien Bresy, our Founder, he is one of those who has made a deep and lasting impression in the early days of the foundation at Wez, Belgium. We have a just and holy man who did not even give his name to the Congregation he founded. He did not leave a written charter of principles, a rule of life for the Sisters to follow, but laying aside the desire for glory and honour in the spirit of St. John the Baptist who said “ He must increase, I must decrease.” The greatest fact of his life was a life offered totally to God and His people. We who are hungry for details about the lives of holy persons are again reminded that their holiness was after all, a total response to Christ, expressed in action. Compassion for poor, the lowly, the abandoned, the children and widows . The name of Fr. Adrien Bresy is inscribed on it
THE TOMBSTONE OF FR. ADRIEN BRESY IS LAID IN THE REAR WALL OF THIS CHURCH
TOMBSTONE OF FR. ADRIEN BRESY LAID IN THE PARISH CHURCH OF WEZ.
YOUNG SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES FROM POLAND PAYING HOMAGE TO FR. ADRIEN BRESY
A VIEW OF THE MONASTERY/CONVENT OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO, WEZ
<ul><li>“ Feuille de Tournai dated November 12, 1856 (Translated): </li></ul><ul><li>“ Besides the care given by these good Sisters to the psychiatric patients and to the women temporarily brought for reasons of age or health, they also have a free school for the poor children and a boarding school for children of well-to-do families …these servants of the Lord shine through the practice of noble virtues. To a fervent piety they add a zeal full of self abnegation for the comfort of the unfortunate ones. They work with dedication to the holy duty for which these Christian ladies had bade goodbye to the world. They find their joy in accomplishing their compassionate task, be it in the care they give to the women afflicted by illness, be it in the formation of the mind and spirit of the young students entrusted to their care… They have renounced the attraction of the world in order to give themselves with an undivided heart to the task that they have chosen and for which the Creator has given them strength. In their holy place of seclusion, their life divided between prayer and duty, they enjoy consolation unknown to the world. Without that deep faith which animates them, they would not be able to accomplish the noble mission they have accepted. </li></ul>
BELGIUM WAS LIBERATED AS A SEPARATE STATE IN 1830, UNDER THE RED, YELLOW AND BLACK TRICOLOUR
Mother Alphonse Decoster is awarded the CROSS OF HONOUR BY the Government for her long and devoted services as directress of the Psychaiatric Institute. June 2, 1893 GOLDEN JUBILEE OF MOTHER ALPHONSE DECOSTER
A GLIMPSE OF ST. CHARLES FOYER, WEZ OLD & RECENT PHOTO
NOTRE DAME DES PRODIGES OUR LADY OF WONDERS A very ancient statue was erected on a stone pedestal in the quandrangle of the community between the two windows of the bishop’s room. On Saturday, October 19, 1918 a bomb from an over flying warplane, broke the stone pedestal. The protecting dome above the head of the statue was thrown off, the zinc plaque beneath was pulled off.
The explosion caused a terrible shock that shattered the window panes of the surrounding rooms, and to think that the statue was not even touched and no casualties of human life! THAT IS INDEED NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE! There she was standing intact, victorious, and triumphant on the broken pedestal. The Sisters gathered the pieces of bombshell and carried them carefully to the feet of the statue. As soon as circumstances permitted it the Sisters constructed a pedestal in honour of Our Lady of Wonders and there she stands to this day a vivid proof of her maternal presence and protection. The bits of the murderous bomb are embedded in the wall at the side of the statue. THE MIRACLE
Our Crest It was in 1924, 240 years after the foundation that, for the first time, the Sisters of St. Charles paid special honour to the armorial bearing of the Congregation. As seen on the front cover, on the lower part is a golden bee-hive flanked by two busy bees of the same hue. On the upper part surmounted by the Cross are initials of St. Charles Borromeo through which runs a golden cord. Around the eschutcheon runs a garland of spotless lilies And humble violets upon which we find the motto of the Congregation.
Dear cost-of-arms, with joy supreme I gaze upon each radiant beam That darting forth, recalls to me Our high ideal: True Sanctity. In sixteen eighty four, blest year, Our Mother House was founded, dear; St. Charles Borromeo, acclaimed By all the Church, was Patron named. As trusting children, let us turn To our loved Saint, and gladly learn To imitate his piety, His fervour great, and charity. Upon the crest, the cord entwined Around his initials, remind, That senses mortified, will lead To future holiness indeed, The Shield has symbols fair to see: Sweet violets full of modesty And lilies, in the summer light, Of purity, and emblem bright. The hive depicted, in its cells Has busy bees, whose labour tells That as their plunder, honey yields, Our love and zeal should reach far fields. Our souls should generous be found To help and brighten lives around, Forgetting self, with sweet accord, As virgin-wax burns for the Lord. O blest and holy Cross inspire In us a pure and firm desire To work for Christ, and fight all sin. A glorious crown in Heaven to win. And may we keep this motto true In mind, whatever we say and do; Faith, Toil and Progress, here below, Then endless bliss above, we know. Faith, Toil, Progress
Mother Josephine Allard Foundress of the Mission in India Pioneers of Indian Mission
POLISH SISTERS’ VISIT TO THE MOTHER HOUSE, IN FRONT OF THE STATUE OF OUR LADY OF WONDERS AND IN THE CHAPEL CONSTRUCTED IN 1850
SOEUR ELIANE WITH THE SISTERS DURING THEIR VISIT
SUPERIOR GENERAL AT WEZ REV. MOTHER BENEDICTA - APRIL 2007 COMMUNITY REFECTORY
PRAYER SERVICE – HANDING OF THE REVISED CONSTITUTION 2007
Landmarks <ul><li>From 1684 to 1835 the number of Sisters admitted was limited to twenty. The Congregation consisted of only one House at Wez. The constructions, extensions and transformations was confined only at Wez. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1835 Mother Catherine Henno, Superior in agreement with the ecclesiastical authority admitted more than twenty religious. In 1849, the number of Sisters rose to thirty-two and in 1858 there were forty Sisters. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon the Community of Wez accepted to part with some of its members to found a new community at Peruwelz in 1861, nearly two Centuries after the Foundation of the Congregation. </li></ul><ul><li>On October 1, 1919 the first co-adjutrix postulants were admitted, they made their profession on April 27, 1922. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The celebration of the two hundred and fifty years of the Foundation of the Congregation opened a New Era, a new thrust in the Congregation. The Missions in India in 1929. The Sisters in Belgium lived and worked in union with their Sisters in India, supporting them with their prayers, sustaining their missionary efforts by their works and sufferings. Mother Josephine Allard, the Mother of the Missions spared no pain to keep up the missionary spirit of the Congregation. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1980, Mother Ann Marie Carlier, Superior General, delegated her Councillor, Sr. Marie Henriette and Sr. Benedicta, the Provincial Superior of India to apply to Rome for Pontifical Status. The Congregation received the Decree of Pontifical Right in September 1982. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo at the threshold of its Third Centenary, responded to the call of the Bishop of Anatuya, Mgr.Jorge Gottau C.Ss.R. to pioneer the foundation in Argentina in 1984. </li></ul><ul><li>Launching into the Distant Overseas Missions: Poland in 1994, Italy in 1996 and Tanzania, Africa in 1997. </li></ul><ul><li>The most recent gift to the Jubilee 325 Years is the presence of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in Mexico. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking forward to the inauguration of the Senior Citizen’s Home at Kalyan and the residence of the General Administration. </li></ul>
SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO BELGIUM Wez Peruwelz Antoing ARGENTINA El Colorado Tacanitas Campo Gallo Rio Cuarto San Francisco Buenos Aires POLAND Andrzejow Czestochowa Chojny Dabrowa Warszawa Niepolomice AFRICA Iringa Dar es Salam Kibao Mbeya Khonda ITALY Meina Crusinallo Borgo Ticino MEXICO Ticul
<ul><li>Tending the fire of God’s love </li></ul><ul><li>What began as a dream…LIVES ON… </li></ul><ul><li>Come set the world on fire with God’s love. </li></ul>“ That is why I am reminding you now to fan into flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim:1: 6-7 FAN INTO A FLAME
INPUTS Source – Ever Ancient Yet Ever New by Sr. Benedicta Lobo Script by Sr. Sheila Corda Directed by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes sdb, Director, Tej-Prasarini Designed by Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Matunga, Mumbai. Sr. Sheila and Sr. Sheeja Supported by General Administration Encouraged by Provincial Superiors of India Initiated by COSAF - India Jubilee 325 Years!