Tuesday, May 5, 2015
130th Jubilee of the Congregation and the Year of Consecrated Life: Region of Argentina
In 2015, we look back upon 130 years of our history, with more than 1300 women living as Missionary Benedictine Sisters. Over the coming months of the Year of Consecrated Life we will bring to you the histories of our Priories and Sisters across the World.
The root of our Region was in the call of love from God to a woman who wanted to follow Him and make Him known.
So in 1956 Sr. María Leonor Lorenzo along with other young women founded a religious community in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina.
Father Andrés Azcárate OSB awakened in her a strong desire of the Benedictine ideal, not only that but also accompanied and guided the community throughout the development of the foundation that they could live with fidelity and enthusiasm the monastic life and at the same time participate in the work of Evangelization.
Later, in 1961, Sr. María Leonor with Sr. Argentina Lens moved to Buenos Aires and settled in the neighborhood of Belgrano, near Saint Benedict’s Abbey where they received all the support and the necessary direction.
The sisters had many apostolic activities like giving retreats, workshops, courses and mission to the neighboring areas for many years.
In 1970s, some vocations joined but not sufficient enough for the nascent Foundation to be recognized as Congregation.
Included in that group of new members was Sr. Helena Martínez who lived a life of true holiness, esteemed by all who knew her.
From 1992, they were concerned about the future of the Foundation, so the Sisters decided then to merge with another Congregation for a conducive way to continue. By the time, the Abbot of Saint Benedict’s Abbey, Martín Elizalde OSB facilitated the contact with the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Sorocaba in the 1994’s EMLA (Benedictine assembly for Latin America) in Brazil.
Sr. Ofelia Roggero was delegated to represent them in Sorocaba and met Mother Cecilia Torres, osb Prioress of Sorocaba, at that time, to express their desire to integrate to the Congregation of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing.
In 1994, after the General Chapter of the MBS decision, Sr. Assumpta Batistela, osb was sent as responsible for the process of incorporating the Benedictine Sisters of the Epiphany to the Benedictine missionary charism of the Sisters of Tutzing.
On the 6th of January, 1995, the five Benedictine Sisters of the Epiphany were officially integrated into the Congregation. They made their Perpetual Profession on the 10th of February 1998. Sr. Assumpta Batistela,osb was the first superior and at the same time formation directress of the Argentinian community. Up to the present, the Region of Argentina is under the direction of the Sorocaba Priory, Brazil.
That is why this year we celebrate the 20 anniversary of our presence in Argentina!!
The mission grows, the Divine Providence is with us!
On the 6th of August 1998, a second community was established in Ucacha, Diocese of Córdoba, in response to the invitation by a family who requested assistance from the sisters for the people, and they donated a house to the community.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, the community could not remain in this place and closed after 3 years.
Then came a new opportunity to open a second mission in Los Toldos, Diocese of Nueve de Julio, province of Buenos Aires.
On the 20th of March 2002, a group of sisters took charge of the retreat house from the Sisters of the Holy Cross together with it is a farm and a small rural school.
After opening this community, throughout the whole region, including the monastery, suffered a massive flood that lasted one year.
Nevertheless, from 2000 the Argentinian vocations began arriving. The communities in Argentina were always international with sometimes more than five nationalities together.
On the 29th of September 2004, the communities of Argentina became a Region under the Sorocaba Priory.
Our current evangelization in the Region
We assume varied activities in different services: our Guest House receives people who come to the Monastery seeking an encounter with the Lord or a time of rest and relaxation. Others come looking a place while performing other activities in the city.
The pension house for students is one of our source of income, and we also provide support and presence to many young people from the interior part of the country coming to Buenos Aires for study.
We are involved in a socio-pastoral work in a marginal district, in the town of Los Toldos in "Juan el Bueno" a project aiming for an integral formation of children and accompanying women for pastoral and social development of the area through pastoral services, weaving, sewing, art work and networking. In “Laferrere” vicinity, we assist a community in the formation of leaders.
We not only accompany our oblates for their formation but also to other groups giving bible workshops, Lectio Divina, Mission Group, etc.
We also visit sick children in the hospital, giving a word of encouragement to parents, praying and assisting them with things they need.
We provide assistance to homeless people.