A Solution is sought

The eagerly anticipated summer vacation began. During this time we cleaned our modest surroundings and prepared it for the next school year.  We tried to tidy up and repair whatever we could.  When we were finished, we walked about the clean and orderly rooms that were now ready to receive the children for the new school year.  The children lingered with pleasure, telling us of their summer plans.  Suddenly the carriage from the castle stopped before our door, and the Countess Brandys descended from it.

Given the situation, recalled Sr. Nepomucena, we were happy for this visit from the president of the Association and we greeted her respectfully. She walked contentedly through the orderly rooms which lacked neither plants nor flowers. The Countess indicated that she would like to have a meeting with the community.  First of all she asked us if it were possible for us to work for the coming year, as we had before, with the same number of sisters and assistants.

Sr. Margareta, and we also, tried to explain the reasons why under the present conditions, with such a large number of children and the limited space, it would be difficult for our work with the Association to continue.  If we could have had another three sisters from Algersdorf and if the Association could have resolved the problem of space, the work would have been able to continue.

After a rather prolonged silence, the Countess inquired with some concern if the sisters at Algersdorf had definitely refused to help the Association at Maribor.  Sr. Margareta answered in the affirmative.  The president wished to know how the dialogue had gone and if perhaps someone should again try asking for the religious personnel who were so needed.

Finally Sr. Margareta explained that the reason why no more sisters could be sent to Maribor was that Algersdorf had no sisters they could spare.  Therefore, it did not pay to make any further demands, because the superior at Algersdorf had given her definitive reply that she could not satisfy our desires. No further discussion on this issue was possible.

Sr. Margareta said, “I am thinking of turning to the Bishop of Graz, Bishop Zwerger, on whom the convent of Algersdorf depends.”  Then she added, “At present there are some internal difficulties at Algersdorf, and it is understandable that they cannot comprehend our concerns.”

The Countess then asked if perhaps we were unhappy at Maribor. We answered almost unanimously that we liked it at Maribor and we liked the work for which we had been called to do here.  However, the work was too great for so small a number of sisters, and there were no other sisters to send.  This preoccupied us and we hoped that the Association understood our concern.

The meeting ended, but it had not eased our difficult situation.  Countess Bradys wished to speak in private with Sr. Margareta, and so we took our leave.  We all sensed the gravity of the problem and so we knelt before the altar and recited a rosary for the assistance of Divine Providence.

When Sr. Margareta returned to us, she seemed greatly preoccupied.  We had never before seen her so worried.  Before evening prayers she spoke a few words exhorting us to pray ardently during Mass the following day concerning our grave situation.  She  informed us that she would not be at Mass with us the next morning, because she had to go to see the Jesuits, and then go elsewhere. She said she would not be returning soon.