Saturday, September 30 the Sacred Heart Sisters celebrated the 25th Anniversary of their return to Hungary from the time of their escape of communist persecution in 1949. [click here for more on the History of Sacred Heart Sisters] The Mass of Thanksgiving was at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Budapest which welcomed the Sisters 25 years ago, August 3, 1992. The main presider of the Liturgy was Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop Budapest-Esztergom, also Bishop Gyorgy Udvardy, Bishop Istvan Katona and many priest friends who joined the celebration with families, friends, benefactors of the Sisters and local parishioners.
Prior to the liturgy, Father Imre Varju, pastor of the parish when the Sisters first arrived, welcomed the congregation sharing the history of the beginnings and the opportunities which he saw in having a religious community living in the midst of the parish on the Church grounds. He expressed his gratitude and joy and the richness of serving together with the Sisters.
Sister Mary Tomasella, Superior General of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart, spoke of the charism of the Community. “We want to witness with our lives and teaching that Jesus Christ is the foundation of unity and love. We speak in different languages but we all learn and understand the language of love as we seek the One who is the source of it.”
Bishop Udvardy, who has worked together with the Sisters throughout these 25 years at the National Catechetical Office and is a good friend of the Community, talked about the meaning of the mission. “We want to share the Good News and the joy we each receive by knowing Christ; we all have this mission as Christians,” reminded Bishop Udvardy. “This mission is the charism of the Sacred Heart Sisters: their foundation is the personal encounter with the Risen Christ who gives the strength and motivation to all their activities, and He is the source of the existence and service of the Community.”
Following the liturgy, the guests were invited for a generous reception of homemade goods provided by parishioners. There was also a photo display of the history of the Sisters, from 1940 when the foundress, Sister Ida Peterfy first responded to God’s call, through these past blessed 25 years of the Sisters’ return.