March 2011, Vol. XXXI, No. 3
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters
lessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. ) Who are such people who see God? The pure of heart are those who have no stumbling blocks in their heart and are able to love God wholeheartedly and their neighbor as themselves. From this essential purity of heart flow actions of mercy, comfort, and compassion. The pure of heart are those who are poor in spirit and walk gently and non-violently upon our earth. Lent is an opportune time to co-operate with the Holy Spirit, by allowing God to cleanse us of all that is not pure within our hearts. We need to recognize and bring to the Spirit for healing all that blocks us from having open and pure hearts:
Create in me,
O Lord, a clean heart.
Our anxious hearts, hearts that are so full of our self pre-occupations that there is no room for care and compassion for others. Our lustful hearts, looking always for pleasure and gratification. Even our prayer and friendships can be blocked, with the lustful heart seeking gratifying results just for ourselves, from God and others. In the lustful heart there is no patience for the needs and expectations of others. Our competitive hearts, needing to be better or more than the others. This disconnects us with our center, where we are who we are, not more than or less than anyone else. Our resentful hearts, full of the evaluations and judgments we project on others. If we can let these go, we let go of the source of much of our anger and many of our grievances. (continued on page 2)
(continued from page 1) If we allow the Spirit to cleanse our hearts during this Lenten Season, our hearts will become more grateful than resentful, more patient than impatient, more humble than competitive, more self forgetful than self pre-occupied, more free than compulsive, more calm than restless and rushed, and more pure than cluttered. The pure of heart are women of shalom, women of mercy, women of unconditional love. The pure of heart can witness to God’s love in our world because they see God everywhere: in the poor, in the grandeur of creation, in their ministry and in the sisters of their community. We want to be women open to God and to one another so we can pray as Mother Josepha, “ My heart is ready, O Lord, my heart is ready.” Mother Josepha had the single-mindedness of desiring only that her life be used for the spreading of the Good News. Such is the blessedness of having a pure heart. Sr. Carol Welp, SSpS
Sr. Maria Theresia’s Visit
Sr. Petra’s Visit
We are honored, pleased and blessed to have Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann, our Congregational Leader, with us in the Province. She will be visiting all the communities and so will pretty well be having a flying visit through the USA and the Caribbean. Sr. Maria Theresia arrived on Monday evening, February 28, coming from the catastrophe in Bolivia. Both our SSpS and SVD Provincial Houses were damaged (probably permanently) in the mudslides. We keep one in spirit and prayer with our Sisters and the people there! Sister will be with us until March 31. Sr. Carol
Our province was happy to welcome Sr. Petra Bigge, our JPIC/Mission Secretary from Rome, who came for a visit to Techny, February 15- 20. It was a joy to have her with us these days when she had an opportunity to see some of our ministries in the Chicago area. We are grateful that she could share with us about her experience in Sudan as well as Ecuador and the World Social Forum in Senegal. Her missionary spirit and enthusiasm was inspiring and uplifting. She left us to go to New York until the beginning of April. In New York she is participating in the 55th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations and will be at VIVAT International for the remainder of the time.
A community gathering to welcome Sr. Maria Theresia
Sr. Petra visiting with Letitia and Sr.Therese Mary Martinez at Little Mexico
For Your Prayerful Remembrance Please pray for our deceased:
Peace and Justice News Chicago Clean Power Ordinance
Lynne A. Grossart, who died at age 65. She was the beloved soul mate for 23 years of Horst Reiter, our cook in Techny for over 10 years. She was also a friend to several of our Sisters. Please pray for our sick: Sr. AnnIta Walsh’s sister, Rene, RSI, who is dying in Ireland. She is preparing her funeral liturgy with such faith. Sr. Mary Winkler’s brother-in-law, Werner who is in the hospital and critically ill with bronchial asthma and for her niece’s son, Karl, who is on drugs and can’t be located. Sr. Vincent Wolff’s brother, Chuck, who has a bone cancer, a type of white blood cell present in bone marrow. Sr Francetta Kunkel’s niece, Rose, who is receiving treatment for Leukemia. Sr. Mary Helen Sullivan’s sister, Bernice, who is in the hospital and her husband, Bob, who is also not well. Sr. Betty Tranel’s brother, Ned Tranel, who has an incurable rare disease. Lillian Sebo, our nurse in Maria Hall, who is recovering from removal of an enlarged lymph node.
A supporter of the ordinance
Chicago public health and environmental organizations and grassroots community groups celebrated Valentine’s Day together at a City Council press conference and an ad hoc hearing called by 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, chief sponsor of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. Sr. Rose Therese Nolta attended the press conference and hearing where testimony was presented from doctors, environmental leaders, faith leaders, scientists, parents, students and community activists concerning the environmental and health impacts associated with the operation of Fisk and Crawford coal-plants in Pilsen and Little Village which are among the oldest and dirtiest in the nation. Over 200 people were present.
Keep also our sick and ailing Sisters in your heart and in prayer as they do you. ***** Ministry, briefly noted: Sr. Elwira Dziuk participated in a Busy Students Retreat February 20-24 at Northwestern University. It was attended
3 Ald. Joe Moore addresses the group.
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 Grayslake. Today I read in the Chicago Tribune that the city of Chicago lost 200 000 people within the last decade. The city’s suburbs swelled and expanded greatly during this time. There seems to be plenty of space to expand; it is nice to have a big lawn in front of your house and a private backyard. The city is noisy, there is heavy traffic everywhere and pollution comes with the deal. Parts of the city look run down and are crowded. Some, of course, are ritzy and exclusive neighborhoods. But the suburbs have the attraction of better schools and all kinds of better services. Poor people, usually, cannot afford to move to the suburbs. And now we are sitting in the suburbs. How did that happen? Well, the Formation Community was housed in a big building on the north side of Chicago. That building needed repair and restructuring badly. Luckily we had a place to go, a one family house in the northwest suburbs, in the village of Grayslake. There is space for five persons here. Let me introduce to you the members of our formation family: Sr. Edel Maria Deong and her postulant Rebecca Chaan David, Sr. Agathe Bramkamp and our first year novice Sr. Salud Osornio, and Sr. Stela Maris Martin, a junior sister, borrowed from the community in Waukegan. This month, on March 12 to be exact, our second year novice, Sr. Uloma Akpa, will return from her apostolic experience in St. Kitts and join our community again. Then Stela Maris will return to the community in Waukegan. During the month of June and July 2010 we emptied that big house in Chicago to move into this lovely space on a quiet street, with nice neighbors on both sides of us and a strip of park with big trees on the other side of the street. Come June 2011 we will be busy again with our move back to the city.
Novice Sr. Salud Osornio, Sr. Stela Maris Martins, Sr. Agathe Bramkamp, Pre-Novice Rebecca Chaan David and Sr. Edel Maria Deong
But in the meantime we get acquainted with the big and lively parish of St. Gilbert. The steady people at daily Mass, about 20 people, extended a warm welcome to us, and I mean warm: each one of us got a knitted stocking cap from one member and a colorful pair of crocheted socks from another. In fall we were supplied with tomatoes, zucchini, onions, parsley, and the likes from their gardens. Our parish involvement is minimal: Sr.Agathe signed up for liturgical ministry and takes a regular turn at the reading in daily Masses as well as at Sunday Masses. Sr. Salud has a ministry with challenged children. Rebecca works two mornings at the food pantry in Waukegan, Sr. Edel Maria spends two nights at the Franciscan Outreach in Chicago, and Sr. Stela Maris is a full time coordinator of the religious education program for the Catholic children who do not attend Catholic school in Waukegan. We are noticed as an unusual group of “nuns”: we are young (four out of five!) and we are colorful - Sr. Edel Maria from Indonesia, Sr. Stela Maris from Brazil, Sr. Salud from Mexico, Rebecca from Sudan and Sr. Agathe from Germany. That got us an invitation to the senior club of a neighboring parish. We had a good lunch, and each of us got the opportunity to talk about our congregation, our vocation, our mission, our world wide concerns...We had interested listeners who also honored us with a nice check. Recently we finally had enough snow to play to our hearts content (after the shoveling!). Other than that, we are quite busy with our various schedules. Let each one tell you about it. Sr. Agathe 4
Rebecca Chaan Davidâ€™s work in the food pantry. I work two mornings a week in the food pantry run by the Catholic Church in Waukegan. We serve about 250 needy people a day. My main work is to pack grocery bags, take them to the next room where other volunteers distribute them to the people who registered and are waiting to receive their goods. I also help in receiving the food which is being delivered to the food pantry and needs to be sorted and shelved. That involves a lot of carrying and moving. I always imagine the generosity of people who are donating such great amounts of food for the needy. Another task is to arrange clothes, order it by size to make it easier for the people to find what they need. There are a number of volunteers; together we form a joyful family. We start work with prayer. We form a big circle and pray to the Lord to guide us for the day that we may be his hands, pass on his kindness, and be part of his reign of love and compassion. It is my joy to serve God in his people. My dream is to move closer to them and somehow become part of their lives. The biggest chunk of my time is devoted to studying for the theology courses I attend at Mundelein Seminary. For me those textbooks are a great challenge. For instance History of the Church! I never imagined such complicated things within the church. But I am most Srs. Salud, Stella & Edel in the BIG snow! grateful for all the things I can learn and experience. Rebecca Chaan David Sr. Salud, first year novice I am busy being a first year novice which includes one day a week attending a novitiate day together with the novices and their directors from the Chicago area. There are about 10 participating congregations, both male and female. We are fortunate to have a list of very good speakers who in turn love to come and teach the younger generation. I am also taking the basic theology courses (2 hours a week) together with Rebecca at the Seminary in Mundelein. A few days after we moved to Grayslake I asked Sr. Donna Schmitt, OSF, who is the director of religious education in this parish, whether I Sr. Salud and a SPRED student could volunteer with SPRED (Religious Education for Children with Special Needs). She was glad and invited me right away. I started September 15, 2010. A group of volunteers and parents gather every two weeks. On Wednesday evening we prepare the class, we pray together and share faith. On the following Saturday we gather with a group of six children in the morning. The children do various activities like coloring, drawing, playing with different material for about 45 minutes. After that they take a nap. We prepare their place with pillows, put the light low and give them their favorite things to hold. After about 15 minutes the most important activity of the day starts. We all sit down in a big circle and the catechist talks about Godâ€™s love for each and every one. We use pictures, plants, flowers, anything visible and tangible for the children. The teacher reads the bible and we listen to some music which the children really enjoy. They sing and praise God very joyfully. This is my favorite time, too. It is a joy to see the happy faces, hear them singing and see them jumping with joy in the presence of God. The session closes with a delicious lunch.
Sr. Salud 5
Sr. Edel Maria accompanies Rebecca through her pre-novitiate. She also works in Chicago in a night shelter for homeless men and women two nights a week. She writes: At the shelter, “House of Mary and Joseph,” we have 250 beds for men and 37 for women. I work with women as the night supervisor. I offer hospitality to our guests and monitor their activities during the night. Sometimes I talk to them, but mostly I listen and assist with the intake formalities. We offer supper, breakfast, shower facilities, a weekly medical clinic and other basic necessities. My first experience when I came to work and stayed for the night was that of fear. I was afraid of them and I was afraid not to be accepted by them, because I did not know how to handle all the problems that inevitably come up and I didn’t even dare to look at them. I prayed: Please God, go ahead of me, touch their hearts, keep them calm and peaceful. After six months or so my prayer had changed: Please God, come with me and together we will visit them. My fear had gradually vanished because I tried to build a relationship with them, know their names, their particularities, their troubles and heartaches. I learned a lot in the process of being with them: to respect them as human beings, to share with them what we have available, to let go of my comfort zone, my wants, my ego, to be satisfied with what I have, to give, but also to receive with gratitude from them even small things, to make room for them in my heart and welcome them. They transformed me slowly through their acceptance of me, treating me as someone they can trust. During the time I have been serving there (3 1/2 years) about 10 women moved into their own apartments. Some stay in touch even now. One of the women gave me a picture of Mary before she left. It had these words: When you are lonely, I wish you Love, When you are confused, I wish you Faith When you are down I wish you Joy. I came to love these women. They are part of my life and family.
Sr. Edel Maria
Sr. Stela Maris Martins works in the parish She continued her mission in the big Holy Trinity parish in Waukegan after we “borrowed” her for our community for half a year. In fact her involvement in the parish morphed into a big job with heavy responsibilities. She writes: I joined the Grayslake Community last September. This is the most diverse community I have ever lived in five sisters from five different continents. This experience has been another proof to me that diversity and mutual understanding do not exclude each other, but that bonding and genuine care for one another is possible even with all our differences. Since October, I have dedicated the greater part of my time serving as coordinator of the Religious Education Program at Most Blessed Trinity Parish, Waukegan, IL. This year the program has provided Catholic faith formation to 1,061 children, helping them to prepare for the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, First Communion and/or Confirmation. Also, the program provides ongoing formation for the catechists, allowing them to acquire the knowledge and necessary tools for their task of forming the young generation of Catholics. I am really grateful for having this mission experience with challenging and exciting situations that make me grow each day. I try to share with others the gifts that I have as much as I can, but what I have received is immeasurable. Above all, without doubt, it is a place where I can identify the abundant graces of God upon me and his people. Sr. Stela Maris
JPIC SSpS USA
38% of the growth is represented by expanding slums, while the city populations are increasing faster than city infrastructure can adapt. Water and Urban Growth by Numbers urban growth
Water – Essential for Life When I was in Ghana, I came to realize that water was not to be taken for granted and that it is essential for life. In one place where we had a course, we had a bucket a day for our personal needs – shower, washing clothes, toilet, etc. I learned I could wash my hair with a couple of cups of water. March 22 is World Water Day and its objective for 2011 is to focus attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. The theme is “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.”
Every second, the urban population grows by 2 persons. 95% of the urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world. In Africa and Asia, the urban population is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. Between 1998 and 2008, 1052 million urban dwellers gained access to improved drinking water and 813 million to improved sanitation. However, the urban population in that period grew by 1089 million people and thus undermined the progress. One out of four city residents worldwide, 789 million in total, lives without access to improved sanitation facilities. 497 million people in cities rely on shared sanitation. In 1990, this number was 249 million. 27% of the urban dwellers in the developing world do not have access to piped water at home. From UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)
This is the first time in human history that most of the world's population live in cities: 3.3 billion people ...and the urban landscape continues to grow.
Situation: Every day 4,100 children die of water -related diseases. Nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Almost half of them are children. In alignment with 7
the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, UNICEF is working with its partners to reduce by 50% the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation by 2015, which will also save children at risk from waterborne illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths.
The UNICEF Tap Project is a great way to get involved in global water issues and the work UNICEF is doing to prevent a larger water crisis. One dollar can provide a child with safe water for 40 days. 2011 UNICEF Tap Project Funds will specifically target Togo, the Central African Republic and Vietnam. From UNICEF
What else can I/we do in regard to the world water situation? Here are some ways from the book Water Consciousness, Tara Lohan - Editor:
Trust Fund.(www.foodandwaterwatch.org/ water/trust-fund) 4. CONSERVE WATER INSIDE. Retrofit. Retrofit with efficient appliances and fixtures, take shorter showers, and check faucets for leaks and drips. (www.awwa.org/waterwiser) 5. CONSERVE WATER OUTSIDE. Reduce lawn size and choose drought-tolerant xeriscapes. You can also recycle municipal water and on-site graywater, or harvest rainwater to use in the garden. www.bewaterwise.com, www. rainwaterharvesting.net) 6. LEARN ABOUT DAMS IN YOUR AREA. Oppose construction of new dams and always ask if any planned dams are really necessary, or if there are better, less destructive ways of conserving water, preventing floods, or generating power. (www.internationalrivers.org)
1. FIND OUT HOW MUCH WATER YOU USE. Visit the Water Calculator to see what you can do to cut back (www.h2oconserve.org).
7. REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE. Producing electricity uses lots of water. You can figure out how much energy you use at Low Carbon Diet. (www.empowermentinstitute.net/lcd/)
2. STOP DRINKING BOTTLED WATER. Choose tap water over bottled water whenever possible. Create a bottled water free zone in your class-room, workplace, or communityâ€Ś.. www.polarinstitute.org/ water, www.thinkoutsidethebottle.org)
8. SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO WATER FOR EVERYONE. Learn more about grassroots movements for water democracy and support for the United Nations covenant on the right to water. (www. blueplanetproject.net)
3. HELP CREATE A CLEAN WATER TRUST FUND. Support public control of water resources and increased funding for public drinking water by signing a petition urging Congress to create a Clean Water
Pray and learn more about water! If you want more information about water, contact email@example.com. Thank you! Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS 8