Hannover

For 20 years our Community has been in a ten story building on the outskirts of the city of Hannover. The block was built in the 70's with several entrances, to house about 2000 people. Our flat is located in the very middle, on the 6th floor where we would like to be a silent and prayerful presence at the heart of this immense neighbourhood. Our neighbours come from about twenty different countries and have very different ways of life. Side by side live Jews, Africans, Kurds, Turks, Russians, Germans repatriated from the East, Poles and many more. Women often speaking the same language and often related gather in small groups between themselves. Language is often a problem in our neighbourhood. When parents speak very little German, it  affects the children. What prospects do they have? Will they be able to learn a trade? When we are at home we try to reach out to the neighbours giving a helping hand. It is often a question of taking the first step; going to visit them, inviting the children to play at our place, baking cakes or do something together.

We also like to visit the elderly and sick.We are very moved by the suffering and poverty which are often hidden behind closed doors.

Helene Jacqueline works in the warehouse of a chain hardware store, full time. She has to travel  three hours each day. The job gives rhythm to her life; a job which is very hard physically, but which allows her to be in contact with many co-workers from many different countries. A year ago year, a little group of co-workers formed a Union to react together against injustice and bad working conditions; the daily routine is coloured by many inhuman practices. Solidarity is being built painfully and slowly, but this little group is a real support and a sign of hope.

Teresa Johanna spent her first year as a Little sister among us. She found a job as an assistant cook in a canteen. The work was heavy but a family atmosphere prevailed despite the stress. She felt it was important above all to make visible the gratuitous presence of God's love among us. Now she is going off for her noviciate!