Cracow, in the south of Poland, is a large and beautiful city with monuments, churches, universities, a royal castle and… many daily events!
Also, it is close to the Concentration Camp Auschwitz.
In 2004, Sion became part of this city’s ecclesial community. Our house is a house of formation, which is where someone begins to get to know Sion. The house is very open to welcoming young people and less young ones. Here, we organize meetings with young people who are seeking their path in life. There are festive moments, times of prayer and of study.
Because of a thousand years of Jewish presence in the country, Cracow, like Poland in general, has renewed its interest in Jews and Judaism. All the persons and organizations concerned with this subject are gathered together here in an association, â€œKlub Przemierzeâ€ (Covenant). Our community is part of it, as well as of the Council of Christians and Jews, a Warsaw-PRCHiZ association.
As Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion, we especially emphasize inter-denominational and interfaith encounter, in particular with Judaism, in a spirit of getting to know one another and of reconciliation. We believe that for this, the best way for us to get to know one another is an approach through the Bible. It is after all our common heritage!
Together with a group of lay people, we study biblical texts that the Sunday liturgy offers us. The meetings take place in the evening and conclude with a time of prayer in our chapel.
During Advent and Lent, the community also prepares more intense spiritual times based on the Word of God.
We also seek to offer Christians a foundation in Judaism, in particular in the Jewish feasts, showing how most of the Christian feasts are rooted in them.
At the local level as well as the national one, we take part in annual commemorative events. Thus Cracow remembers the liquidation of the ghetto in 1943 by walking in the footsteps of the exodus then to the concentration camp of Plaszow. In Warsaw, there is a walk at the time when the tragic uprising of the ghetto in 1943 is remembered. Every year around Simhat Torah â€“ Joy in the Torah – the Council of Christians and Jews in Poland (http://www.prchiz.pl/) organizes an interfaith meeting in Warsaw that is very well attended.
We could also mention the Jewish Cultural Festival in Cracow. For more than twenty years now, numerous annual activities during the month of July draw an ever larger public, including many international participants.
Finally, our community has close connections with the Center for Encounter and Prayer in Auschwitz and takes part in the December retreat that is organized by Fr. Manfred Desselaers, who is responsible for the educational programs.
Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion in Cracow