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Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for Americ

47 Jahresbericht des Bethanienvereins


The

regulations touching the training and duties of the sisters are similar to those of Kaiserswerth. Two years of probation are required, part of which is devoted to practical work under the superintendence of an older deaconess. The rules of daily life are much the same; a quiet half hour of prayer and meditation is strongly urged, and the same freedom in control of personal property and withdrawal from the office exists. It is pleasant to record that our deaconesses have secured to themselves such good report for their usefulness that the city officials in Germany accord to them the free use of steamboats and street-cars; and the Prussian government does the same for roads that are under State control.

The Bethany Society of the German Methodists is self-supporting and is independent of the Conference, save only that the board of direction is composed of Methodist preachers chosen by the Conference. Each of the homes at the five stations has also its board of control, made up of the inspector, the pastor in charge, and the head sister. The inspector is a member of the Conference, but has no appointment, as his whole time is devoted to the duty of superintendence. Last year the society took the further step of deciding that henceforth the deaconesses should not be sent, as heretofore, to outside hospitals or other institutions to complete their training, but should be given the advantages they require at our own homes. Owing to this decision only

six probationers can be received for the coming year, and others who have made application to enter must wait their turn.

The German Methodist Church, the daughter of American Methodism, anticipated the parent Church in utilizing the womanly gifts and services of deaconesses as members of her aggressive forces, and furnished it a very helpful and stimulating example.

[47] _Jahresbericht des Bethanienvereins_, 1884, Bremen. [48] _Der Christliche Apologete_, article by Rev. G. Hausser, September 20, 1888. [49] _Jahresbericht_, 1888, page 8.

CHAPTER IX.

DEACONESSES IN PARIS.

When in Paris we visited the deaconess establishment on the Rue de Reuilly, and had the pleasure, ever to be remembered, of seeing the institution in all its workings under the guidance of Mademoiselle Sara Monod, the daughter of Adolphe Monod; members of a family that have been Protestants of the Protestants in the annals of France. We examined with some degree of thoroughness the different departments, and saw them in the busy working hours, when the full activities of the great establishment were in exercise.

In addition to the information and reports then secured I am under further obligation to Mademoiselle Monod for other material lately received, among which is a pamphlet entitled _Une Visite a la Maison de Diaconesses_, by Madame W. Monod, "the worthy daughter of one of the founders, and the worthy wife of one of the present chaplains of the institution." I have translated freely from this in the following pages, as it is pervaded by a tone of intimate knowledge, and nothing can take the place of the long years of close personal relation that make this little book so fresh and attractive in its recital.


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