The installation of the new Congregational Leadership Team (CLT) took place on March 31, in the SSpS Generalate in Rome, during the celebration of mass presided by Father Budi Kleden, SVD Superior General and the SVD priests Xavier Thirukudumbam y Bakoma Dadjomgou.

After the homily, Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnerman, in the name of the whole Congregation, welcomed the new leadership team remembering that all the elected sisters have experience in leadership and that this service “can be very enriching and meaningful, giving them opportunities to animate, to enable people, to get things done, to encounter many people and cultures”.

Sr. Maria Theresia mentioned the challenges they will face such as “the environmental crisis, war situations, pandemic, crises in the Church and religious life”, but also the signs of hope “like the call of Pope Francis for a Synodal Journey, greater involvement of lay partners, the Laudato Si Action Platform and collaboration within the Arnoldus Family and between different Congregations and organizations”.

The  new CLT was invited to the front and all those presents were asked to implore the grace of the Holy Spirit for their mission while singing the Veni Creator. Sr. Maria Theresia invited Fr. Budi to bless the oil specially prepared for this occasion, which she said, would be “as a symbol of fruitfulness, healing, gentleness and protection from harm” as well as “the power and grace of the Holy Spirit poured upon Mary and the disciples on Pentecost”.

The outgoing Councilors joined the new CLT, placing their hands on their shoulders while Sr. Maria Theresia blessed each one of the sisters of the New CLT with the oil. Following this, each one received a small container of blessed oil and the words of the former Congregational Leader: “As you have been blessed, may you bless and strengthen others. We invite you to be a healing presence through your leadership service in our Congregation and beyond, following in the footsteps of our Mothers Maria and Josepha”.

Inspired by the Congregational Guidelines approved at the last General Chapter, the New CLT said a prayer of commitment before the Community, surrendering their lives to the Holy Triune God in the service of the Congregation for the next six years. They prayed:

“Triune God, enable us to be sincere in our commitment, patient and respectful as we walk together, daring and creative in our service so that we joyfully collaborate with you, our God of compassion. Make us instruments of transformation in the world.”

The new members of the CLT from left to right: Sisters Mikaelin Bupu, Kreti Sanhueza, Miriam Altenhofen (Congregational Leader), Mariana Camezzana, Tressa Sebastian and Jana Tóthová.

After the celebration of Mass, the SSpS community and the SVDs gathered for dinner and joyfully celebrated with the new CLT.  Sr. Monika Guzmická, on behalf of the Generalate Community, welcomed the new team and thanked the Sisters Maria Theresia, Mary John, Margaret Hansen and Maria Cristina Avalos who completed their extended term of almost eight years because of the pandemic. Each sister from the new and the outgoing CLT received a gift as a sign of gratitude.

The Community thanked the outgoing CLT (from left to right): Sisters Malgaret Hansen, Maria Cristina Ávalos, Mary John, Mikaelin Bupu, Miriam altenhofen and Maria Theresia Hörnerman.