Celebration of Arnold’s Family Day
January 16, 2022
Last Sunday, January 16th, we had the joy of receiving Sister Maria Magdalena Kruse, Superior General of the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (SSpSAP), also known as the Pink Sisters because of the color of the habit they wear. We were also happy to have the participation of the Superior General of the Congregation of the Divine Word, Fr. Paulus Budi Kleden and several members of the SVD General Council.
With the Saint Arnold family well represented, we began the day with the celebration of the Mass which was broadcast live and can be accessed on the Congregational YouTube channel. The mass was concelebrated by Fathers José Antunes da Silva (Vice Superior General), Xavier Thirukudumbam and Eryk Koppa. Brother Guy Mido Mazola was also present.
The entire morning was spent sharing with Sr. Maria Magdalena, Fr. Budi, the SVD Councilors and two lay “Mission Companions” who participated online through Zoom. Each of them shared important aspects of the mission and how collaboration with the SSpS missionaries is happening.
SSpS of Perpetual Adoration
Sr. Maria Magdalena explained that they are a small congregation of just over 300 sisters in 22 convents, distributed in different countries. She shared that some convents are no longer able to maintain perpetual adoration every night because of the small number and aging of the sisters. In some places, they are joined by lay people who take turns with them in adoration.
Since their last General Chapter in 2019, they are making some changes and reflecting on a more updated formation program. The sisters can now use Skype to communicate with family and some use the Internet for language studies. Aware that the digital culture has a strong influence on people, they use it with discernment to maintain a contemplative life.
She also said that they are looking into how to collaborate with the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Network, and what she can guarantee is that they will continue to pray daily for the mission of the Arnoldus Family.
Collaboration between SVD and SSpS
Fr. Budi introduced the sharing of the SVD General Council with a reflection based on the General Chapter theme, “Immersed in the life of the Trinity, transforming the world with compassion” (link) and invited his team to present some areas where SVD and SSpS work together.
They highlighted the joint work especially in relation to Spirituality, Interculturality, Vivat International and JPIC, but recalled that there are several other initiatives taking place in the provinces and regions, such as formation of new members, vocation animation and several others.
As for Spirituality, a long way has already been accomplished and new ones are opening up with the restructuring of the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center, which is now called Arnold Janssen Spirituality Network. This already has a core team with 2 SVD and 2 SSpS members. Also, the Vivat Deus Spirituality website is growing as a joint project.
Statement of the Missionary Companions
The participation of two representatives of the lay groups that are part of the SSpS mission was very significant. Their sharing helped the members to reflect on our relationship with various mission partners. In preparation for the Chapter, in January 2020, they participated in a meeting in Rome with representatives from various countries. There they discussed their mission and role with the SSpS Sisters.
Online participants were Juan Matias Voltarel from Argentina, and Richar González from Paraguay. Both have a history of commitment to the Congregation through their work in schools, but also in living the spirituality and in missionary work.
In the document they prepared during the meeting in Rome, they present themselves as Companions of Mission and explain the meaning of this; since they feel part of the Congregation, they are nourished by our spirituality and participate with us in mission.
They also shared their desire for empowerment and mission networking at regional, provincial, continental and intercontinental levels, participation in decision-making processes and further formation within the SSpS charism and spirituality.
The meeting of the Arnoldus Family continued with a panel in which the capitulars addressed questions to the guests, deepening the topics discussed. In the afternoon, the chapter members had free time for rest and personal reflection.