Sr. Maria Theresia’s Welcome

Welcome to the First SSpS International JPIC –Seminar in Steyl,

Monday, October 01, 2012


Dear Sister and Brothers,

I am not sure you can guess how happy I am to welcome you today to this seminar with the theme: “CHOOSE LIFE!”  Personally and as a Congregation we believe in and we have chosen to give witness for the God of LIFE, the God of Jesus Christ who came to

bring us LIFE, who desires LIFE for all, LIFE to the full.  This is the Good News we have been touched with, we believe in and want to share with others and this is the LIFE we have committed ourselves to anew in our 13th General Chapter.

It is obvious that not all people in this world are able to share in this LIFE, that many are deprived from it by poverty, fear, oppression, war, violence, hunger, loneliness, broken relationships and for many other reasons.  And there are many who promise life to people by using this, by buying and possessing that, by eating special stuff, by exercising power and collecting money, by being connected all over the world, by having insurance for all eventualities.  People of all nations and cultures are searching for LIFE.  It is our desire to share the LIFE Jesus Christ talked about, a life that has depth, that has to go through the process of dying and rising, in order to bear fruit.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, it is my/our wish that during these coming days and weeks we discover together how we can contribute our share as members of an international religious missionary family to this LIFE that Jesus has promised us, LIFE that is not cheap, LIFE that passes through suffering and death, but does not stop there.

It is my/our wish that we discover together the blocks and structures that hinder this LIFE to break through in us, in our Congregation, in our Church and World and to find ways to move these blocks and structures so that they give way for freedom and growth.

It is my/our wish that we can discover what we can do/ stop doing/ do more intensive in order to become more Christ-like in promoting LIFE in active, but non-violent way, for justice, peace and integrity of Creation.  In this search we’ll have to listen carefully to the Word of God so that we are guided by it and learn from the ways Jesus went about building up the Kingdom of God, what many times is different from the ways we are used to and the ways popular today.

I welcome all of you, the SSpS and SVD participants from all different cultures and backgrounds, from all our Provinces and Regions, the service personnel and in a special way the facilitators of this seminar, Fr. Francisco and Sr. Mary John.  We are grateful that all of you responded to our invitation.  And we are grateful to our Sisters and their collaborators here in the Motherhouse for welcoming and hosting us.  This international seminar is a new experience for all of us. We are used to have General
Chapters, international gatherings of sisters in Leadership and Formation, but we never had a seminar for JPIC Promoters on the Generalate level.  May our good and compassionate God, who came to give us life so that we have life be with us and accompany us and make his ways known to us so that we CHOOSE LIFE and get ready “to move from a need to preserve our own life to taking risks for LIFE at any cost” as our 13th General Chapter puts it.

Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann, SSpS



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