The Czech Republic became a District within the Institute in January 2017. This new district tells us of their mission there, as individuals and as a community.
"We see that the great need in the Czech Republic is for formation in the faith, personal spiritual accompaniment, retreats, listening to others and the building up of safe, open communities.
Veronika teaches Religious studies in the diocesan grammar school, Biskupské Gymnázium. She is part of a team that, each year, prepares University Students for Baptism and Confirmation. Once a month she lectures in Church History as part of a Theology course for catechists and other interested adults. Veronika has other activities: adult ongoing formation, retreats, and accompaniment for individuals, families and groups such as a Young Mothers Support Group and support for “Logos”, a local group of Gay and Lesbian people.
Veronika is at present studying for a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology, at Charles University in Prague.
Photo below: Vero (front row, 2nd from left) with university students climbing in the Alps.
Klára has been employed, for the past two years as a research worker in the field of “Spirituality and Health” in the Faculty of Theology, in Palacky University in Olomouc. At the same time she studies for her doctoral degree there. She is also a student of the University Medical Centre of the University in Groningen. Her study/work involves research, teaching, supervising Ph. D students, writing articles and often travelling to other universities both inside and outside the Czech Republic. She spends many hours counseling or in spiritual accompaniment of individuals and accompanies an adult prayer group in the local parish.
Klára is also attending a qualifying training course in psychotherapy, which is a valuable help both for spiritual accompaniment and her work at the University.
Photo below: Klara, using her own artwork, making a presentation on her research work.
To answer the great need for faith education in a country marked by over 40 years of Communist Regime, we decided to focus on the development of spiritual accompaniment. This initiative began as an “intervision group” for religious interested in this mission. It developed into a “Spiritual Accompaniment Course” which is the first of its kind in the country and is now offered under the Theological Faculty of the Palacky University in Olomouc. There are already more than 100 people who have attended this course. They are mostly Religious and Priests who themselves are responsible for Formation. The animating team now includes Klára, Veronika, and two priest-religious.
Georgina’s ministry: Brno is a University City, which attracts many students from around the world, to study full time or on Erasmus exchange. Since the fall of the Communist Regime, in 1989, many international companies have moved in and they need workers from abroad. Georgina’s mission is to help answer the needs of many of these young workers and students who are often alone and isolated because of distance from home and the difficulty of language. Many gather together each week in an international English speaking Catholic Community, which she helped found in February 2006. It is known as “The Upper Room Community”, www.brno-esc.eu The Community welcomes people of all faiths or none who join them for one or other activity.
Her work involves supporting sick members in hospital, befriending young women from Africa, South America and Asia who marry into Czech families with little or no preparation or language, teaching English to wives who accompany their husbands on work contracts in Brno, as well as coordinating the many programmes which the Community has put in place… Mass in English each Sunday, children’s liturgy, a social group, preparation for marriage and support for young married couples, preparation of adults and children for sacraments, on-going religious formation and prayer groups. In recent years the group has been able to welcome people from Syria and Iraq."
Photo below: Gathering for Lectio Divina: 5 friends, 5 nationalities (Georgina 2nd from right)
To learn how the Infant Jesus Sisters arrived in Líšen on the outskirts of Brno in 1999, click this link: Czech Republic community