This is the continuation of the story of the life of the Mother Maria Kolumba, foundress of the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. In our previous installment, Mother Kolumba continued on her leave of health, traveling to Southern France, Rome, and other sites in Italy, offering up prayers at these holy places for her community. After a nine-month leave, Mother Kolumba returned, in good health, to her Sisters.
Early the next month, in September of 1870, the Chapel and Convent of the Sisters were solemnly consecrated by Father Sobczyński. The Sisters spent the preceding night in song and prayers, joyful over their chapel, “where soon Jesus Christ Latent in Holiest Sacrament, Son of Living God and King of Eternal Glory would live….”
Many priests, both local priests and those invited from other areas, were present for the ceremony. Now that the chapel was consecrated and ready to receive Christ in the Eucharist, the Sisters were ready to move into their own home, the new Convent. The Reverend Mother gave the Sisters a short, but emotional speech, after which they lay prostrate and begged forgiveness of the Lord for any sins committed.
More and More Zealous Work
Along with Mother Kolumba, 19 Sisters, 14 of whom were fully professed in their vows, began life in the new Convent. A few days later, Mother Kolumba left with one of the Sisters to meet with Countess Hagenowa to discuss establishing a branch house of the Order. The Countess wished to have some of the Sisters live in Wielkie Oczy, and work at the state school.
The Reverend Mother experienced much joy at this time, and wrote to the Father General about all the happenings of the Order. He replied with beautiful letters to the Sisters, sharing his joys and worries and continually encouraging Mother to more and more zealous work. The Sisters too, shared in this joy, and were very happy with the new and spacious Convent, although they were all used to bearing discomforts with happiness!