Farewell in Lucerne

"There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens,"  we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1. This verse applies to our ministry in Seeburgstrasse in Lucerne. After almost 60 years of presence in the "Haus Maria Rita," the sisters have left Lucerne.

Congregation of Sisters of St.Rita was founded in Germany in 1911. The Augustinian Father Hugolinus Dach saw the need for families and gathered women around him to care for the family. The Sisters of St.Rita also carried out this ministry in Lucerne, expanding with a home for young women. In 1982, the German Augustinian Province transferred the Fribourg Ritawerk to the Sisters. It was a fulfilling task for the small community to help, accompany, and support the people in dire need. Since 2021, the Ritawerk continued its work under the name of Justinuswerk in Friborg.

From 1965 to 2000, the Sisters could accommodate apprentices and students completing their training in the house on Seeburgstrasse. This was the only option for young people who were not home in Lucerne for many years.

The third educational path was also in-house for three years (1993 – 1996). In 2000, the canton of Lucerne approached the Sisters with a request to take in refugees. Until 2005, women, children, and minors could find refuge in the house.

In October 2005, 21 students from Lucerne University moved in after the house was renovated. In the "Haus Maria Rita," the primary mission of the community was "supporting the families," which continued in different facets over the years.

Since we, as in other Convents, didn't have vocations, the community could no longer continue to run the house in Lucerne. We had to leave the city that we knew and loved.

Bishop Dr. Felix Gmür from Basel insisted on celebrating a farewell service with the sisters in the chapel of "Haus Maria Rita," which was profaned the next day. In the parish of St. Johannes, the sisters also said goodbye at Sunday's Word of God celebration. A pilgrimage to Maria Einsiedeln was suitable for everyone. At the last prayer time, Superior General Sister Rita-Maria dissolved the convent and blessed the four sisters with a new beginning. On April 24th, they moved to the motherhouse in Würzburg in the hope that the years of their service in Switzerland would bear fruit in the future.

The house will continue to be occupied by students.