Blessed Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt

Just six years after the opening of the new school at Bastress, the congregation was honored with a visit from the foundress of the Sisters of Christian Charity, Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt. On July 13, 1880, she arrived in the accompany of Sister Chrisostoma, to the pealing of the church bells. She was met some miles from the church by men on horseback and children with flowers and led in procession to the convent. A placard was held by the lead horsemen which read: "Aus der Heimat vertrieben zu unsered Wohl," (exiled from home for our benefit). This refers to the Nuns being prohibited from teaching in the German schools due to the "Kulturkampf," which began in 1871 under the regime of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

 

Blessed Mother Pauline left on July 16th, after spending a few enjoyable days in the valley.

 

One might speculate that had it not been for Bismarck's "Kulturkampf," we would not be blessed with the presence of the Sisters of Christian Charity. Mother Pauline had to find new positions for her Nuns and in April of 1873 the first Sisters came to America to take charge of a New Orleans school. Mother Pauline herself came to America in June of 1873 to investigate new fields of endeavor for her charges. It was probably at this time that arrangements were made for the Sisters to come to Bastress the following year.

 

Mother Pauline's visit to North America, which resulted in her visit to Bastress, started on October 1, 1879, then she set sail for a visit to Chile. This voyage was extremely difficult, due to her poor health at the time.

 

Mother left Chile for North America on February 19, 1880 and that trip was even more difficult than the one to Chile. She reached the New York Harbor with Sister Chrisostoma on Good Friday, March 26, 1880. She visited twenty-six convents, including Bastress, before leaving for the thirteen-day voyage home on August 21st, thirty-one years after the founding of the Congregation.

 

We look forward to the day when we can refer to this remarkable woman as "Saint Pauline von Mallinckrodt."

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