The Beginning

Foun­da­tion on 19 Sep­tem­ber 2010, Feast of St Joseph – Fos­ter and Nurs­ing Father of JESUS CHRIST

My par­ents were to me a good exam­ple of the ven­er­a­tion of St Joseph. As a moun­tain farmer my father often had to take a rather long and dif­fi­cult road to get to his live­stock. Usu­al­ly, there was still much snow in March, it was also cold and every­thing was cov­ered with ice. Because St Joseph was his patron saint, he want­ed to hon­our this Saint on his fes­ti­val day in a spe­cial way and give him plea­sure. My father went to his ani­mals very ear­ly in the morn­ing, and then he set off for a rough road walk­ing for 1½ hours on an emp­ty stom­ach – first going down­hill into the val­ley and then at the oth­er side of the val­ley uphill in order to reach the church at 7.00 am. On this fes­ti­val day, which meant a lot to him, he received the Sacra­ments. Then, a good hour lat­er, he would take the same way back again. I thought, what a tremen­dous Saint this must be because it was so impor­tant to my father and because he took such great pains. Already as a child, it made such a deep impres­sion on me and stayed deep in my heart.

Moth­er Paula at a young age

When I was 15 or 16 years old, I was deter­mined to enter a clois­tered con­vent. Such was my desire that I often wept silent­ly see­ing no chance of suc­ceed­ing. – My moth­er died at the age of 41 (1951), 14 days after giv­ing birth to her ninth child. I was 13 years old, two broth­ers and one sis­ter were old­er than I. At a very ear­ly age, my sis­ter and I picked up many things about house­keep­ing from our moth­er and we learnt to take respon­si­bil­i­ty. Besides school, many duties were wait­ing for us. Our father was a role mod­el and an all-rounder. These years were hard for him beyond all telling. 

In this sit­u­a­tion and as life showed the way and the respon­si­bil­i­ties, I learnt a trade (domes­tic econ­o­my) lat­er on, when the younger sib­lings grew up, and I mar­ried the now Sword-Bish­op. GOD grant­ed us four children.

On 15 August 1985 I was giv­en the con­se­cra­tion of my right hand by the Sword-Bish­op in Reheto­bel in order to impart the bless­ing of St Joseph. To me it was like a bolt from the blue. I thought, if this hap­pens on the Sword-Bishop’s instruc­tions, then it is all right. I myself could not under­stand or grasp it. I often thought: “St Joseph, why do you have to give your bless­ing through me? After all, you do this much bet­ter your­self.” Of course, it is St Joseph him­self who bless­es, I sim­ply put my hand in his. Each time I felt so ter­ri­bly unwor­thy. Well, I did it out of obedience.

When my hus­band had become a Bish­op, I some­times told him that the idea of found­ing an order some­where in the future con­tin­u­al­ly cross­es my mind. He answered me: “I know.” Then again I swept aside such thoughts as my imag­i­na­tion run­ning wild. These thoughts returned reg­u­lar­ly and each time I have waved them aside – for years and years. Between 2008 and 2010 they con­stant­ly haunt­ed me. I often talked about it with the Sword-Bish­op and I asked myself if I had lost my mind. He hard­ly com­ment­ed on it. “Oh GOD!” I said, “How is this sup­posed to be? If it be Your will, You have to tell me clear enough – let me know clear enough.” I myself came to a dead end and I was afraid to be just imag­in­ing things.

The Sword-Bish­op had ded­i­cat­ed the year 2010 to St Joseph. Dur­ing the sum­mer months these thoughts haunt­ed me dai­ly and I felt depressed to think I could lead peo­ple astray or to think I was not equal to the respon­si­bil­i­ty, among many oth­er things. I often asked St Joseph to give me clar­i­ty. One day, I sat there alone, help­less and at a loss, think­ing about St Joseph. I heard a qui­et invi­ta­tion and had a clear view of found­ing a “Lay Com­mu­ni­ty of St Joseph.” With­out fur­ther ado I sat down and wrote down the arti­cles – the whole pur­pose – it just poured forth from my pen, and I imme­di­ate­ly made preparations. 

On 19 Sep­tem­ber 2010 – the solemn feast of the Nurs­ing and Fos­ter Father of JESUS CHRIST – I set the date of the foundation. 

This mis­sion was spread among the peo­ple by fly­ers and by word of mouth. A foun­da­tion requires at least three per­sons. My thoughts were: “If I had only four or five, I would be sat­is­fied.” Receiv­ing 67 reg­is­tra­tions was to me a clear sign of the work­ing of St Joseph. 

To this day the com­mu­ni­ty is con­stant­ly grow­ing – though with many dif­fi­cul­ties, which is obvi­ous­ly a part of it and a pos­i­tive sign to me.

Moth­er Paula in Fund­ing the Lay Com­mu­ni­ty of St Joseph