Mission and JPIC in Our Founding Generation

October 13, 2012

Fr. Renato Leite Gnatta, SVD

Sr. Celestina Tangan, SSpS

Our AJSC Team (Fr. Renato Leite Gnatta, SVD and Sr. Celestina Tangan, SSpS) led us to a walk “down the memory lane” to discover how our Founding Generation responded to the challenges of their time, so that it may serve as inspiration to the mission animators and JPIC promoters of our time.

A number of burning issues, when the 3 congregations were newly founded by Fr. Arnold, are still with us today — struggle of cultures, slavery, migration,  ethnic differences, exclusion of girls and women for further education.  For all these, our Founding Generation had a shared dream:  FULLNESS OF LIFE.

The Founding Generation…


Her heart was in China.  She felt that she had to breakout of the narrow boundaries of her homeland in order to be at home in the world, in order to feel solidarity with all the people of the world. The experience of being in solidarity with all the children of the world influenced Helena’s later understanding of mission. 

For Helena to be a missionary means to be present for others, to care for their welfare and to support them.  The sisters in the mission should not be surprised if their work becomes difficult.  The burden is theirs.  But they will gladly accept all their difficulties because they know that God is glorified in their hardships and in their service to his people.


“Proclaiming the Good News is the first and main expression of love for one’s neighbor.” 

Missioned to proclaim  the  Good News  to all people, all are called to be a community of  disciples, indwelt by the Triune God, living the Word, and led by the Spirit.

“We are living when much is being destroyed, but that is all the more reason to build something new.” 
“I come to you, God Holy Spirit, in heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. Before you whom my soul praises.
Yet none of this was my work.  You yourself brought it all about.
When my eyes close for the last time,  may my sons and daughters pray to you in the Spirit.  That united and with all their strength they may praise you and may they continue to work for your glory.”


“Little children go begging for bread; no one spares a scrap for them” (Lam. 4:4).  These words which he heard in the Liturgy of Good Friday gave him no rest.

He felt as though he was hearing the cry of the pagan children. 

“Of myself nothing interesting can be said, except perhaps that for the past three weeks, I am wearing Chinese garb, with white socks, short white pants, Chinese toga and a shaved head.” 

“The greatest task of a missionary is inner transformation of oneself.”

Powerpoint presentations — please click the name under each picture:

Bl. Maria Helena      St. Arnold Janssen     St. J. Freinademetz    Bl. Josepha

Visit to St. Michael Mission House (SVD)

In the afternoon, the participants went to St. Michael Mission House.  The location of the House is the very spot where Fr. Arnold founded the SVD (Divine Word Missionaries) in Steyl.  Fr. Jürgen Ommerborn, SVD, in-charge of the Arnold Janssen Secretariat, has been researching for many years about the life of Saint Arnold.  He shared with the group some materials he gathered about the founding generation that are somehow connected to the group’s interest – JPIC.

With great enthusiasm, Fr. Jürgen said that Fr. Arnold was a man of vision; he was very attentive to the signs of the time.   Even though before there was no “JPIC” yet, in his publications Fr. Arnold already wrote that missionaries should be at the service of justice and truth.

On the foundation day of the SVD, Fr. Arnold expressed a vision regarding the mission that is about to begin…

Because of his love for science, Fr. Arnold saw to it that this subject was included as missionaries were trained in the various areas of knowledge.  He opened an Institute to study the cultures of people. He loved nature and understood that it should be respected for it is God’s manifestation of Himself.

Arnold Janssen was also actively involved in political affairs, especially when there was a need to ensure the security of the missionaries and defend the interests of the Church in countries where governments were hostile to Christians.  He worked closely with lay people who were generous and supportive of his mission, especially during the foundation years of the 3 Congregations.

In many ways, Fr. Arnold accompanied and helped the missionaries in the different realities of the places where they were assigned, keeping in mind development of people and care for the poor, migrants and minorities. His missionary efforts extended not only to the non-Christians, but also to Christians in difficult situations and places where there was insufficient presence of the Church.  He was particularly concerned about bringing back Catholics who have decided to leave the faith.

Thus, long before the Church became explicit about JPIC, Fr. Arnold already expressed his vision and left a legacy that is founded firmly on justice, peace and integrity of creation.

Photos of the visit to St. Michael Mission House

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Social Teaching of the Church

October 12, 2012

Sr. Tony Harris, OP

Our speaker today, Sr. Tony Harris, is the Dominican Order’s International Coordinator for JPIC. She is from USA and currently the Director of the Dominican Sisters’ JPIC Institute in Rome.

As an introduction to her topic — “Catholic Social Teaching” — Sr. Tony presented the list of countries where the SSpS Sisters are.  Out of the 193 member states of the world, the SSpS are present in 48.  And we are serving in 9 out of the 42 world’s poorest countries or countries with lowest human development (from the United Nation’s 2010 Human Development Report).

Further categorizations of countries reveal some where there is actual or potential conflict, and numerous where the conflict situation has remained unchanged.  The presence of the SSpS in a number of these countries shows the Congregation’s strong commitment to JPIC.  A commitment that is inherent to our identity as stated in our Constitutions and General Chapter Directions.

Part I

Sr. Tony emphasized that we (the consecrated men and women), whose primary task is “the proclamation of Christ to all”, are challenged to work in order to bring our reality into closer conformity with Gospel demands.  That challenge means working toward the elimination of everything in our reality that does not respect and sustain the basic dignity, fundamental rights, and decent quality of life for all persons.

Justice means:

  • to establish equality in our relationships with others
  • “right relationship”  — to do the good due one’s neighbor, community, creation, and God
  • to avoid doing evil by inflicting no injury on one’s neighbor, community or creation

Justice and Charity…

“Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into account …. Let no one attempt, with small gifts of charity, to exempt themselves from the great duties imposed by justice.”    Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris (1937)

Responding to immediate human needs (hunger, shelter, clothing, etc.) is not the same as working to change the systems that create injustices in society.  This distinction may be understood as the difference between charity and justice, the difference between works of mercy and works that change oppressive social systems.

Powerpoint presentation on the Catholic Social Teaching – Part 1  (click here)

Reflection points:

  • Of what particular injustices are you aware in the places where you live and serve?
  • Recall efforts that the Congregation, through its members, have made and are making to create a better world.

Part II

Social Doctrine is rooted in the Scriptures and Tradition.

From the Scriptures…

  • Isaiah – “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
  • Matthew –  “Jesus himself proclaims:  ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.’”

In biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary expectation of Yahweh. (Walter Brueggeman)

Justice in the biblical sense is achieved when each person has what she or he needs to survive, to develop and thrive, and to give back to the community.

From Tradition…

Ancestors of Faith:

  • St. Ambrose – “You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his.  For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich.”
  • St. John Chrysostom – “Would you honor the Body of Christ?  Do not despise his nakedness; do not honor him here in the church clothed in silk vestments and then pass him by unclothed and frozen outside.”
  • SSpS Ancestors – St. Arnold Janssen, Bl. Maria Helena and Bl. Josepha – their word and witness that support the SSpS work to promote JPIC.

Major Themes from Catholic Social Teaching

1.    Human dignity
2.    Community
3.    Rights and duties
4.    Option for the poor
5.    Participation
6.    Economic Justice
7.    Stewardship of Creation
8.    Solidarity
9.    Role of Government
10.  Promotion of Peace

Some Documents of the Church

•  Rerum Novarum, Encyclical of Leo XIII, 1891
•  Quadragesimo Anno, Encyclical of Pius XI, 1931
•  Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 1965
•  Populorum Progressio, Encyclical of Paul VI, 1967
•  Justice in the World, World Synod of Bishops, 1971
•  Evangelii Nuntiandi, Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI, 1975
•  Redemptor Hominis, Encyclical of John Paul II, 1979
•  Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Encyclical of John Paul II, 1987
•  Centesimus Annus, Encyclical of John Paul II, 1991
•  Deus Caritas Est, Encyclical of Benedict XVI, 2005
•  Caritas in Veritate, Encyclical of Benedict XVI, 2009

Powerpoint on the Catholic Social Teaching – Part 2 (click here)

Part III

Social Teaching in the SSpS Constitutions and General Chapter Directions

From the Constitutions…

  • (112) we stand for justice, freedom and peace
  • (112.1) recognition of the dignity and intrinsic value of the human person
  • (112.2) we follow Catholic social teaching
  • (412) world events and our contact with others stimulate our dialogue with the Lord
  • (502) formation has to be… open to the needs of the world

From General Chapter Directions…

  • building communities and societies of Gospel justice, reconciliation and healing where personal and social violence in any form has no place
  • personal and communal commitment to care for Mother Earth, taking conscious and concrete steps toward sustainable development
  • being women disciples centered in God, living our identity as women bringing forth and nurturing life in joy and pain
  • being women who, mutually touched and formed by realities of life, especially that of the poor, join with them in a search for ways to be co-creators of a society rooted in Gospel values
  • valuing life and, networking with others, to responsibly protect and promote life in all its forms

Working for justice is not optional, nor is it simply a dimension of our lives.  Rather, it is a dynamic perspective that informs both our being and our doing.  This perspective shapes our prayer, our life in common, our living of the vows — all that we do.

Powerpoint on the Catholic Social Teaching – Part 3 (click here)

Part IV

Important Church Documents related to JPIC

  • Justice in the World – 1971
  • Catholic Social Teaching and Integrity of Creation
  • The Instrumentum Laboris  for the Synod on the New Evangelization

Restorative Justice: Reconciliation and Peace-building

October 11, 2012 – 50 years of Vatican II

Sr. Filo Hirota, a Japanese, is the Superior General of the Sisters of Mercy.  She has been involved internationally  in JPIC for many years.

As introduction, Sr. Filo invited the participants to recall what they have heard in the past days, drawing their attention to relationships with self, with people, with the reality of the world as it is connected to the universe, and with God.

Then she presented the major situations that create violence in the world:

  • Hunger
  • Armed conflicts
  • The military and weapon industry
  • The situation of refugees and those who are forced to migrate
  •  The destruction of biodiversity
  • The uncontrollable phenomenon of urbanization
  • Domestic violence and violence in school and workplace
  • Exacerbation of violence in computer games (virtual reality) and media in general
  • The trivialization of human suffering
  • Loneliness, anxiety, and frustration

All these have transformed our world and society.  Humans have gone through the process of dehumanization that led to what we consider now as broken world. In the face of all these, what does God seem to be telling us? What is our prophetic mission? As SSpS community, what is our message to the world today?

Powerpoint presentation “About Us” (click here)

The participants were given time for personal reflection and group sharing.  Each group was asked to synthesize their reflections in a word, drawing, or symbol and to place them in a gallery.  And in silence, all were invited to view the gallery and to reflect on what they have seen.

Non-violence of Jesus

Sr. Filo then shared in the afternoon her reflections on the way that Jesus practiced non-violence in his life and how the Gospel shows his smart and creative way of responding to situations of violence.  She also gave examples of people who have taken the path of peace by practicing non-violence – St. Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and others.

She later explained the meaning of restorative justice and how it facilitates conflict resolution and transformation in the lives of individuals, communities and countries. To deepen the presentation the participants were given the following reflection points:

  1. How do I/we live the non-violence of Jesus in my/our personal life?
  2. How do I/we live the non-violence of Jesus in my/our mission?
  3. How do I/we live the non-violence of Jesus in the society where we are?
  4. How important is non-violence in our life and mission?
  5. What are the challenges?

Powerpoint on “Non-violence” (for translation) – coming soon

Is there such a thing as “just war”?

The third point that Sr. Filo dwelt on was the meaning and consequences of war.  She questioned the concept of “just war” and proposed the concept of “just peace”.  She also talked about conflict resolution and steps to overcome destructive anger, leading to forgiveness and restoration of the dignity of the person who is both the victim and perpetrator of violence. The process must take place with the help and support of the community.

Powerpoint on “Just War” (for translation) – coming soon

In the making..

  • Video of seminar participants and
  • Video of cultural night

Jesus and JPIC

October 10, 2012

“We have to cope with some injustice for some time in order to achieve harmony” (a chinese proverb).  It is an illustration of how culture affects the interpretation of values.

In today’s topic, JPIC promoters are invited to look at Jesus and see how He relates to people and situations of injustice during his time, and learn from him how to act today.

Fr. Ralph Hunning, SVD

Fr. Ralph Hunning, SVD belongs to the German Province, a biblical scholar who had a wide study on the scientific and popular reading of the Bible, and parish priest in Hamburg.  He was in Nicaragua for some years.

To dwell deeply into the relationship of Jesus and JPIC from the Bible, Fr. Ralph used the seminar theme and icon – “Choose Life” and “Adulterous Woman” (Jn 8:1-11).  By way of contemplation the participants were made to enter into the dialogue that the Bible offers.

Three Phases of Contemplation and Text Approach:

  1. Discovery and adoption – becoming aware of one’s own motivation in reading the text from the Bible (personal and social).  In the story of the adulterous woman, we are particularly thinking of the marginalized women of our time.
  2. Dialogue and understanding – observing the attitudes and actions of the people in the story.  Jesus talks to the woman and those who want to stone her.  The dialogue shows the meaning of justice for Jesus and the way he lived this understanding.
  3. Internalization and sharing – acting responsibly and creatively.  Allowing the attitudes and actions of Jesus to guide us in our response to the present time.

According to Fr. Ralph, the Bible does not present definitive doctrines about justice; it offers an invitation to dialogue. The texts give us some clues on how to act responsibly and creatively.  To discover Jesus’ definition of justice, we need to look at his attitudes and actions towards different people in situations during his time.

After personal reflection, Fr. Ralph distributed pictures of different artistic interpretations of the story of the adulterous woman.  Each participant reflected on the particular image that he/she received and afterwards shared to the continental groups.  Reflection points:  What struck you in the picture?  What difficulties did you have with it?  What is it telling you on a deeper level?

Sharing in groups by continent and other photos of the day:

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The Beatitudes

To further understand Jesus on JPIC, Fr. Ralph proposed a personal meditation and group sharing on the Beatitudes (Mt 5, 1-12).   He shared about the research he did on 172 men and women from different cultures and countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, mostly simple people who had not studied the Bible. Each had a very different way of interpreting the Beatitudes depending on cultural conditioning, thought patterns and values ​​of each group or individual.

Therefore, according to Fr. Ralph, it is important to be aware of standards and values ​​that come from different culture, and ways of interpretation emerging from the lives of the poor  and coming from the tradition of the Church, and even those developed by scientists.

After all these we must not forget that justice and peace is a gift of God, is grace, and momentum for action. The Beatitudes point to an ethical way of living and building relationships.

At all times, JPIC promoters ought to look at Jesus and see how He relates to people and situations of injustice.

Mysticism and Prophecy

October 9, 2012

Today’s topic on “Mysticism and Prophecy” is another reflective process offered to those who want to make JPIC a way of life.

Sr. Sanny Bruijns, O.Carm., our resource person, was born in the Netherlands.  She is a Carmelite religious who studied Theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in Holland.  She joined the Carmelites in 1980 at the age of 24 and worked as a formator for both women  and men  members of the congregation.  She is at present the Assistant Provincial of the Dutch Province.   A book on Mariology which she authored was published in 2004.

Sr. Sanny introduced her topic with several definitions of mysticism from different writers:

  • Mysticism is  a secret wisdom which is communicated and infused into the soul through love (John of the Cross)
  • Mysticism is  the footprints of His passing (Kees Waaijman, O Carm, 1992)
  • Mysticism is wisdom or knowledge that is found through love; it is loving knowledge. (William Johnston, 1997)

The Louisville experience of Thomas Merton was described as an example of a mystical experience.

Bp. Oscar Romero, Bp. Helder Camara, Sr. Dorothy Stang and many others become inspiring examples for those who are committed to the cause of JPIC.   They have discovered the presence of God that transforms the heart and makes it burn with passion for those who suffer.  The same passion inspires many people in our present time to offer their lives for those who have no voice and whose rights are violated because of oppressive structures.

Characteristics of the Mystical way:

  • Illumination or enlightenment
  • Purification – the dark night of the senses and of the soul
  • Union

Many saints have walked this path and not only become people touched by God, but also made important contributions to society.

Some examples of mystics:

  1. Elijah, a mystic and prophet
  2. Mary in her Magnificat
  3. Jesus’ passion for God, passion for people
  4. Thomas Merton
  5. Blessed Titus Brandsma
  6. St. Arnold Janssen – doing normal daily things in a special way – Apostleship of Prayer

Definitions of Prophecy:

  • Living out of a consciousness of God’s presence
  • Looking from tomorrow’s world into the now.
  • Accusing the Pharaohs and false gods.

Martha and Mary – a tradition of contemplative action (Lk 10, 38-42)

Sr. Sanny proposed the story of Martha and Mary to facilitate a reflection on action and contemplation.  These two significant characters in the Gospel are inseparable and should form part of every person who hopes to find integration between his/her experience of God and service in JPIC.

Powerpoint on Mysticism and Prophecy (click here)

Sr. Sanny presented the view of some mystics on the relationship between action and contemplation.  In his interpretation of the story of Martha and Mary, Msgr. Johannes Zwijsen (1794-1877) compares Martha to the one who loves in a human way and he compares Mary to the one who is in the process of receiving the divine love that is given to her by Christ.  This love transforms her into a human being who is on the way to be an instrument of God’s endless transforming love.

Powerpoint on Martha and Mary (click here)

Fr. Francisco (facilitator) made a synthesis of the day.  He explains the importance of contemplation for JPIC promoters.  Unless our actions come from a deeper place, we tend to react rather than respond.  JPIC promoters are invited to be contemplatives.  The more persons are involved in the world, the deeper they have to go within themselves and in God.

Video of Fr. Francisco’s synthesis (click here)

The Trinity and Commitment to JPIC

October 8, 2012

Fr. Antonio Pates, SVD

Fr. Antonio Pates, SVD was born in Bohol, Philippines. He was missionary in Brazil for 15 years.  He is the founding father of the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center and served as Director of SVD tertiate programmes.  He is currently Director of Nemi International Courses.  Above all, he sees his deepest identity as a Christian Disciple.

Fr. Tony shared about “The Trinity as the Source and Model of Our Commitment to JPIC”.  To deepen our relationship with the Triune God, he led the whole group to a day of silence and recollection as a contemplative journey of our participation in the mission of the Triune God.

The whole day was a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  The morning started with the Liturgy of the Word and the afternoon ended with Liturgy of the Eucharist.  In between was reflection on the Trinity and one’s commitment to JPIC.

Reflection Sessions…

The reflection/meditation began with the twofold flow of the journey:

  1. The Objective Dimension – The Story of Jesus – a contemplation on Jesus.  Our way to the Mystery of the  Trinity is Jesus.
  2. Inner  Dimension – Personal Story – a spiritual journey  where the Sisters are to focus and  to deepen our  personal  SSpS vowed identity as disciples  of Jesus called to share his mission of the Kingdom in our commitment to JPIC.

To connect oneself with one’s spiritual reality, the following were presented as points for reflection:

  • What is the root and foundation of my vowed  identity?
  • How do my vows deepen the foundation of my vowed identity?
  • Being rooted and grounded in the One and Triune God how does the Trinity see me and how do I see myself in relation to the Trinity?  Who am I in relation to the Trinity?
  • Being rooted and grounded in the communion of the Triune God – what are the core  gospels values  that  shape my ‘personal ethos ‘ for mission?
  • How is my rootedness in the Triune God shaping my vowed identity in its four dimensions for mission?

Being poor as Jesus means that God is the only absolute in my life.  To be chaste like Jesus is to be loved unconditionally by God and to love others in the same way.  And to be obedient like Jesus means that God’s Kingdom is the direction of my life.

Powerpoint on the Trinity (click here)

Connecting oneself with the Jesus’ story dwelt on two areas:

  1. Jesus sharing his experience of God
  2. Jesus proclaiming God’s dream for all and for whole of creation – Kingdom of God

Reflection continues…

Jesus became aware of his being the beloved son.  Am I aware of who I am? What is my affective and spiritual relationship with Jesus?  The experience of being loved is unique to each person.

Powerpoint on Jesus Abba and Spirit (click here)

The fundamental structure of our life – psychological, emotional and spiritual – is manifested in intra-personal (self sense of wholeness and integration), interpersonal (relationships with others) and transpersonal (sense of mission and commitment to life).

How do I interact with myself?  Do I have a positive self-esteem or self-worth?  Are negative experiences or broken relationships still affecting my life and commitment? Are there other aspects that are screaming inside me to be integrated?

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of  food and drink,  but of JUSTICE and  PEACE and JOY in the Holy Spirit.”  (Rom 14,17)

“To know me is to defend the cause of the poor and the needy.” (Jer 22,16)

Powerpoint on the Kingdom of God (click here)

New Cosmology

October 5-6, 2012

Sr. Elly Verrijt, MMS

Upholding the integrity of creation is not only an integral part of JPIC, but the greatest need of the world today in the face of climate change and the risks that the future presents as consequence of excessive exploitation of our planet earth. This is the compelling reason for New Cosmology as presented by Sr. Elly Verrijt, MMS (Medical Mission Sisters).

Sr. Elly opened the session with soul stirring questions…

  • “What was in the mind of God when He created everything?”
  • “If there is one thing that should be preserved in the whole of creation, what do you think should it be?”

How we look at the world and understand our place in the world determine very much how we live, what motivates and drives us, and how we understand our mission.

We live in a dying planet.  We have unleashed a vast devastation of the earth.  We begin again to realize the beauty of our planet.  We need to realize that we do not have the earth we think we have.  The earth has changed in ways we cannot undo anymore.  We have entered, it seems, in a period of final destruction.

Thomas Berry:  “ the glory of the human has become the desolation of the earth and the desolation of the earth has become the destiny of humans.”

Albert Einstein:  “We cannot solve the problems with the same consciousness that created them.”

We are all interconnected

Each participant was invited to connect to her/his homeland – the water and soil of the place where she/he was born. Then she presented the reality of interconnectedness that binds all beings on Planet Earth – human beings to each other, to other beings and to the entire Universe.

The Challenge and Call

  • Being in the midst of destruction is simultaneously a moment of profound creativity.
  • We come from one source; it does not matter what color we are or where we are, we all have a responsibility to the earth.
  • God had  a lot of patience in unfolding the universe. We cannot give up on persons. Transformation is a process.
  • We cannot really find the words for the mystery that is in all of this reality.  It goes beyond our imagination.  It calls us to worship God.

Presentations for the day:

Powerpoint on Functional Cosmology (click here)

Video on The Awakening of the Universe (click here)

Power point on The Journey of the Universe (click here)

Photos of participants during the plenary and the ritual and  holy mass…

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World Reality

October 4, 2012

To open the day’s session on the world today, Fr. Francisco (one of the facilitators) gave a synthesis of the last two days, emphasizing the connectedness of the topics that were so far presented –  analysis of reality, knowledge of who I am, the commitment of the congregation and the challenges of the Church’s mission for the promoters of JPIC.


One of the pressing issues when looking into the world reality is human trafficking.  Sr. Margit Forsters, CMS (Camboni Missionary Sisters), who is now based in Germany, has been invited to share about the said issue.  She works in Berlin with a non-government organization SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress).

Through a documentary film, Sr. Margit, presented about the painful situation of women victims of trafficking, particularly African women from Nigeria, who were enticed to earn much in Europe only to find out later that they are to be forced into prostitution.

The film had a very strong impact on the group that led to a deep reflection.  Almost all countries, where the participants are coming from, have massive incidents of human trafficking.

As the participants were grouped according to continent, they were given an opportunity to share experiences and discuss the main causes of human trafficking and some possible solutions.

Photos of continental groups…

PANAM Group (North, Central and South America)





A Panel Discusses Other World Realities

A panel, composed of some seminar participants, shared about other serious issues that they are facing in their respective mission area.  Those who presented are from USA, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea and India.

The panel presenters…

The Immigrants in the United States

Bro. Brian McLauchlin, SVD and Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS (USA)

Bro. Brian and Sr. Rose Therese presented the situation of immigrants in the US.  Some reasons for migration are armed conflicts, development aggression and disasters.  Migrants also come to the US seeking for higher paying jobs, but many of them have illegal travel documents.

Prayer, education and advocacy are some major responses of groups working for the welfare of immigrants.

Powerpoint presentation on immigrants (click here)

The Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay

Sr. Angela Balbuena Talavera, SSpS (Paraguay)

Sr. Angela presented some statistics on the number of indigenous peoples all over the world.

While recent years have seen major global socio-political changes that led to the establishment of new legal norms and constitutional frameworks – national and international – in favor of Indigenous Peoples, still many are immersed in situations of exclusion, exploitation, assimilation and realities linked to the violation of their rights, particularly “territorial” right.

Powerpoint presentation on Indigenous Peoples (click here)

HIV / AIDS in Papua New Guinea

Sr. Arnolda Roslyn Kavanamur, SSpS (PNG)

Sr. Arnolda shared about the CHASI (Catholic HIV/AIDS Services Inc.) – a Church based organization responding to the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea.  The organization’s priorities are in the areas of prevention, treatment and system strengthening.

People come out openly for treatment.  The stigma may still exist but the issue is not anymore hidden

Powerpoint presentation on HIV/AIDS (click here)

Human Rights and Women

Sr. Julie George Kandathinkara, SSpS (India-South)

Sr. Julie, a lawyer, shared about human rights violations against women in India and some responses to protect them.

She emphasized that human rights is something all of us share; that every human being must uphold and respect one’s own as well as his/her fellow human beings’ rights.

When violations happen, the state has to intervene. But when the government does not do anything, people have the responsibility to act.

Some helps being given to women:  legal assistance for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  Also giving assistance to  domestic helpers – lobby for their pension and inclusion in the bill for sexual abuse.

Text of presentation on Human Rights and Women (click here)

Our Reality

October 3, 2012

Personal Reality

Continuing from yesterday’s topic – Analysis of Reality, the third day of the seminar began by dwelling first (in the morning) on Personal Reality, facilitated by the team from AJSC (Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center) – Sr. Celestina Tangan, SSpS and Fr. Renato Leite Gnatta, SVD.

Fr. Renato and Sr. Tina invited the participants to go deeper into their understanding of who they really are and the role they play in the mission as coordinators of JPIC.

Summary of Content

Reflection on human reality: we are much more than our bodies, our emotions, our national identity and culture. We are people loved unconditionally by God.

To see the powerpoint presentation “Who am I?”, click here.

The story of Joseph’s ordeal in Egypt (click here)

Congregational Reality

In the afternoon, the CLT (Congregational Leadership Team) presented the congregational reality as they have seen and experienced from their visits and visitations in the different provinces and regions all over the world.

Some aspects of the Congregation’s reality:

  • Number of Sisters
  • Different ministries / apostolates
  • Profile of Sisters
  • Blessings of the Congregation
  • Challenges that the Congregation is facing

Congregational Reality (click here)

Video:  “Christ has No Body Now but Yours” (click here)

Church Reality

The last presentation was given by Bro. Peter Van de Wiel on Church Reality.  The participants were made to share, based on their experiences from the field, the reality of the Catholic Church – positive, negative and factual.

Church Reality (click here)

Analysis of Reality

October 2, 2012

The second day of the seminar was fully devoted to “analysis of reality”.  Fr. John Kilcrann, CSSp (Congregation of the Holy Spirit) introduced the topic by sharing about the foundations of the social teachings of the Church.

Summary of Fr. John’s presentation:

  • Brief historical grounding
  • A possible methodology: Pastoral Cycle / Cycle / Spiral
  • Each of the stages of the Pastoral Cycle
  • Film about the situation of Alberta: Canada’s oil sands with Bruce Parry, followed by social analysis exercise by groups
  • Theological considerations of the methodology
  • Group discussion: response of faith (and spirituality)
  • Plenary discussion: planning and evaluation in the ministry


The videos presented:

Part One:   Canada’s Tar Sands with host Bruce Parry (click here)

Part Two:   Canada’s Tar Sands with host Bruce Parry (click here)