On the 86th anniversary of the death of Sister Maria Dulcissima (Helena Joanna Hoffmann), 18. May, the faithful in Świętochłowice Zgodzie prayed during the Holy Mass for the gift of beatification of the Servant of God (the diocesan stage of the process of beatification has already been completed), and in the evening, in the house where Helena was born, in today’s Drzymały Street 5, the May devotion was celebrated by Fr. Bogusław Jonczyk, parish priest of the parish of St. Josef in Świętochłowice.
On Friday, May 20, the celebration of Dulcissima Days began with a prayer vigil in the beautiful, tranquil town of Brzezie (now a part of Racibórz), where Sister Dulcissima lived and died in the Religious House of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate. The celebration, organized on the initiative of the Sisters of Mary in Racibórz-Brzezie in collaboration with the municipal authorities, was not only for prayer. The celebration was also complemented by scientific reflections and activities for families. All in memory and honor of Sister Dulcissima.
On Saturday, May 21, His Excellency, Bishop Andrzej Czaja, celebrated Holy Mass at 9 am. Mass was held in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Racibórz. The homily was delivered by His Excellency Bishop Jan Kopiec. At 10.30 a.m. in the Cultural Center “Strzecha” in Racibórz the symposium “Angels from Upper Silesia – timeless dimension of the charism of the Servant of God, Sr. Dulcissima” began. The guests were welcomed by the Superior General of the Congregation, Sr. Sybilla Kołtan SMI, who came to Racibórz from Rome for three days, and by the Mayor of Racibórz, Dariusz Polowy, who was the patron of the whole event. The event was attended by Halina Dudała, PhD – Prof. UP, Bernard Linek, PhD from the Silesian Institute, Jacek Kurek, PhD from the Museum of Metallurgy in Chorzów and Rev. Henryk Olszar, PhD – Prof. UŚ. The speech of Rev. Dr. Przemysław Krakowczyk SAC, who was absent for health reasons, was read by Sr. Małgorzata Cur, who also chaired the meeting together with Grzegorz Wawoczny.
The symposium was followed by a tour of Racibórz led by Grzegorz Wawoczny, a renowned expert on the history of the city. The day was crowned by a concert in the Sacred Heart Church in Racibórz – a concert by the choir of the Parish of St. Matthew and St. Matthias the Apostle in Brzezie, conducted by Aleksandra Gamrot. The symphony orchestra of the Ludomir Różycki Primary and Secondary School of Music in Gliwice conducted by Andrzej Rosoł played. The event was introduced by Sr. Dr. Elżbieta Cińcio SMI with the theme: “Sr. M. Dulcissima Hoffmann SMI – a beloved child of the Immaculate Mother of God”.
On Sunday, the solemn Holy Mass was presided by Archbishop Adrian Galbas SAC, who blessed a statue of Sister Dulcissima in front of the convent of the Sisters of Mary in Brzezie. A banner with photos of Dulcissima’s friends from Brzezie was placed there. In the “Widok” forest in Racibórz-Brzezie, an educational and contemplative path was opened, where one of the panels is dedicated to Sister Dulcissima – the Upper Silesian candidate for beatification. An Oak of Independence was also planted (it is a unique numbered tree consecrated by Pope Francis in 2018). The oak in the monastery garden was planted by the Archbishop Coadjutor, President Dariusz Polowy, foresters and the Superior General of the Congregation, Sr. Sybilla Koltan. There was also a family festival with attractions for children.
These were beautiful days in the May sun and light emanating from the memory of a wonderful person – Sister Dulcissima, who grew up in Zgodzie (a district of Świętochłowice). She is a daughter of the earth who brought forth goodness, she is a sign that I see not only on every walk that takes me from my house in Hajduk to the house where she grew up – it is a very short distance, but it encompasses all of eternity. Sister Dulcissima longed for this eternity and shaped her life, so to speak, in accordance with the name of the place from which she came, as “consent” to God’s will. Father Henryk Olszar wrote: “The Bride’s life path to holiness led through traditional Silesian diligence and frugality and deep Marian and Eucharistic devotion in the spirit of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus.”