Why and how did a community of Sisters of Our Lady appear in Zalaergerszeg?
Its origins lie on the one hand with political events in France, and on the other with a request by the Bishop of Székesfehérvár in Hungary.
After the law was passed in France to separate Church and State, the Sisters could no longer teach there. At the same time the Bishop of Székesfehérvár was keen that some French Sisters should come and open a school where French language and culture would be taught.
In 1905, nine Sisters left Mattaincourt for Zsàmbék, then for Törökbàlint in 1908. They came to Zalaegerszeg in 1928, at the call of the future Cardinal Mindszenty, who was then parish priest in this town and wanted to open a school for girls which would promote culture and religious life.
In 1948 nationalisation once again prevented them from teaching, and in 1950 they were forced to leave the community and forbidden from regrouping.
They remained in this dispersed state until 1993.
On 28 August the school re-opened, thanks to the determination of 18 Sisters and considerable help from the Generalate and communities around Europe.
Because of its history, the Hungarian community has had very strong ties with France, even during the Communist period.
Today two French Sisters, Françoise DEBEAUPTE and Marie-Thérèse CLEMENT have joined the three Hungarian Sisters, Ildikó MARKUS, Sr Mercédesz and Sr Julia.
Our mission is in two parts:
– we ensure the presence of the Congregation in three schools,
This year we were very involved with 7 other Congregations in preparing the Youth Meeting of Szombathely Diocese on Saturday 28 March at Mindszenty School. As this is the Year of Consecrated Life, the Diocesan Youth Committee asked us to plan the Meeting.
We suggested the theme “A day with friends!”
Nearly 500 young people attended.
Around 40 youngsters from the school were actively involved and helped ensure the smooth running of the day.
A round table discussion was held between representatives of various religious families: Salesians, Dominicans, Franciscans…
There were many activity workshops organised to find our more about various aspects of religious life.
A musical group “Forró Cappuccino” (hot coffee), run by Franciscans, created a festive atmosphere as they entertained the young people in the early afternoon.
The day ended with Mass, presided over by our Bishop, Monsignor Andràs Vérès.