Apart from the immediate co-operation with the preaching of the Gospel the “Servants of the Holy Mother Church” are active in housekeeping, the office, the garden, tailoring, printing and along those lines. If possible, their sphere of activity is adapted to the abilities.
Tasks of the Abbess
Having her continuous attention directed to the divine Bridegroom JESUS, her daily work is abundantly replenished with the spiritual guidance of the Sister Order, extensive organisational activities, translation work, visitation trips to the affiliate missionary stations where if possible she hosts a women’s discussion group, and many other things.
For the near-at-hand admission of Sisters the novices are tying their own personal Rosary themselves.
Off into the Fresh Air!
It goes without saying that a certain period of time in the Order is spent also on physical exercise. A stroll of at least 20 minutes is on the daily agenda. It makes no difference whether it is bright sunshine or rain, snow, fog – the Sisters are weatherproof and admire GOD’s nature.
Religious Education for Children
In the Mother House as well as in the affiliate missionary stations the Sisters devote themselves particularly also to the children and help them to appreciate the basics of Catholic doctrine. Religion is not a matter of intelligence but a matter of the heart. The love of GOD should already be instilled in the hearts of the youngest children. Children are the apple of GOD’s eye.
Depending on the child’s ability to take things in, instruction already starts at pre-school age. For this purpose we have compiled the instructional ring-binder “My First Religious Education”, which is written in a way appropriate to the child’s age and decorated with appealing pictures. In this way the children are effortlessly familiarised with the mysteries of the faith, into which in turn the parents ought to go deeper with their children at home.
Additional instructional ring-binders compiled by us are: My First Catechism, Holy Confirmation, Holy Confession, Holy First Communion, … For the very young we have flyers with appealing colourful pictures.
The church is embellished with fresh flowers and on high feasts adorned with a magnificent special display of flowers – after all, she is the dwelling of our LORD! For weddings the bride and groom are asked for their wish for flowers and the church and pews are decorated according to their request. At Christmas a beautiful fir tree is put up in our church with straw stars and baubles.
Maintenance of the Premises
Whether it be watering the flowers, cutting the hedge, mowing the lawn, planting trees, raking leaves, stacking wood or clearing away mountains of snow – the Sisters are up and doing. Well-kept premises are always appreciated.
Kitchen – Home Bakery
For over 20 persons the meals are daily prepared by the kitchen Sisters. As a rule, the cooking is simple, but well-seasoned. Besides, great care is taken when it comes to kitchen hygiene. At the time of the vegetable and fruit harvest it is peak season in the kitchen, everything being home-processed. Delicious jams, syrups, juices, etc. are produced. Guests, enjoying a sojourn in Rehetobel, are also glad to assist with the interesting kitchen tasks.
When Christmas is at hand, the home bakery opens up. Doughs for all kinds of pastries are prepared, butter biscuits are cut out to size, baked, painted. At Easter time painting Easter eggs is on the agenda and the faithful are looking forward to a brightly coloured egg every year.
Meat platters, canapé food, etc. are tastefully prepared and presented on different occasions such as weddings, gatherings for New Christians, for married couples, for men and for women. The home-made wedding, baptism and First Communion cakes are always praised.
Being with over 20 people means having weekly proportionately huge piles of laundry, which, however, will have been soon cleared away by many diligent hands.
Mass vestments, cassocks, nun’s clothes and veils are tailor-made in the Mother House. The making of stoles, humeral veils and copes likewise belongs to the scope of tasks of the Sisters in the tailoring room. From large cloth rolls aprons, curtains and many other things are created.
Printing – Book-Binding
On a mini offset printing machine brochures, pocket planners, writing paper, envelopes, monthly sermons of the Sword-Bishop as well as monthly letters of Mother Paula and many more are printed. In addition, books are professionally produced by the Sisters. Everything is hand-made from folding, sewing, glueing up to the production of hard covers with embossed imprints.
And so on and so forth
Lingering before the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is the source of strength of CHRIST’s Brides. Several times a day the Abbess with the daughters entrusted to her go to the convent chapel or to the Church for prayer, where they offer up to GOD their prayer and day’s work for the personal Instrument of JESUS CHRIST, the Church, the world and the salvation of souls – acting on behalf of all humankind. In doing so the Order as power station of the Church will achieve a lot with GOD and support the clergy in their activities.
Spiritual Reading – Leisure
Contemplation before the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and spiritual reading are part of the holy daily programme of the Sisters of the Order. Sacred Scripture is the guarantor or as the Sword-Bishop says the skeleton of CHRIST’s teaching. Books such as those of Anne Catharine Emmerich and Maria Valtorta on the Life and Passion of CHRIST, books of Teresa of Avila, Francis de Sales, Thérèse of the Child JESUS and many more others are spiritual enrichments. They serve the Sisters for the quickening and deepening of their inner life and foster their personal relationship with JESUS, their divine Bridegroom.
From time to time some unwinding takes place with a nice party game, others crochet, knit or like to do handicrafts.
Contact with the Faithful – Playing with Children
On Sundays, during home visits or on other occasions the Sisters also take time for conversations with the faithful – an encouraging smile, a good word … The children are having the time of their lives when the Sisters are showing an interest in their games.
Someone who is musically gifted and enjoys an instrument can play music in our convent. Several Sisters play the recorder, traverse flute and panpipes, the keyboard, the piano, the organ and even the alphorn. Church hymns are recorded on sound carriers by our organist and used in the chapels to join in the singing.