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Before the end of the war, Mother Fidelis, Commissary General wrote Superior General Mother Almeda:

Bombed interior of Motherhouse in Munich.

“Even if the whole world lets you down, we will remain faithful to you.”

This was to reassure her that the war would not split the congregation. On May 8 the combat phase of the war in Europe ended.  Surviving the devastation of the war was the next effort that called on support from all members of the congregation. To understand what that promise of help meant, one needs to look at specific examples.  During the four months of the fall semester of 1945, the sisters and more than 250 students of Mount Mary College made 500 garments. They also collected 5000 cans of food, which they sent to the National Catholic Welfare Council. Between December 1945 and January 1946, they made or collected an additional 364 pounds or 22 boxes of clothing.  Simultaneously they responded to the 1946 Milwaukee Archdiocesan appeal. They collected 4,579 pounds of clothing and 430 pairs of shoes. Over the next five years, students at many SSND schools continued to send money and gifts in kind to help in the relief effort.

Many sisters were refugees. The news was restricted, however, some stories were shared.  “Seven sisters made their way from Budapest to Munich—one was an SSND in the uniform of a soldier.” A US Army War chaplain discovered the latter and expedited the communication to the congregational leadership.

 

The image is of the bombed-out section of the SSND Motherhouse in Munich.

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