January 13

 

Before the opening mass of the 15th General Chapter, the Congregational Assistant Sr. Mary John welcomed the Chapter members and the Superior General of the Divine Word.

 

“With the Chapter Candle and the Word of God, we will soon move prayerfully into the chapel asking the Lord to bless our Chapter, to walk with us in this journey, and to bring it to completion.”

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, a very good evening to you all.

It is my privilege to welcome each one of you to the first act of our Chapter- that of the Eucharist.

Dear Sisters, in this venue the SSpS have met for the 11th general chapter in 1996, under the theme called to share life and mission. This moment is very special and is replete with so many mixed feelings of joy, hope and no less anxiety. After what seemed to be an endless waiting, we are now here and it is for real. Paradoxically we are having the chapter at the peak of the Covid – 19. We regret that despite our best efforts not all could be present.  But let these not dampen the spirit of this joy-filled occasion.

The best way to celebrate our togetherness is by celebrating the Eucharist – the supreme act of thanks-giving. The entire congregation is with us at this moment, supporting, encouraging and praying for us.  Even if the weather outside is getting colder and darker, we know that inside of us we feel the warm energy of prayer and communion.  May this general chapter – unique in many ways – deepen our commitment to follow Jesus in the SSpS way.

I welcome Fr. Paulus Budi Kleden SVD- Superior General- who has kindly consented to preside over the Eucharist. A warm welcome to all the co-celebrants and guests. You have honored us by your coming and shown us your solidarity and support.

I welcome all capitulars, invitees and sisters for various services related to the Chapter. we are very happy that several sisters from the Generalate community have come. You are all most welcome.

With the Chapter Candle and the Word of God, we will soon move prayerfully into the chapel asking the Lord to bless our Chapter, to walk with us in this journey, and to bring it to completion.  Like the Syro-Phoenician woman who kept crying after Jesus, we too echo the cries and sufferings of our world, and the hopes and consolations of our faith.  May the promise of Jesus to the Canaanite woman “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted”, come true in our lives as we enter this sacred moment of the 15th General Chapter.  May our Saints Arnold Janssen and Joseph Freinademetz and Blessed Helena and Hendrina intercede for us and obtain for us the grace to be missionary disciples depending on God and walking in the light of faith.

Once again, welcome. We are glad you have come.