Sr. M. BRONISLAVA SUCHORA
The life of Sister Bronislawa was intertwined with the history of our congregation and Poland. She was one of the first young women to join our reborn community after the war (1948). It should be remembered that the first members of the Pauline Family arrived in Poland in 1935, but the events that followed, including the death of Sister M. Saveria Pistamiglio and the arrest of the Pauline superior, Don Tarcisio Ravina, led to the closure of the presence within the Polish nation, not only of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master but also of the other congregations: The Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul.
Sr. M. Bronislava belonged to the first group of four girls. Because of circumstances, they were exempted from the canonical novitiate. Since its beginnings, for political reasons, the foundation in Poland had many difficulties. Because of this persecution of the Church from the communist regime, the Founder himself permitted the request for dispensation from the novitiate to be forwarded to the Sacred Congregation. The content of this request testifies to the young woman’s awareness of the step she took:
“I, Suchora Janina, postulant of the Congregation of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master of Czestochowa … I willingly accept the grace granted to me, that is, the dispensation from the canonical novitiate, and I intend consciously and voluntarily to make use of it“.
The young women received a good formation, cared for by Sister M. Tymotea Bovetti. She was responsible for the newly born-again community.
Sister M. Bronislawa made her religious profession on April 13, 1952. She wrote this letter to the Superior General, Mother M. Lucia Ricci: “First of all I want to thank you for permitting me to pronounce my religious vows. With these vows, all my desires were granted. Giving myself to Jesus brought me so much joy and peace. Now I am truly the bride of Jesus and a member of the congregation whom I love above all else … I also thank all the sisters who prayed for us … I do everything for the love of Jesus and to become a saint.”
She made her perpetual profession six years later.
Because of the socio-political situation in Poland, the sisters had to find a simple and apostolic way to support themselves: they made rosaries, liturgical vestments and cultivated a vegetable garden. Sister M. Bronislawa was a professional cook and exercised this ministry for many years, in various places, especially in the homes of the Society of St. Paul. These priests and brothers were renewed with the spiritual support of the sisters. The sisters were appreciated and loved by them. Don Boguslaw Laskowski fondly remembers those days:
“I loved Holy Mary very much. I would work long and hard to fulfill my duties and, after work, I would go to the shrine of Jasna Gora to pray. We entrusted our intentions to her, believing that she would pray for us. I also remember the hard working and sweaty hands of our sister Bronislava. She often rubbed our dirty trousers with a brush on a wooden board resting on the bathtub. We laughed that she was going to make holes in our trousers with this scrubbing. They had to be washed properly. When she was at home, she gave us a sense of security because she was not only a sister to us, but also a mother and then a grandmother.” (don Boguslaw Laskowski).
Sr. M. Bronislawa died on November 29, 2008, at the age of 85. In the homily of his funeral, Fr Roman Mleczko, a Pauline priest said: “She sought to fill every moment of her life with prayer, hard work, suffering, love, sacrifice …, she filled her moments with all that with which Christ himself filled his 33 years of earthly life. Certainly, her greatest desire was that of Jesus, his Master – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. She knew that there was no other way to reach the Father except through Jesus the Master – the Way, the Truth and the Life. Following Jesus preserved her own identity, the true beauty of her personality. She was a completely free person. Such beauty is rare. How much the Holy Spirit flows through such a soul.
She dedicated almost her entire life to working in the kitchen and laundry. She dwelt among and was crowned with service. She didn’t live for herself – like a good mother – and that’s why we all loved her more. When there were difficulties, we said to ourselves: “You have to go and tell Broncia (as we always called her) to pray …”, then we felt safer: the difficult question was already in her good hands. ”
St. M. Bronislawa perfectly fulfilled and lived the charism of the Disciple of the Divine Master – she was the hidden root, the mother of priests, to whom she dedicated most of her energy and life.