Mother Speranzina Morelli

 

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The General Chapter which met during the 1950 Holy Year elected Mother Speranzina Morelli as its fourth Superior General. She was born in Verdello, Italy, on July 21, 1901, and entered the Congregation on October 16, 1920. Mother Speranzina was a missionary and local superior in the Aegean Islands for many years. Her leadership ability, her uncommon energy and resourcefulness were evident during the difficult years of World War II. She and her coworkers earned not only the praise of Church authorities but also recognition by the Italian War Department. After all religious were expelled from the Aegeans, she returned to Italy and was named Provincial Councillor in Milano and Superior of a children's residential school in that city until her election as Superior General. Mother Speranzina had the delicate task of leading the Congregation through the post-war period. This was a period of growth and increased missionary activity and Mother Speranzina guided the Congregation with an enlightened mind and a sure and steady hand. In 1957 she established the Province of Parana, Brazil, with provincial seat at Curitiba. In 1966 she dissolved the Province of Central-Southern Italy, forming from it two new Provinces, Central Italy, with the Provincialate in Avezzano and Southern Italy, with the Provincialate in Bari. Mother Speranzina enthusiastically accepted the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. She quickly put into effect the conciliar guidelines for the appropriate renewal of religious life. In January, 1966, she set in motion the preparations for a Special General Chapter and convened an Extraordinary Assembly in Rome. In all of this she encouraged the collaboration and participation of the Sisters. Most importantly Mother Speranzina initiated the research to rediscover the authentic charism given by the Holy Spirit to Mother Clelia for the good of the entire Church. Those initiatives bore fruit. In 1967 the Congregation obtained permission to regain its original title: Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That same year the first of Fr. Luigi Castano's works on Mother Clelia's spirituality was published. In 1968 Mother Speranzina led the General Chapter as it wrote a new text of the Constitutions "ad experimentum". After having guided the Congregation with remarkable competence for eighteen years, Mother Speranzina Morelli was named Superior of Cor Jesu Convent in Milano in September 1968. She died there after a brief illness on October 27. 1973.

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