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Le Concile Vatican II et le monde des religieux

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Christian Sorrel

L’événement conciliaire. Préparations et réalisations

Hosts and their guests

The Grey Sisters of St. Elisabeth and the lay auditor Sr. Juliana Thomas

Regina Heyder

Texte intégral

Via dell’Olmata 9

The history of a congregation, the guests of a Council, and politics

1During the Second Vatican Council, twelve or thirteen bishops and their secretaries lived in Via dell’Olmata 9, a pilgrims’ hostel managed by the Grey Sisters of St. Elisabeth in the vicinity of Santa Maria Maggiore. Many of them wrote about this extraordinary place of hospitality in diaries, letters or published articles and indeed the congregation’s history and present would become part of the conciliar experience.

  • 1 People in Silesia used to call the members of the Congregation « Grey Sisters », because they wore (...)

2Founded in 1842 in Silesian Neisse, the Grey Sisters of St. Elisabeth initially worked in the field of ambulant healthcare for needy patients, regardless of whether they were catholic, protestant or jewish1. In the first decades of their existence, they expanded mainly in Silesia and in regions of Prussia where Polish was spoken. New foundations were also established in the diaspora of Northern Germany and Northern Europe. As a congregation with mostly German and Polish members and regional focuses in Silesia, Poland and Eastern Germany, the Sisters suffered much during World War II, flight, expulsion and the division of post-war Europe: more than two hundred sisters were killed during the war, more than one thousand had to leave Silesia. The motherhouse in Breslau had to be replaced by a new one in Reinbek near Hamburg. However, the Sisters in Eastern and Western Europe tried to remain in close contact, albeit with difficulty.

  • 2 Archivio Suore di Santa Elisabetta, Roma (ACCSE): Chronik Via dell’Olmata, 1962.

3In the spring of 1962, the pilgrims’ hostel in the Via dell’Olmata 9 accommodated the first general assembly after World War II. According to travel restrictions, sisters from the GDR were not able to participate and had therefore prepared written votes, whereas sisters from Poland were expected to attend but due to visa problems arrived only two days after the end of the assembly. The divided congregation was also a flexible one: the newly elected leaders immediately returned from Reinbek to Rome, worked with their Polish colleagues on the decisions of the assembly and for a second time met with Pope John XXIII in a private audience (the Vatican also demonstrated itself quite flexible2). Since the first official encounters between German and Polish Catholics would not take place until 1964, this four-week meeting between German and Polish sisters in itself was a unique event.

4This general assembly can be seen as a test for the accommodation of bishops and their secretaries in the Olmata, as the place is called, during Vatican II. In a way the guests represented both the congregation’s past history and present reality: among them were all the bishops from the diocese of Osnabrück, where the new motherhouse was located – that is bishops residing in Osnabrück, Hamburg and Magdeburg (GDR). Further guests came from Eastern Germany, where the congregation obtained several houses, from Silesia and the diaspora of Northern Europe.

5In 1963, the Olmata became increasingly ecumenical: after they had asked and achieved the permission of all bishops, the sisters accepted as guest for a few days a Chinese protestant observer. Furthermore John Oesterreicher, involved in the work for Nostra Aetate, stayed there for all the remaining sessions. It was the Italian Province Superior M. Engelmunda Morach who functioned as a superior of this community in all its rich diversity.

  • 3 Unità, Oct 16, 1962, 3: « Il discorso dell’8 ottobre: Questo ha detto il Papa ai vescovi di Polonia (...)
  • 4 Archiv Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Bonn (AKfZG): Josef Gülden, Mein römisches Tagebuch, Oct. 15  (...)

6As early as 1962, the Olmata had become a German-German and German-Polish meeting place not only for those living there, but also for occasional visitors. From time to time, politics played an important role in the community life. Pope John XXIII unintentionally expressed a decisive point of view on the territories east of the Oder-Neisse Line when he received the Polish participants of the Council in an audience on the 8th of October1962. The Pope, who according to his diary wanted to indicate interest in the spiritual ministry of the Polish prelates, nevertheless talked about « territori Occidentali, recuper ati dopo secoli » and the « inviolabilità delle vostre frontiere3 ». When a week later the Italian left-wing newspaper Unità printed with pleasure on its front page a summary of the papal discourse – deliberately placed under an article that Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko had again demanded not to postpone the question of finally settling Germany’s frontiers –, Western German bishops were « disturbed », Silesians « sad » and the Pope had to explain himself4. Things got even worse, when two days later the exact words of John XXIII were published – probably provided by Cardinal Wyszynski’s secretary Jerzy Dąbrowski who is said to have worked for the Polish Secret Service during the Council.

  • 5 Archiv Elisabethschwestern, Berlin-Schlachtensee (AESBerlin), MH 824 : Mater M. Engelmunda Morach t (...)

7The question of the Polish western border arose again some weeks later in discussions between the Grey Sisters and male religious from Poland during the « Mostra della Chiesa ». This exhibition, intended to be an act of « homage to the Council », was organised by Don Giacomo Alberione and took place at the « Fiera di Roma » from November, 18th to December, 9th. When the Sisters depicted a map with the congregation’s houses, they followed official presentations in Western Germany and painted the Oder-Neisse Line less thick, thus marked as provisional. The area east of the border was labelled as « under Polish administration » – again official terminology in the Federal Republic of Germany, whereas the German Democratic Republic already in 1950 had formally recognized this « frontier of peace and friendship ». However the Polish religious from the neighbouring stand argued that « this was not a political exhibition » and convinced the sisters to paint over the map. Indeed any solution as to how to design the border and name the problematic areas had political implications and thus the episode is quite telling in relation to the gender (and ecclesiastical) gap between male and female religious. The head of the Italian province, Mater M. Engelmunda Morach, herself born in Wrocław, who reported this episode in a letter to the motherhouse in Reinbek, concluded, that « apart from that the Patres are quite nice to us5 ».

  • 6 AKfZG: Josef Gülden, Mein römisches Tagebuch, Oct 4, 13 and 18, 1962. See Karl-Joseph Hummel, « Der (...)

8During the Council, German-Polish Relations became gradually more important in the Olmata. In 1963, the community was joined by the newly consecrated auxiliary bishop Gerhard Schaffran, who functioned in the « Erzbischöfliches Amt Görlitz », that is in the western part of the archdiocese Breslau-Wrocław now situated in the GDR. Together with Cardinal Bengsch, he drafted the response of the German bishops to the famous letter of reconciliation, written by the bishops from Poland: « We forgive and ask for forgiveness » (18. November 1965). His colleague Spülbeck, also residing at the Olmata and involved in the response, right from the beginning regarded the Council as an opportunity to meet and cooperate with bishops from Poland6.

  • 7 AESBerlin, MH 824: Mater M. Engelmunda Morach to Reverend Mother, Jul 27, 1963.

9That this German-Polish exchange in the Olmata was stimulated by the sisters and the motherhouse in Reinbek is evident on several occasions. The « Chronicle » of the Olmata repeatedly reports that General Superior M. Johanna Schneider travelled from Reinbek to Rome in order to meet ecclesiastical authorities from Poland, among them Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński (Gniezno and Warsaw) and Archbishop Bolesław Kominek (Wrocław). A short exchange of letters between the Roman Superior Mater M. Engelmunda and Reinbek is also rather illuminating. In 1963, a Superior of the Grey Sisters from Poland asked whether the Olmata would accommodate auxiliary bishop Wincenty Urban (diocese of Gniezno since 1960) and his secretary during the session in 1963. As each Council Father from the previous year intended to return, Mater M. Engelmunda felt that she could not, even with the best will, provide two additional rooms. The superiors in Reinbek added a small memorandum to this letter: « Mater Engelmunda was informed by telephone that she has to take up the bishop and the canon7. » In the intense exchange of letters during the Council, this seems to have been the only time when obedience was asked from Mater M. Engelmunda.

10It was the congregation’s charisma and complex history that influenced the mixture of guests in the Olmata. Bishops from both parts of Germany, Silesia and Poland were part of the community and the sisters took all opportunities in order to shape and benefit from this extraordinary place of dialogue. And they were well aware of the historical experience of Vatican II: they reported in lengthy letters details of their work to the motherhouse in Reinbek, sent lists of the guests and invited their superiors to join them in Rome.

Modernization, crossing borders

11Already at the end of the 1950s and beginning of the 1960s, a process of modernization is to be noticed in the congregation of the Grey Sisters. Like many other female religious institutes, the sisters changed their religious habit just before the Council. The challenges of the Council meant a further step in this process, and they were manifested at first in the house itself. In summer 1962, the sisters began the restoration of the chapels (and the installation of two new altars), bought a TV-set and a deep freezer, and prepared a new bathroom. In the following years, technical facilities were gradually improved with new washing machines and a spin dryer.

12Of even greater significance, however, was the process of modernization in the community itself. The sisters, originating usually from both parts of Germany and Silesia, underwent a process of (however cautious) internationalization and increasingly felt the importance that Italian speaking sisters were present in Rome. Furthermore they became more interested in theology, at least in Vatican II and its issues. They participated in the Council’s events, when they attended its festive masses, and via TV, when they watched the « Diario del Concilio » and studied newspapers; they learnt about its discussions in biweekly colloquiums held by their guest Hermann Joseph Weisbender. They celebrated the « success » of Bishop Spülbeck, when Sacrosanctum Concilium was approved and were interested in the reform of the breviary.

13Perhaps the biggest step forward was a new rapport between bishops, clerics and sisters. After the closure of the Council, Bishop Wittler from Osnabrück wrote a letter to thank the sisters in the Olmata: « We will never forget your loving care and generous hospitality […]. In these weeks and months of the Council, I could observe your sisters in the everyday life, their diligence, their joy and gladness, their profound piety. » For Wittler, due to the Council, the sisters had become more visible (today, with fewer and older sisters and with most bishop’s conferences obtaining their own guest houses in Rome, the members of the congregation suffer again from not being visible).

  • 8 Joseph Gülden, Elfriede Kiel (eds), Katholisches Hausbuch. Unser Konzil und aus der Konzilsgeschich (...)

14During the weeks of Vatican II, other bishops even crossed borders that formerly had seemed as insurmountable as the Berlin Wall. Thus Josef Gülden published a black and white-sketch in the catholic yearbook « Unser Konzil und aus der Konziliengeschichte8 ». Two bishops, bearing ambitiously high stacks of plates, and two female religious, astonished and concerned, are to be seen in a kitchen. The subtitle of the sketch reads: « Sometimes bishops even helped with the washing up in a sisters’ house. » It is no coincidence that this scene isn’t documented on a photo and the place/order remains anonymous. This unusual action stands for a new way of cooperation between clerics and sisters that would have seemed impossible only some years before.

15Likewise the sisters crossed borders. On rare and festive occasions, those helping in the dining room were invited to share a glass of champagne in order to celebrate a jubilee, a name day or a success in the Council. The superior was pressed to give her permission (she could not resist concentrated clerical persuasion) and the sisters participated for some minutes in the feast. This however is remembered only in oral tradition – even the historical records of crossing borders are gendered!

Participation in liturgy

16The infrastructural service of the sisters maintained for the bishops and clerics included several arrangements for the Liturgy. During the first three sessions of the Council, as many Masses were said daily in the Olmata as clerics lived there (i.e. usually as many as 26), Mater M. Engelmunda had to provide an additional room as a provisional chapel, organized liturgical vestments and vessels and drew up a timetable for celebrations between 6 and 8 o’clock.

  • 9 ACSSE: Chronik Via dell’Olmata, 1962.

17However, in the last week of 1964, everything changed: « From 16.-20.11 we experienced the great joy of concelebrations in our chapel. Eleven celebrants participated in the liturgy and we sisters were also active with leading the prayers and singing9. » During the « settimana nera » of the Council – its blackest day being the feast of St. Elisabeth –, the Grey Sisters lived a conciliar experience quite contrary to that in the Aula. For the first time in their life, they were « active » participants in the Holy Mass. Bishop Otto Spülbeck had obtained the permission for concelebration in the Sisters’ chapel. Since concelebration as well as communion under both kinds had not been practised for centuries, a new rite had to be formulated. The Consilium ad exsequendam constitutionem de Sacra liturgia therefore adopted new rites for these occasions on June 19, 1964. The rites were celebrated « with best results » in different parts of the world before they became binding in the next year. For clerics and faithful alike these experimental concelebrations often were the first opportunity to perform a renewed liturgy according to the leitmotiv of Sacrosanctum Concilium, participatio actuosa.

18In the Olmata, Weisbender and Gülden organised preparations and a rehearsal, whereas the sisters prepared a sufficient number of liturgical vestments and vessels and furnished the chapel with an altar for the celebration versus populum. In a spontaneous and rather emotional letter to Reinbek, Mater Engelmunda talked about these services and sent a sketch of the newly furnished chapel:

  • 10 AESBerlin, MH 824: Mater M. Engelmunda Morach to Reverend Mother, Rom, 27. November 1964.

Dear Reverend Mother, during the last week of the Council, which has been very turbulent in St Peter’s, we experienced a great joy in our house. Bishop Spülbeck had obtained permission for concelebrations in our chapel. Thus, from Monday to Saturday, we experienced exhilarating celebrations of the mass […]. During the solemn entry of the celebrants, a choir of sisters sang the introitus or it was read by a sister. Each celebrant listened; the introitus wasn’t repeated by the leading bishop. The reading of the sister was completely valid. Then we together prayed the Kyrie and Gloria. […] In the intercessions also, the people living in our house were included. […] The parts sung by the sisters weren’t prayed a second time by the priest; it was valid […]. On the feast of St. Elisabeth, we sang a choral mass. All celebrants sang together with us. During the whole day, we looked forward to the next celebration and from each holy Mass joy radiated throughout the whole day10.

19Mater Engelmunda’s letter is a rare document how the faithful and sisters reacted spontaneously to the liturgical reforms of the Council. Its keywords « valid », « together », « listened » describe a dialogic and democratized liturgy with the sisters as active participants of the liturgical congregation entitled to make their voices heard.

  • 11 Clara Maria Bianchi (ed.), Il postconcilio e la suora. Documentazione relative all’attività di madr (...)

20The Grey Sisters did their very best to render possible and continue this experience. Already in the last intersession, they rearranged their chapel, enlarged the space around the altar (sufficient space for 16 concelebrating priests; indeed the altar area occupies half of the chapel until today) and prepared a new altar table. In a way, they became agents of the liturgical renewal, because several visiting religious experienced their first Masses with the renewed liturgy in the Olmata. Indeed it seems that bishops and clerics deliberately chose the chapels of the sisters in order to practise the reformed liturgy. There, in semi-public surroundings, they met cooperative sisters who provided the necessary equipment, and, more likely than elsewhere in Rome but essential for the new liturgy, a liturgically trained lay congregation. Thus, in 1965, also the liturgical commission of the Council gathered for work and the masses ad experimentum in various languages at the Istituto Santissima Maria Bambina11.

21What impact had the Council on the Grey Sisters of St. Elisabeth? And what influence, however little, had the congregation on the Council? To answer the first question: the Council meant living in a less hierarchical Church where sisters were visible, accepted, estimated for their abundant hospitality, splendid organization and profound piety. This experience was an important step towards the « mature » female religious of whom many Fathers spoke. What influence had the sisters on the Council? First of all, it was the Grey Sisters’ past history and present standing that shaped the specific community of bishops and clerics living in the Olmata. Thus the Olmata became a rather ecumenical and distinguished German-German and German-Polish place of communication, which contributed to the Council as an event. This opportunity, both created and taken advantage of by the sisters themselves, became one piece in the mosaic that rendered possible the letter of reconciliation of the Polish bishops to the German bishops and the German answer at the end of the Council.

Sr. Juliana Thomas, adjc, first German lay auditor

22In 1964, a new guest arrived at Via dell’Olmata: Sr. Juliana Thomas, adjc (1898-1977), secretary general of the Vereinigung der höheren Ordensoberinnen Deutschlands (VHOD, Conference of Major Superiors of Women in Germany) and the first lay auditor from a German speaking country. Within only a few days, she organised her seven weeks stay in Rome where she was met by Mater M. Engelmunda at the airport – the networks of women religious were crucial for such spontaneous flexibility. The networks of her own congregation, the Arme Dienstmägde Jesu Christi, facilitated contacts with several Fathers who had attended the Congregation’s kindergardens and schools, stayed in its hospitals or worked with its sisters. Making Council politics meant for Sr. Juliana meeting with bishops, theologians, lay auditors and non-catholic observers – and sometimes to go beyond the normal habitus of a religious sister. She wrote lengthy letters about the Council to her congregation and summarized its events in an article about being a lay auditor.

Modernization, crossing borders

  • 12 The other women religious were general superiors of their respective congregations and/or president (...)
  • 13 Sr. Juliana Thomas, quoted by Josefa Theresia Münch in the manuscript « Frauen beim Konzil » (Radio (...)
  • 14 Archiv der Armen Dienstmägde Jesu Christi, Dernbach (ADJC): Sr. Juliana Thomas, Letter to her congr (...)
  • 15 Clara Maria Bianchi (ed), Il postconcilio…, p. 41.
  • 16 Piero Doria, « Le Uditrici… », p. 47s.

23In a way, even Sr. Juliana’s appointment to the Council is extraordinary and a clear indication of a certain democratization, this time fostered by the Curia itself: unlike the other women religious, she had never been the head of her congregation or functioned as president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women in Germany but was its secretary general12. However Sr. Juliana was the one who did the work within the Conference and therefore was known in Rome. Seeking accommodation in the Olmata was an obvious choice, as Mater M. Mathildis Küttner from the Grey Sisters had been the former president of the VHOD. Mater M. Engelmunda acted in the role of Sr. Julianas « superior » which meant encouraging her to accept certain privileges such as joining the bishops in bus journeys St. Peter’s. That Sr. Juliana took this opportunity was part of her congregation’s spirituality: during her formation, she had been told « to let herself be used ». During these bus journeys and on other occasions, Sr. Juliana talked to bishops and lay auditors and was thus able « to overcome a number of unspoken prejudices against women and especially women religious13 ». One bishop told her that crossing borders was an essential task of women religious today: « Also sisters should represent the Church’s global unity. Frontiers are to be seen as principles of order, but not as dividing lines14. » This remark seems innocuous enough, but actually indicates a change that came along with the Council. The Italian auditor Mater Costantina Baldinucci remembered times when sisters of different congregations, travelling together for hours, didn’t speak one word to each other for the reason of misconceived obedience15. As a lay auditor, Sr. Juliana initially considered the other women religious as her peer group, but already started making contacts with the lay women and observers and for instance took part in a « groupe de travail » in order to establish a collaboration between religious and lay auditors16. She was well aware that her activities transcended the normal boundaries of the role of sisters: « Participating in [ecumenical] receptions builds bridges. We women religious do not exclude ourselves ». In 1965, when Dr. Gertrud Ehrle from the Catholic German Women’s association arrived as second female lay auditor from Germany, Sr. Juliana intensified her contact with women.

Participation in the work of Vatican II

24The workload Sr. Juliana had to handle was immense. For instance, during the Council’s last week in 1964, she participated in three work groups on Monday, met two bishops and the president of Italian nurses on Tuesday, and was invited to a colloquium with Cardinal Suenens on Wednesday. In her articles, she states that several bishops asked again and again what the lay auditors thought about certain texts, that lay auditors wrote remarks on the freedom of religion, divine revelation and the Church in the Modern World and that lay auditors succeeded in implementing concrete text proposals with regard to Apostolicam Actuositatem, Gaudium et Spes and Perfectae Caritatis.

25Sr. Juliana, like many other lay auditors (and lay Catholics who had not been invited as auditors) reflected on whether the participation of this group was « only symbolic » or not. The answer to this question according to Sr. Juliana was yes and no. In her opinion, lay auditors were representatives of the people of God and therefore a symbol of the Church as it was redefined by Vatican II itself. Through their presence, the auditors demonstrated the importance of the Council to the people of God. Yet, for Sr. Juliana, « symbolic presence » did not mean « passive » presence. In the first place, she stated that lay auditors had participated « fully » in the liturgy and the prayers in St. Peter’s. Like the Grey Sisters, she not only internalized the new attitude of participatio actuosa, but her remark can also be seen as an indication of change within the Church, because in Germany the fact that women had been excluded from attending conciliar Masses in the second session was well known.

  • 17 Archiv des Katholischen Deutschen Frauenbundes, Köln, Ordner Konzil: Sr. Juliana Thomas, Die Laiena (...)

26Furthermore Sr. Juliana described how lay auditors made written or oral comments on schemes of the Council and participated in its commissions. During the intersessions, this work was continued in other places. Again deepened relations between bishops, periti and auditors were noticeable: « The long hours of work in the commissions did not only see active cooperation between the Fathers of the Council, experts and auditors, but also cordial friendship that developed gradually. » She expected that this « cooperation between bishops, priests, religious and lay people in service of the Church » would be continued after the Council, especially in the national, diocesan and parish councils to be established according to Apostolicam Actuositatem. « We are at the beginning of a new epoch of cooperation between all those who belong to the people of God17. »

  • 18 Ibid.

27For the Grey Sisters of St. Elisabeth and their guest Sr. Juliana Thomas, the conciliar experience included crossing former boundaries: between women religious and clerics, women religious of different orders, women religious and lay women, and Christian denominations. They lived this experience in a Church that was becoming increasingly international and global. As members of the people of God – a notion dear to Sr. Juliana –, they not only were active participants in the renewed liturgy of the Eucharist; as women religious they also became more visible through being hosts, living together with the Council Fathers for long periods and shaping a specific place of communication influenced by the congregation’s past history and present reality. As lay auditors they contributed to the work of the Council itself and felt themselves obliged to be ambassadors of the Council: « The Holy Father himself said that the auditores in St. Peter’s should be locutores elsewhere. The extraordinary experience they were allowed to have and live does indeed commit them to speak in the right moment, and – everybody in his or her own way – not only to be a witness of the “world” within the Council but to be a witness of the singular event of the Council within the “world”18 ».

Notes

1 People in Silesia used to call the members of the Congregation « Grey Sisters », because they wore a grey hat; today the sisters call themselves « Schwestern von der hl. Elisabeth ». See Johannes Mertens, Geschichte der Kongregation der Schwestern von der heiligen Elisabeth, 1842-1992, Reinbek, Katholische Wohltätigkeitsanstalt zur Heiligen Elisabeth, 1998. Many thanks to Johannes Mertens, Berlin, and Sr. M. Monica Profunser, Rome, for their support in the archives of the Congregation. All the documents quoted in this contribution are published in Regina Heyder and Gisela Muschiol (eds), Katholikinnen und das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Konzilseingaben, Berichte und Briefe, Fotografien. Edition und Kommentar, Münster, Aschendorff, 2015.

2 Archivio Suore di Santa Elisabetta, Roma (ACCSE): Chronik Via dell’Olmata, 1962.

3 Unità, Oct 16, 1962, 3: « Il discorso dell’8 ottobre: Questo ha detto il Papa ai vescovi di Polonia »; Unità, Oct 14, 1962, 1: « Sull’inviolabilità dei confini – Discorso del Papa: vasta eco in Polonia ».

4 Archiv Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Bonn (AKfZG): Josef Gülden, Mein römisches Tagebuch, Oct. 15 and 25, 1962.

5 Archiv Elisabethschwestern, Berlin-Schlachtensee (AESBerlin), MH 824 : Mater M. Engelmunda Morach to Mater M. Mathildis Küttner, Nov 16, 1962.

6 AKfZG: Josef Gülden, Mein römisches Tagebuch, Oct 4, 13 and 18, 1962. See Karl-Joseph Hummel, « Der Heilige Stuhl, deutsche und polnische Katholiken 1945-1978 », Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 45, 2005, p. 195-206.

7 AESBerlin, MH 824: Mater M. Engelmunda Morach to Reverend Mother, Jul 27, 1963.

8 Joseph Gülden, Elfriede Kiel (eds), Katholisches Hausbuch. Unser Konzil und aus der Konzilsgeschichte, Leipzig, St. Benno Verlag, 1963.

9 ACSSE: Chronik Via dell’Olmata, 1962.

10 AESBerlin, MH 824: Mater M. Engelmunda Morach to Reverend Mother, Rom, 27. November 1964.

11 Clara Maria Bianchi (ed.), Il postconcilio e la suora. Documentazione relative all’attività di madre Costantina Baldinucci come uditrice al Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II nella III e IV sessione, San Giuliano Milanese, Scuola Tipografia S. Benedetto, 1967, p. 38.

12 The other women religious were general superiors of their respective congregations and/or presidents of national unions of women religious. See Piero Doria, « Le Uditrici del Vaticano II nell’Archivio e negli Acta », in Marinella Perroni, Alberto Melloni, Serena Noceti (eds.), Tantum aurora est. Donne e Concilio Vaticano II, Wien-Zürich-Berlin-Münster, LIT Verlag, 2012, p. 33-65; Adriana Valerio, Madri del Concilio. Ventitre donne al Vaticano II, Roma, Carocci, 2012.

13 Sr. Juliana Thomas, quoted by Josefa Theresia Münch in the manuscript « Frauen beim Konzil » (Radio broadcast « Aus der christlichen Welt », Südwestfunk, Nov 3, 1964).

14 Archiv der Armen Dienstmägde Jesu Christi, Dernbach (ADJC): Sr. Juliana Thomas, Letter to her congregation, Oct. 4, 1964. Many thanks to Ulrich Keller and Sr. Simone Weber for their assistance in the archive. See Regina Heyder, « Sr. Juliana Thomas (1898-1977) und Gertrud Ehrle (1897-1985) », in Lebendiges Zeugnis, 68/4, 2013, p. 283-289.

15 Clara Maria Bianchi (ed), Il postconcilio…, p. 41.

16 Piero Doria, « Le Uditrici… », p. 47s.

17 Archiv des Katholischen Deutschen Frauenbundes, Köln, Ordner Konzil: Sr. Juliana Thomas, Die Laienauditorin im Konzil (typed manuscript, Jan. 1966).

18 Ibid.

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Universität Bonn

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