1949-1989

After World War II there came a drastic change in the political climate of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Soviet occupation gave rise to communism, which brought along the persecution of the Church, the nationalization of Church run institutions, and the suppression of religious orders.

Many Sisters in the three European districts were arrested and imprisoned for long terms (10-13 years), and some had to flee their countries.

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In 1949 Sr. Margaret was forced to leave her native Hungary for political reasons and she  moved the general government of the Society to Buffalo NY, where some Sisters lived and worked since the 1920's.

 

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In 1949 Sr. Nicoletta Csekey also left Hungary and went to Cuba.   From her ministry there a new district developed.

 

 

The Districts in Romania and and Czechoslovakia were supressed in 1949, the Hungarian District in 1950. In spite of the difficulties during the forty years of illegality, God continued to call young women to join our community.

They entered secretly, often without the knowledge of their own families. Because of the oppression, Sisters could not live out their vocation openly, yet they spread the spirit of prayer, spirituality, and love around them by their quiet witness. Whatever secular jobs they had, they worked to alleviate suffering and to build God's reign.

The courage and faithfulness of the Sisters kept alive the flame of our charism in Eastern Europe. They drew encouragement from Sr. Margaret's words: "The loss of old forms or structures is of no importance. What matters is that the spirit be kept alive. This will create new forms."

In 1955, the California and the Canadian districts became an autonomous institute with headquarters in Los Angeles.

In 1977, the Sisters in Hamilton (Canada) became autonomous.

The Federation of the Sisters of Social Service was established in 1972. It is comprised of three autonomous branches: SSS of California, SSS of Canada, and our SSS branch, headquartered in Buffalo, NY and since 1998 in Budapest, Hungary.