The Motherhouse of the Slovak Province is in Vrbove, Klastor Pia XI. The Slovak Province was established in 1939 by Bishop Pavel Jantausch who was born in Vrbove and prepared a new monastery for the Sisters, and later a new building of a primary school. The Bishop, as our founder and benefactor, is buried in the chapel of our House. Sisters in Vrbove were teaching in schools; they also had a kindergarten and after the Second World War they were running also a house for orphans. Other Sisters were working at that time in many places in the Slovak Republic. Some Sisters worked in hospitals as nurses, some in Seminaries and many were teaching Religion in schools. We also had a boarding house for students. There were many vocations at that time. In 1950 the Communists took our school building, and our Sisters were taken from hospitals, schools and other public places. Some of them had to go to the Czech Republic and there they had to work in fields and in factories. All our novices (30 of them at that time) had to go back to their fami-lies. During the Communist years new young Sisters joined our Province secretly. The Sisters were working, without their habit, in many places and in many professions according to their education. Nobody knew that they were Sisters. Their formation and meeting with other Sisters was always secret. After the fall of Communism, some houses were given back to the Sisters. Also, our school in Vrbove was returned. Because this building was badly damaged, we had to go through a large reconstruction project. Now it houses our Novitiate and also the office of our Provincial Superior and her Council. There are now 60 Sisters in Vrbove and about 35 of them are retired. A house in Trnava was also given back to our Province. Our Sisters are now working and living in 7 communities, in a seminary for priests in Bratislava, at a Bishop's residence in Nitra and in some parishes. Our way of life is quite different because of the work that our Sisters do. But in all communities, our Sisters pay special attention to adoration, to common liturgy with chant, to reading the Bible and to community life. In our Motherhouse in Vrbove, that houses also the retired Sisters and the work of formation, we spend more time in adoration, singing common liturgy and common work in the garden and in the house. This house is more cloistered but we have many contacts with people.
In the kitchen
In the garden
The Sisters of our Province are working as Catechism teachers at a primary school, High School and also at a University. Some Sisters are doing social work, a service which is very often requested by the people. In our Province we had a Province Chapter in June 2006. This Chapter opened the way for our mission. In September 2007 three of our sisters went to Russia in Volgograd. They work with one father SVD from Slovakia. They are working in catechesis, social work with homeless people and help also with the only Catholic Church in Volgograd. Their mission is going well but there are some difficulties in getting visa for Russia now, but we hope they can continue. In the Province we try to do something about our ongoing formation. Beside our daily life we organise some meeting for Sisters with a theme important for our life. Each year the Province is dedicated to a particular topic. A booklet is prepared with various themes and the Sisters meet in little groups and discuss them. One day at the end of each year, all the groups share in a discussion. So we have: the Year of Constitution, the Year of common life, Year of Eucharist, Year of Liturgy, and the Year of conversion. These discussions help us greatly
Some young Sisters study at the Catholic Universities. But also some Sisters attend practical courses and some study English or French. In Vrbove, we created a Spiritual centre of St.Norbert for our work with young people and for some meetings with the laity and for Bible. Recently we have had happy visits from young girls who come for summer camp or for spiritual renewal, as do young couple and families. The Norbertine Fathers help us with this work.
Sisters take the Eucharist to old or ill people in their homes, and also work with a group of children from very poor families, helping them with homework and life-skills. In addition there is a growing family of our Associates, which now numbers 200. A member of Council has responsibility for this, with a team to help her. The Associates meet in groups every month and also make spiritual retreats.
Mission in Volgograd Summer camp
Sister with students