For a better appreciation of the letters of Mother Josefa, it is good to remember something of the situation in which our first generation of Sisters lived. The Sisters sent to Argentina, Togo, New Guinea, the United States, and Brazil were extremely young in religious life, and the Congregation itself continued to seek its final form. Mother Josepha faced a rapid growth in number of Sisters and concern for an increasing number of Sisters and communities abroad.
Sisters in mission territories related their experiences and needs in terms of language, teaching, nursing, clothing, etc., specific to their own respective mission country. Parallel to the learning process that she went through in Steyl regarding admissions, promotions, practical and academic training of the Sisters, Mother Josefa was often forced to mediate or consult with the Founder on behalf of the mission communities.
The reader will find many repetitions but precisely that gives us a genuine image of Mother Josefa. She had some basic principles that she referred to frequently in different circumstances, in addition to recommending them to other people.
The writing of the letters and the annotations were translated from Quellen 5 in the series edited and published by Sr. Ortrud Stegmaier, SSpS in 1987.
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