The summer trip 2021 – from Maria Laach to the Rome Habes camp
and I was there …
how did that happen?
Five years ago I took part in a retreat in Maria Laach and then I saw the appeal for donations for the Roma camp in Slovakia by P. Basilius. Among other things, I read – that mattresses are needed and I became aware … because it was precisely at this time that the mattresses had to be replaced in our senior citizen center in Cochem – “only – because they no longer corresponded” to the norm – therefore they should be disposed of. But they were rescued and taken into the camp.
Yes, that was my first contact with this project and I was and still am thrilled with the commitment – the Benedictines, especially Father Basilius, campaigned for this cause. It was clear to me from the start that we, the Sisters of Mary, would like to support that. I got more information so I could get in here
Tell about it in our house, in the women’s community and with my friends.
At our Advent, Spring and Autumn Bazaars and all the other events in the house, there was always a stand – with a wide variety of things. The proceeds were then intended for “my Rome children”.
Of course, this further strengthened the connection and every time a transport was planned, I started a call on site and I am overwhelmed by how donation-happy the employees and the Cochemers are. So we can do something for these people in our prosperity.
After each tour everything was reported in detail and it became clear to me – I have to go there too.
I had already planned to be there for the summer tour last year … but … Corona thwarted my planning, also in autumn.
But now the time had come…. Mr. Lingenthal informed me in June that a trip is planned for the end of July. Of course I was enthusiastic about it and even more – that Father Basilius is going with me.
But I had to do a lot for my absence in my convent with my fellow sisters who had grown old plan – and organize – because they cannot be alone.
But I thought … if it should be that I should go with you – this cannot be a problem and so it was. A co-sister came to represent and started on July 27th.
Arrived in Maria Laach, the Cologne runabout was already in front of the camp and it was already invited.
After P. Basilius
The travel prayer and travel blessing had given – our journey – which was so professionally planned and prepared by Mr. Michael Lingenthal – started.
I was just curious what to expect…. the long drive, the border controls, vaccination control … .. traffic jam … etc.
We were all surprised that there were no complications on the whole trip (there and back).
After an overnight stay at the Inn – there was a meeting with the ambassador in Bratislava.
Yes, and on July 29th we got closer and closer to our goal and the tension increased.
In the communication center of Caritas we were expected and welcomed happily by the team of employees and the children.
After unloading, there was a little candy for the hard-working helpers and only bright children’s eyes.
The children soon went home.
In the evening we met with the staff there in the center, talked and of course ate together. Mr. Rado was the interpreter – not just me but everyone felt comfortable – you could feel it.
The next day our ways parted – because Mr. Lingenthal and Mr. Rado had a conversation with the mayor in Secovce.
Father Basilius and I were picked up by Sister Bernadetta (Redeemer Sisters) and the interpreter, Mrs. Kristina, in Trebisov – we were with the mayor there – Sister Bernadetta knows well and is very Rome-friendly.
After this meeting we went to Sister Bernadetta’s convent – something completely new for me, because the 3 sisters do not live in a convent – but in a prefabricated building on the 5th floor.
The hospitality with them could be felt immediately – because it smelled of fresh cake, which was then served immediately.
It was a very good atmosphere – we couldn’t speak Slovenian and the sisters couldn’t speak German – but we still got on very well.
Sister Bernadetta then showed us briefly the Rome camp in which she works.
For lunch we went back to the Caritas center.
Soon the children came and the bathing fun began for them.
Very disciplined and happy children
That afternoon we also went to the camp on site. Some children have accompanied us because they live there with their families.
On the way there I became very different,
because something like that –
in my whole life I have
not seen yet
For me they were decisive encounters –
with this poverty and the people.
I imagined the situation there was bad
but the reality was much more extreme –
you can’t imagine it …
you have to see it …
I am very happy that I was able to take the opportunity and ride with them.
Yes, I have been newly motivated to be grateful myself and I will continue to contribute to these people in the future –
even if it is only :
A drop in the bucket is up.
It is worth it….!!!!
I would like to take this opportunity to express my special thanks
To the wonderful tour company –
Father Basilius, Michael Lingenthal
And all the many, who accompanied us with their prayers.
Thank you very much !!!
Sister M. Felicitas