Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
Sister M. Faustiniana Baron tells the story of her family which was blessed by God with rich religious vocations in several generations.
The first in our family Baron, who answered the call to religious life in the Congregation of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis was my mother´s sister - Maria Kula, who on October 28, 1913 during the investiture ceremony in Münster was named Sister Wilborada. For many years she served the sick in the hospital in Opole. She died on March 26, 1945 in Proskau/Opole.
The one who followed our aunt Sister Wilborada Kula to the OSF in Münster was Sister M. Gismunda neé Langner, whose mother was my mother’s sister Elisabeth Kula. Sister M. Gismunda served for many years as a nurse in the hospital in Odrau/Odry-Czech Republic), till the communist government expelled our sisters from the hospital in the year 1964. Sister M. Gismunda died in Krosnowice / Lower Silesia.
My parents, Zuzanna Kula and Teodor Baron, had the desire to religious life in their hearts, but God´s will was different.
My mother planned several times to go to Münster to our General Motherhouse to join the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters, where already her sister, our Sister Wilborada, served. She wanted to go to Münster with a friend from her parish, who later became the name Sister M. Adalgis, but before leaving, she got seriously ill and she remained at home. At the heart she had been bearing such a desire that if she got married and had girls, she would send them to the convent, if it would be the will of God.
Also in my father’s family prevailed a Franciscan spirit. On August 28,1919, my father’s brother Franciszek - donned the Franciscan habit in the Order of the Franciscan Fathers in St. Annaberg and adopted the new religious name Father Joachim. He was ordained as a priest on February 3,1924. Due to a serious illness he died at a very young age on October 9, 1924.
Also my father Teodor, after the death of his brother Joachim, tried to join the Franciscan Order in St. Annaberg, but once the Father Superior was absent, and the second time Father Superior had no time for the candidate Teodor.
And so Zuzanna Kula and Teodor Baron became to know each other, fell in love and got married on July 12, 1925 in Wengern by Opole in the St. Joseph parish church. They lived very devoutly and happily. They had many children: seven girls and one boy. “My oldest sister”, remembers Sr. Faustiniana, “lived only for 8 months”. My mother fell seriously ill and she died at 46 years of age, leaving us, the children aged 3 -15, to the care of our father Teodor and aunt Rozalia Kula.
From my siblings, our oldest sister, Gertruda Baron, was the first, who entered the Congregation of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Oldrzychowice Klodzkie in 1949. At investiture ceremony on August 20,1949 she received the name Sister M. Wilborada after our aunt. However, her stay in the Congregation was very short, because due to her illness she died August 18,1950 in Oldrzychowice.
Being at her funeral, I, Sophia Baron, felt a great desire to become a nun. I was not very interested in various juvenile entertainment. I wanted to serve God and the people exactly with the Franciscan Sisters. At the age of 19 in the year 1954, I joined the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Oldrzychowice Klodzkie. At the investiture ceremony I was named Sister M. Faustiniana. I´m not a registered nurse, but I have served God and the people through prayer and above all by office work. Now I am retired. I have plenty of time to linger with God and to serve and help our sisters and guests in the refectory of the Province House.
After two years, in the year 1956, God called my twin sister Mathilda Baron to our Congregation and at investiture ceremony she received the name Sister M. Wilborada. She was a registered nurse and served God and the sick for many years with great love and devotion. She lived to see her Golden Jubilee, but already very ill she died in 2008.
God has chosen our family in a special way. We, the children, fulfilled the desire of our parents. In 1958, the fourth daughter of Teodor and Zuzanna, Anna, entered the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters in Oldrzychowice, who at investiture ceremony was named Sister M. Taurina. She also obtained a nursing diploma. She has worked and continues to work for the glory of God and the good of the people in the different institutions in our province, serving in different functions depending on the needs of the province.
To this family group should be included also our cousin - Sister M. Beata (Teresa Stelmach). Since 1959, she serves God and the people in the Congregation of the Sisters of Charles Borromeo in Trzebnica. Our niece, Rosa Baron - Sister M. Judith is the last one, who in 1980 joined the Sisters of De Notre Dame in Opole and serves there as a catechist and organist.
Looking back to the vocation stories in her family and looking back to her own way of religious life, Sister M. Faustiniana thanks God for so many gifts and graces.