Febuary 2011, Vol. XXXI, No. 2
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters
Art of Sr. Agnes Paul, SSpS
“I am with you always even to the end of the world.” (Matt 28:20)
God is with Us
n January, we celebrated the feasts of St. Arnold and St. Joseph Freinademitz. In February, we celebrate the death anniversary of Blessed Maria Stollenwerk and Mother Mary Michael. These were four human persons who laid the foundation of our Arnoldus Family on the solid rock of deep faith in God’s abiding presence and action in our lives. Yes, God is in our hearts and we are in God’s heart. Their lives and their accomplishments were rooted in God’s promise: “I am with you always.” The greatest obstacle to prayer is to pray as though God were absent. Overwhelming problems come in our relationships when we engage with one another as though God were not trying to encounter us through one another. Our ministry is fruitless unless the life-giving Spirit is flowing through all our efforts. Our coming Assembly/ Chapter also is not only about our own efforts and discussions, but it is something much greater: the loving power and guidance of the Risen Lord and His Spirit moving us forward as a Province. Our preparations for the Assembly/Chapter can be done with different conscious or unconscious intentionality: 1. “It’s all our work and effort.” This gives little openness to the greater power of God’s wisdom always within and around us. This myth lacks faith and impoverishes our efforts.
(continued from page 1) 2. “It’s all God’s and others’ work.” Why should I get involved? They’ll take care of it. I have nothing to offer. This myth also lacks faith in God’s presence in you urging you to greater care and responsibility. It, too, impoverishes the efforts of the whole. 3. “It’s God and us doing this together.” We are doing this together and I know God wants to work with, in and through all of us, including me. This is a conviction of faith and arouses our best efforts and generosity. In our Assembly/Chapter preparations and in all our prayer, relationships in community and ministry may we be rooted in God’s promise: “I am with you always.” Sr. Carol Welp, SSpS
After their long journey, Sr. Monica, Zhang Yan Ling and Sr. Philippa, Chen Jin Xiu arrived on January 14. They stayed with us in Techny for a couple of days and then went to their new home and mission to study language in Epworth.
Sr. Monica Mabel Balbuena will finish her ministry at Franciscan Outreach on February 4. Then she will get ready to begin her Master’s in Business Administration. She needs to take some prerequisite courses and some tests, but eventually will be studying in New York and joining our community there. Sr. Julita Bele Bau left for her mission in St. Kitts on January 24. On her arrival, she was so happy to be home with the coconut palms again.
Visitors Srs. Monica and Philippa, here at last!
Other News Sr. Dinah Marie Aguirre has finished her 30day retreat. Now her group of tertians will leave on February 1 for three weeks to a combined program with the SVD seminarians preparing for their final vows. Thanks for your prayers and support.
We are expecting Sr. Petra Bigge, SSpS, Mission Secretary, for a visit from February 15-20. After February 20 she will be in our New York community doing an internship with VIVAT until April 1. Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann, SSpS, our Congregational Leader, will be visiting our Province. She arrives from Bolivia on the night of February 28 and leaves us on March 31 to return to Rome via Spain.
For Your Prayerful Remembrance Please pray for our deceased: We had three funerals of beloved persons in one week: Anita Scharf, Sr. Priscilla’s sister, died on January 12 in North Carolina, where a funeral Mass was said on January 24. All her children and grandchildren were present as was Sr. Priscilla. Anita will be buried in Arlington Cemetery beside her husband on February 8. Petra Garza, sister of Sr. Therese Mary Martinez, died suddenly on January 16 in Dallas. Her wake and funeral were on January 19 and 20. Sr. Therese Mary was able to be there. Our former Sr. Cicily Pannackal from India died very suddenly on January 16. She was in Sr. Gretta Fernandes’ class. Sr. Gretta and several Sisters were able to attend her wake and funeral on January 19 and 20.
News from the Grayslake Srs. Agathe Bramkamp and Salud Osornio attended a lecture by Margareth Swedish with the topic "Faith and the Ecological Crisis: The Spiritual Dimension of the New Human Journey." Swedish pointed out that a new spirituality and consciousness is emerging in many communities in the world seeing the role of "the human within the earth and the earth within the cosmos." In her book: Living beyond the "End of the world , a Spirituality of Hope (Orbis, 2008) Swedish proposes the spirituality of the loaves and fishes, as an apt reflection for living in a world of scarcity, a spirituality that can begin to shape our responses to such a world. Sr. Agathe Bramkamp
The Blizzard of 2011
Thaddeus Boucree, SVD, (Southern Province) died January 27 at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Born in 1924, he professed vows in 1945 and was ordained in 1952. Please pray for our sick: Srs. Mary Pardy, Juanita Izo, Martha Fass, Mariella Plenter, Angelinda Stoetzel and Agnes Marie Crabb all had some very bad days in January, but are getting better again. Sr. Marie Louise Jilk and Sr. Mary Winkler also appreciate prayers for a complete recovery. And… hopefully, all the Sisters in your community are joining the Sisters in Maria Hall in praying for our upcoming Chapter/Assembly.
Convent “Snow Angel” Mike Bogard tackles the falling snow.
Over the next few months, the bulletin will highlight the mission of individual houses in the U.S. Province. This month, we feature the community in Waukegan. The Holy Spirit Sisters moved into 606 Willow Court residence on February 1, 1982 after purchasing the house. It became a house of formation and began receiving young women who were interested in the missionary way of life. Later on, the formation house was moved to another area. The work of the Waukegan community eventually evolved into our present ministries to the poor and the immigrant. The following is our story here in a fast changing population which is now 87% Hispanic. We, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, have been called by God from different cultures to be disciples of Jesus Christ and share our life in mission together. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we collaborate with dedicated laity and clergy. We live and proclaim the Good News of God’s love, justice and peace among the immigrant, the poor and marginalized. We work especially with the students at the Academy of our Lady, the Faith Formation Program at St. Dismas, the Religious Program at the Most Blessed Trinity Parish, the SPRED program, and with the sick and the elderly in a nursing home. Srs. Helen Marie Yokel, Yuliana Meno, Socorro Rodriguez and Xaveriana
Our residents include: Sr. Xaveriana Ngene, who as a young missionary from Flores, Indonesia, was appointed to the U.S Province and first experienced the life of a missionary in Antigua and St. Kitts. As a young, zealous, and fearless missionary, Sr. Xaveriana embraced the people with her whole heart. Now, every Tuesday evening one can find her teaching the young in the RCIC program at Most Blessed Trinity Parish. This year she has twenty-five students ranging from nine to seventeen years, who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation this coming Easter. All the students are of Latino background and know English because they were born in the U.S. Sister finds that they are anxious to learn about God and to grow in their faith. Also, every Friday afternoon Sr. Xaveriana has a communion service for a group of people in a nursing home. The residents there come together to sing, pray, and share their faith with one another. But, most of all, they are nourished and strengthened by receiving our Eucharistic Lord. For those residents who are unable to attend the communion service, Sr. Xaveriana visits and brings Holy Communion to them in their rooms. She finds that the people are very open to sharing their problems with her. A lover of music, Sr. Xaveriana is a member of the parish choir. Along with Sr. Yuliana Meno, they rotate every Sunday singing in three churches which comprise Most Blessed Trinity Parish. Desiring to develop her skills as a missionary, Sr. Xaveriana has enrolled as a full time student at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Community College. Studying in a language not her own can be very challenging, but like everything else she does, Sr. Xaveriana has applied herself wholeheartedly and is determined to someday, in the near future, be a social service worker. Sr. Helen Marie Yockel, as an elder, enjoys living in a cross-cultural community that is young, energetic, and loving. She finds that their enthusiasm is a constant reminder of her missionary call to spread the Good News of Jesus. She attempts to do this is by being involved in the Faith Formation Program at St. Dismas, her parish. There is never a dull moment in her class of eleven young folks and she is always being surprised. One surprise came just before Christmas when Sister was telling the account of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The students appeared to be listening attentively, or at least that’s what she thought. However, she learned differently when she was taking time to review what she had taught earlier, “Where was Jesus
born?” she asked one youngster. “California,” came the reply. That certainly would have been great if Jesus had been born in California, receiving a lot of loving care and attention that both he and his mother deserved. Her answer was immediately followed by a hail of shouts of “Bethlehem!” from her classmates. Well, at least most of the students were paying attention. The saying goes that it is always good to keep on learning, no matter how old one gets. Sr. Helen Marie has taken that saying to heart by assisting members of her community from other countries with their studies and helping them to improve their English. Gaining information from the different subjects the Sisters are taking in the College of Lake County has been very informative and interesting. Living with the young has its challenges, but Sr. Helen Marie has found that it keeps her young at heart.
Sr. Yuliana and students
Sr. Xaveriana and nursing home residents
Sr. Yuliana Meno brings her skills as a teacher from Indonesia. She joined our Waukegan community in 2008. Her desire to bring the love and knowledge of God to the young led her to the Academy of Our Lady, one of two Catholic elementary schools in Waukegan. It was very helpful when Sr. Gladys Smith, whose place Sr. Yuliana was taking, introduced her to life at the Academy. Like all young zealous missionaries, Sr. Yuliana embraced her new position as the religious education coordinator at the Academy of our Lady from Monday to Friday. Sr. Yuliana also prepares students to receive the sacraments of Initiation. Also, she instructs the second graders who are preparing to make their first Holy Communion this coming Spring and the eighth graders who will be confirmed. Besides her ministry at the Academy, every Tuesday evening Sr. Yuliana volunteers as a pre-confirmation catechist. This she enjoys very much. However, what brings her the most satisfaction is being involved in the SPRED program. She assists handicapped persons with an activity which helps them to know and love God according to their capability. Recently, Sr. Yuliana has been attending Oakton Community College where she is preparing to take the TOEFL exam. Whatever Sr. Yuliana undertakes as a missionary, she does with love, compassion and joy. Sr. Socorro Rodriguez joined our small community on January 16, 2011. Sister came from Mexico to learn English and to become involved in pastoral work. She recently completed a year’s study of English at the Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa. Sr. Socorro is now working with Sr. Stela Maris Martins in the Most Blessed Trinity Religious Education Program which has over 1,000 candidates. Sr. Socorro also continues her English studies at the College of Lake County. On February 1, 2011 our community at 606 Willow Court will be celebrating twenty-nine years in Waukegan. From a strictly all-American community in the beginning, we have become a very international one. When Sr. Stela Maris joins our community in March, our community will represent four different countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the U.S.A. By the witness we give, we strive to be God’s ambassadors of peace in a world of strife so that our Waukegan people may come to know the joy and harmony of loving God. Sr. Helen Marie Yokel
News from New York On January 31, I will start a full time ministry at Our Lady of the Angels working in the parish and school as a coordinator of religious education. It is an open door, not only for me, but for us and our ministry in New York. I was sent to New York particularly to find such ministry for the SSpS there. It has not been an easy journey. My experience in New York has not been like Chicago, Epworth or Waukegan where every door was open for ministry.
for Confirmation. In Notre Dame Academy I assisted in grades one and two. There I taught a religion class and helped with students with special difficulties, e.g., dyslexia. At the Recycle Center, “Surewecan,” I assisted people who collect cans in the street and sell them to the center. Every Thursday I was there with the Hispanic, Polish, African-American people who value every penny. They need 500 cans to get five cents. Many times when I went to bed at night, I remembered these people of the street and the Sister working with them.
Let me tell you of my experience from April 2010 until January 2011 searching for a ministry. I visited different parishes, sent in resumes to some parishes and was called for an interview a few times. The interviews gave me a lot of hope, but afterwards there was silence. During these times I could identify with the immigrant who comes back home at night tired and with empty hands.
I am thankful for all these experiences. I needed a lot of patience, but all has been valuable. And I continue to hope in God, our Blessed Mother and Mother Leonarda that our missionary ministry in New York will be fruitful. Sr. Gladys Smith, SSpS
Then for awhile I offered myself as a volunteer. In St. Brigid’s Parish I taught Joseph, a child with special needs. He is seven years old and is paralyzed and is unable to speak or walk. It was a great experience for him, me and his family when Msgr. Kelly confirmed him.
On January 29, the Religious of the Memphis Diocese gathered with Bishop Terry Steib, SVD, DD, to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life. Those religious celebrating Jubilees were given a special blessing from all present. The Jubilarians this year were three religious women: Sr. Eileen Fucito, C.P., 50 years; Sr. Grace Saia, S.C.N., 60 years; and Sr. Rose Martin Glenn, S.Sp.S., 50 years.
In Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish I taught a group preparing for First Holy Communion and another preparing
News from Memphis
Sr. Monica Darrichon and Fr. Carlos Monroy-Paniagua, S.V.D. will give a Diocesan Course entitled "Catholic Religion and Others" at St. Joseph Catholic Church every Wednesday in February. Sr. Rose Martin Glenn will again be a preceptor for 84 hours to a BSN University of Memphis student. Sr. Rose Martin Glenn
Peace and Justice News The SSpS-SVD-SSpSAP Joint Venture on Immigration organized the second Prayer Day for Immigrants – Christians at the Border at the SVD Residence at Techny on January 24, 2011. Fr. Van Thanh Nguyen, SVD, presented two sessions on “Immigration in the Old Testament and the Implication for Today” and “Jesus as Sojourner: The Implication for Today”. The movie “Dying to Live, A Migrant’s Journey” was shown. There was a response from a panel consisting of Sr. Salud Osornio from Mexico, Rebecca David from Sudan, Fr. Lukas Batmomolin, SVD, from Indonesia and Fr. Anthony Nguyen, SVD, from Vietnam. It was an engaging day for all of learning, reflecting, sharing and praying.
Fr. Van Thanh Nguyen
Rebecca David and Sr. Salud
LCWR Anti-Trafficking Network With this in mind the LCWR Region 8 took up the reality of human trafficking, and a netEach year: 18,000 to 20,000 men, women and children are trafficked into the U.S.* 2 million people are trafficked worldwide 27 million people are enslaved around the world $9 billion dollar business * Figures are according to the U.S. Department of State work of women religious in the Chicago area are meeting to see what concretely can be done to educate, to prevent and to act on behalf of the victims of human trafficking. Sr. Rose Therese Nolta is participating on the part of our province. The group is called the LCWR Anti-Trafficking Network. We promoted the celebration of the Human Awareness Day and are studying other concrete ways to act together to make a difference. 7
JPIC SSpS USA
the main subject of the day, but the point I want to share is that during the last minutes when I talked with some of the participants, I felt so happy to hear them and to see all people working together - young people, women and men of all ages. Their faces were full of hope.”
Standing with Families Sr. Xaveriana Ngene, Sr. Socorro Lopez Rodriguez, Sr. Angelica Chavol, Sr. Salud Osornio, Rebecca David, Heather Hovasse and Sr. Rose Therese Nolta attended on January 1516, a 2-day conference on Deportation 101: Standing with Families at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Melrose Park, Illinois. It was organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in order to give a better understanding of the deportation process, Secure Communities, and what can be done to protect families. Over 260 people participated. Each day 1100 households and families are wrecked by deportation. While we continue our fight for federal immigration reform, more must be done to protect, defend, serve, and lift up the voices of these families. Sr. Salud said, “I just want to say thank you for inviting me last week to DEPORTATION 101. Education was
Rebecca reflected the following: “I learned that the immigrants suffer when police come after them and knock at their doors at night to ask them to show their papers or sign papers … But I also learned that most of the immigrants have confidence, and even though they are arrested and feel unwanted they are still strong. They encourage one another to contact their neighbors if they are taken…. I am with them in prayer.” Sr. Xaveriana and Sr. Socorro wrote: “We heard and learned many new things that are happening in this country. This workshop helped us to become more aware of how human rights are being violated in this country. We are surprised to hear that the police and ICE are arresting people in their homes early in the morning. Many people do not know what to do if they face this situation. Through this, we realized that we need to share this information with the people around us … so they will be able to prepare and to be more aware if it happens to them.
Last Saturday, Sr. Socorro gave a talk to about fifty parents whose children are in the religious education program. During the break, she also shared part of our workshop -- what they should do if they get stopped or arrested by the police. She asked them to sign up for another meeting if they were interested in hearing more about this and many signed up. We will plan with Carmen Patlan â€Śto meet with these parents again.
Immigration and Our Call To Be Stewards of God's Love Last Thursday, January 21, the quiet college town of Ellensburg, Washington, was shaken to its core as immigration officials carried out an early morning raid on three predominantly Latino/a mobile home parks in the community, culminating in the arrest and detention of 30 individuals. Reports from Ellensburg citizens painted a shocking and horrifying picture, detailing helicopters and armed officials descending on the town. Sixteen of those arrested are being held at a detention center on immigration violations. Another fourteen made initial court appearances Friday, charged with the use of false documentation or fraudulently claiming U.S. citizenship. Of these fourteen individuals, thirteen are women--one of whom is several months pregnant. The sole male in this group is a longtime pastor of a local church. According to a statement issued by ICE officials, the 'investigation' is centered on the manufacture and purchase of counterfeit identity and employment documents. However, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice, none of the individuals being detained has yet been charged.
In the wake of a raid which has left numerous children without parents to care for them and countless students and young people gripped by the perpetual terror of uncertainty for their future, we are especially called to reflect on the ways in which the policies of our government and the attitudes of our citizens impact the lives of minor migrants and refugees. Prayer: God of all people, grant us vision to see your presence in our midst, especially in immigrants. Give us courage to open the door to our neighbors and grace to build a society of justice. Amen. Study: MESSAGE FROM BENEDICT XVI for the 96th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2010) http://www.usccb.org/mrs/2010Message WorldDayMigrantsRefugees.pdf Act: Advocate for change to U.S. immigration policy: Call or write to your Members of Congress urging them to enact humane and equitable immigration reform. Capital Switchboard:T.(202) 234-3121 (Adapted from a Pax Christi alert) Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS