A Real Hero Goes to Her Final Reward!
- Created on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 02:41
Scottish nun who hid from Nazis dies aged 100
By FRANK URQUHART
Published on Wednesday 6 February 2013 00:49 in the scotsman.com
A SCOTTISH nun who spent six years courageously hiding from the Nazis in a French convent during the Second World War has died in Dundee, nine months after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Sister Anne Green was forced to go into hiding to evade capture two years after she entered the order of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
And at one point she concealed herself in a cart of potatoes to evade discovery by a German patrol after briefly leaving the convent in search of food.
Sister Anne, one of 11 children, was born in Springfield, near Cupar in Fife, in May 1912 and later moved with her family to Dundee. As a child she was inspired by the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor which runs the Wellburn Home in the city and entered the order in 1937.
Two years later, shortly before the outbreak of the war, she took her vows at the Mother House in La Tour in Brittany where the order had been founded. And when the Nazis invaded France she was moved to a house run by the Little Sisters near Belgian border.
Speaking last year as she celebrated her 100th birthday, Sister Anne recalled:”When the Germans occupied the town, the mayor phoned the Reverend Mother and warned her that if there were any British citizens there, she should send them away.
“There were four of us, including an Australian, and she told the mayor that there was nowhere for us to go. He said he would burn our registration papers and that we should remain in hiding.”
For the next six years Sister Anne remained in hiding at the home, helping to care for the home’s elderly residents.
She explained: “When they (the Germans) came to the home, where we looked after many old people, we would hide either in the cellars or in the attic. This went on for six years, but no one ever betrayed us.
“I used to look out the window and long to be able to go outside, but it was too dangerous.”
Sister Anne, however, came close capture after she persuaded her fellow Sisters to allow her to leave the home to help collect fruit and vegetables from neighbouring farms. She set off with another Sister and an elderly man who helped around the home on the food gathering mission. But, as they set off to return to the home, they spotted a German patrol in the distance. Sister Anne had no choice but to hide in the back of the cart amongst the potatoes they had gathered.
Said Sister Anne: “My heart was hammering as the Germans approached. I was sure I would be found. I prayed like I’d never prayed before. They asked the old man and the Sister for their papers and what they had in the cart.
“The two of them remained so calm and just told them it was fruit and vegetables for the home. I hardly dared breathe and then they just told them to move on. I never ventured out of the home again.”
Her days in hiding finally ended in 1945 when American tanks rolled into the village. Sister Anne told how she had run up to the American commander and stopped the convoy.
She said: “I told the American soldier my younger brother Tom was in the Army and asked him to find him. He said to me, ‘Sister, there are just a couple of million soldiers back there, but I’ll see what I can do.’
“Two days later, they found him and brought him to see me. I will never forget seeing him walking in. It was absolutely wonderful.”
Sister Anne remained in France for another four years, working in a number of homes run by the order before finally returning to Britain in 1949. She then worked in various homes for the elderly run by the Little Sister of the Poor around the UK before returning to Dundee in 1993 where she ran the shop at Wellburn. She also made soft toys to raise money for the home.
Mother Aimee, the Mother Superior at Wellburn, paid tribute to the popular centenarian. She said: “She was exemplary. Her continual smile and serenity were testimonies to her happiness in religious life.
“She will be greatly missed by all of us in the community.”
A requiem mass for Sister Anne will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) in Dundee’s Wellburn Chapel and will be led by Bishop Vincent Logan, Bishop Emeritus of Dunkeld, and priests of the diocese.
World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life
- Created on Saturday, 02 February 2013 01:44
On this World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, a "Prayer To Know One's Vocation" from the U.S. Bishops' Conference
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made
me to know you, to love you, to serve you,
and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings.
I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.
But of them all,
there is one especially by which you want me to come to you.
Since I will do what you want of me,
I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me:
into my mind, to show me what you want of me;
into my heart, to give me the determination to do it,
and to do it with all my love, with all my mind,
and with all of my strength right to the end.
Jesus, I trust in you. Amen
Photo by Gregory A. Shemitz, 2012
Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage
- Created on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:05
As we participate in the Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage organized by the U.S. Bishops' Conference, January 19-27, our prayer is more intense on the 22nd, the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Please join us in praying this prayer for life, and enjoy this short video on the preciousness of human life, especially in the elderly whom we serve.
God, who adorn creation
with splendor and beauty
and fashion human lives
in your image and likeness,
awaken in every heart reverence
for the works of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of human life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns
with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our faith is about love, joy, service to others and building a culture of life!
- Created on Friday, 25 January 2013 21:33
Last night we were 24 Little Sisters strong to attend the annual Vigil for Life at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The Basilica is always filled far beyond its normal capacity for this event, and last night was no exception. Along with other women religious we had great seats right at the foot of the sanctuary. Today a smaller group, including our current postulants, participated in the March itself.
Knowing that the March is obviously focused on the beginning of life, we were surprised and grateful to hear Cardinal Sean O'Malley speak about end of life issues at the beginning of his homily, a few excerpts of which follow. To listen to his entire homily CLICK HERE.
"The Gospel of life is an imperative for Christ’s disciples. Christ through his Church is urging us to be defenders of life in the midst of a culture of death.
We recently managed to defeat a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would have legalized physician assisted suicide. The initial polls had us losing 70% to 30%, but thanks to the power of prayer — so many rosaries, hard work and alliances with a broad coalition… we actually won. It was like the race between the tortoise and the hare and in our race we were the turtle that beat the rabbit. There is no doubt that the next great assault against the Gospel of Life will come from those pushing physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. A society that allows parents to kill their children will allow children to kill their parents.
We have to convince America that abortion is not a necessary evil, but simply evil!
We must listen with empathy to be able to communicate the Gospel of Life. … communicating greater understanding … We must work to overturn the laws … but we must work even harder to change people’s hearts, to help Americans understand that abortion is evil and it is unnecessary! … Changing hearts is always the hardest part. We must never tire of clarifying misunderstandings and shedding light where there is myth and confusion demonstrating empathy and compassion and a deeper vision.… It’s not just about the lucidity of our arguments, it’s also about the effect that our words have on others. our task is to present the truth with civility, empathy and clarity. Being champions of the Culture of Life is about building a civilization of love. The New Evangelization is really about changing hearts, it begins with our own heart, our own conversion.… To be able to carry out the mission that Christ has given us we need to be better people, to grow in faith, who witness Christ’s love and to serve the poor and suffering, esp. women experiencing difficult pregnancies… This Year of Faith is a call to a deeper conversion so that we can become effective apostle of the Gospel of Life in the New Evangelization.
Our faith is about love, joy, service to others and building a culture of life!"
Our Little Sisters from Washington sent this account of their participation in the Vigil and March:
One of the many blessings we Little Sisters have here in D.C. is the wonderful grace of being able to witness and to participate in the National March for Life and all of the events surrounding this annual event which draws more and more people each year. Here at Jeanne Jugan Residence, our own participation in this most important moment for pro-lifers began on Wednesday, January 23 as we welcomed 53 parishioners from the Church of St. Nicholas in Indiana. As they arrived around 6:45 p.m., Little Sisters and postulants were on hand to show them to their sleeping quarters throughout the home, and then our kitchen staff graciously served a pizza supper for our guests. After having spent over twelve hours on the bus driving cross country, the group was admirable in their insistence on a holy hour after supper, and many of us were delighted to join them for this time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, during which they had praise and worship music, as well as the proclamation of that day’s Mass readings and the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
On Thursday Little Sisters from Baltimore and Richmond joined us for the opening Mass of the Vigil for Life held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which drew thousands of people to Mary’s House. As in the past, we were treated to top-notch seats in the front, giving us an impeccable view of all the many concelebrating priests, bishops and cardinals, not to mention the seminarians and deacons! Cardinal Sean O’Malley was the principal celebrant and homilist, and he gave a wonderful homily, urging all to “live (our) faith so intensely, that we will generate a culture of Life.” Even before speaking of the unborn child, Cardinal spoke of the evil of assisted suicide and euthanasia, stating that “a nation that allows parents to kill their children will eventually allow children to kill their parents.” Citing the Gospel of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth which was the Gospel proclaimed at the Mass, his Eminence spoke of Mary as the one who said “yes” to life, “yes” to love, and even “yes” to the Cross.
Following the Mass, we bid farewell to the delegation from Baltimore and returned home to get some rest for the day ahead. Three Little Sisters, our five postulants, and Monica, a young woman who is discerning religious life, ventured out to the Metro station in order to arrive at the Verizon Center in time for the Opening of the annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life. Despite predictions of snow, the air was cold but clear, and we were able to find seats in plenty of time. We were actually quite early, but more young people joined us as time went on. We thoroughly enjoyed the music as well as testimonies from young people involved in the pro-life movement in their high schools. At around 9:30, all at the rally prayed the rosary together, and then it was time to prepare for Mass, the real power behind the day! Cardinal Donald Wuerl was the main celebrant of the Mass, and Fr. Carter Griffin, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington and Vice-Rector of Blessed John Paul II Seminary in D.C. was the homilist. Like Cardinal O’Malley, Fr. Griffin urged all pro-lifers to grow in faith, stating that the transformation of society starts with the conversion of each heart, beginning with our own. He urged the young people present to continue their efforts, affirming them as the “Pro-Life Generation.”
Nourished with Christ’s Body, we took a few bites of our sack lunch before heading over to the Mall by the Capitol building, where the March was to begin. We were privileged to see a beautiful video tribute to Nellie Grey, Foundress of the March for Life, as well as hear several testimonies from various people, one of whom was Senator Rick Santorum, who spoke eloquently and with conviction about the grace that a handicapped child brings to a family. Around 1:30 p.m., the March was officially declared “begun” and we were on our way. Because of the huge crowd, it took a while before we actually started walking at a normal pace, and we were happy to meet our fellow Marchers for all over the country. By the time we finally reached Constitution Avenue – the official “road” of the March, snow was falling from the skies and seemed to get a bit heavier as time went on. We felt the cold, but the many, many people bunched together helped to generate some heat! By the time we reached the Supreme Court building, it was around 3:45, and our March route was concluded. But there were thousands still behind us, making their way on this pilgrimage for Life! As Fr. Griffin stated in his homily, this 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade can be likened to the 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert. Through prayer and sacrifice, especially the One Sacrifice of Christ our Life, may our country soon reach the Promised Land, where every human being is protected and cherished, from natural conception to natural death.
The Visitation Expresses the Beauty of Hospitality
- Created on Friday, 28 December 2012 14:11
On the 4th Sunday of Advent (December 23), Pope Benedict spoke about the Visitation in his Angelus message. His reflection on hospitality was quite touching, since we Little Sisters devote our lives to hospitality to the elderly and make a 4th vow of hospitality. His message still applies as we enjoy each day of this Christmas season:
The scene of the Visitation also expresses the beauty of hospitality: where there is mutual welcome, listening, making room for the other, God is present with the joy that comes from him. Let us imitate Mary in the Christmas season, visiting those who are in difficulty, especially the sick, prisoners, the elderly and children. And let us also imitate Elizabeth who welcomes the guest as God himself: unless we desire him we will never know the Lord, unless we expect him, we will never meet him, unless we seek him, we will never find him. With the same joy as Mary, who hastens to Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39), we too go out to meet the Lord who comes.