Grafentonna

We started  living in Grafentonna two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the building of a former rectory where the Catholic community continued to celebrate Sunday services.  They were a minority in the village and in the whole region, out of 3,000 inhabitants, only 50 were practicing Catholics!

We chose to start a Community in Eastern Germany as a meeting place, for welcome and prayer, but also to share concretely the living conditions of the people there. Like others we were affected by unemployment and so we decided to open a little pottery workshop, where we would sell cribs sets and Nativity scenes. We also had a garden! By cultivating a strip of land situated between other gardens, we were able to meet the people of the village in a simple and natural way, while receiving good advice for our allotment. It took time for certain prejudices to disappear, and as time went by true friendships were born, without mentioning many exchanges of fruit and vegetables!

Today, we are 18 years older and with less energy! Our priorities have changed! Grafentonna has become a place to live for elderly little sisters. When the co-tenant left, we took over his apartment and with a few transformations, each one, even with a handicap, can manage. We are sad to have given up the garden but that is the case for many elderly people around us. Now we have more time to deepen our relationships in the village. We have very good contacts with the Protestant parish and warm relationships with the neighbours. We also visit the prison...

In the attic we have made a hermitage, where we welcome little sisters from elsewhere for a time of prayer or rest. Above all we are a lively community. As none of us work outside, there is no way to escape! We are happy and grateful to be here..