• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Tuesday, 29 January 2019 17:21

'Arnoldus' family in AUS Province celebrates SVD saints


Saints Arnold and Joseph 450Divine Word Missionary communities throughout the AUS Province and the world have had much to celebrate in January, with the commemoration of two SVD saints – St Arnold Janssen and St Joseph Freinademetz.

St Arnold’s feast day was on January 15, the date of his death in 1909 in Steyl, Holland. He was the founder of the Divine Word Missionaries, as well as two orders of Religious Women, the Servant Sisters of the Holy Spirit and the Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration.

St Arnold began his priestly life as a diocesan priest in his home country of Germany, but these were difficult times for the Catholic Church in Germany. Bismark unleashed the ‘Kulturkampf’ with a series of anti-Catholic laws, which led to the expulsion of priests and religious and to the imprisonment of many bishops.

In this chaotic situation Arnold Janssen proposed that some of the expelled priests could go to the foreign missions or at least help in the preparation of missionaries. Slowly but surely, and with a little prodding from the Apostolic Vicar of Hong Kong, Arnold discovered that God was calling him to undertake this difficult task.

Many people said that he was not the right man for the job, or that the times were not right for such a project. Arnold's answer was, “The Lord challenges our faith to do something new, precisely when so many things are collapsing in the Church.”

With the support of a number of bishops, Arnold inaugurated the mission house on September 8, 1875 in Steyl, Holland, and thus began the Divine Word Missionaries. On March 2, 1879 the first two missionaries set out for China. One of these was Joseph Freinademetz. 

St Joseph, who’s feast day is on January 29, stayed for many years in China, during turbulent political and cultural times, and he faced many challenges, but he came to know and love the Chinese people and was loved by them in return.

“I do not consider missionary life as a sacrifice I offer to God, but as the greatest grace that God could ever have lavished upon me,” he said. 

Meanwhile, back in Steyl, from practically the very beginning, a group of women, including Blessed Maria Helena Stollenwerk, served the mission house community as volunteers. But their wish was to serve the mission as Religious Sisters. The faithful, selfless service they freely offered, and a recognition of the important role women could play in missionary outreach, urged Arnold to found the mission congregation of the “Servants of the Holy Spirit,” SSpS, on December 8, 1889. The first Sisters left for Argentina in 1895.

In 1896 Fr Arnold selected some of the Sisters to form a cloistered branch, to be known as “Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration”, SSpSAP. Their service to mission would be to maintain an uninterrupted adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praying day and night for the church and especially for the other two active missionary congregations.

Today, the members of the Society of the Divine Word, the Missionary Sisters and the Perpetual Adoration Sisters number about 10,000 and are present in 80 countries around the world. The Divine Word Missionaries are the largest international missionary congregation in the Catholic Church.

St Arnold Janssen feast day mass 2019 450Celebrating the Eucharist at the SVD Marsfield community on St Arnold’s feast day, with SSpS Sisters, lay partners, staff and friends, Fr Larry Nemer SVD spoke about St Arnold’s prayer life, in particular his devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Archangels, and he encouraged all those present to seek out a prayer life that brings them closer to God.“God’s love is unconditional. We cannot stop God from loving us, no matter what we do,” he said.

“God loves us all the time. And that is why we are missionaries. We want to let other people know that God loves them.”

Fr Larry said Fr Arnold’s devotion to the Holy Spirit was not a popular devotion during his lifetime.

“In the 19th Century they talked about the Holy Spirit being the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity ... but Fr Arnold’s devotion to the Holy Spirit grew more profound over time.

“The Sisters know this, because when he helped to found the two (sisters’) congregations, it was with a devotion to the Holy Spirit and the name of the congregation includes the Holy Spirit.

“He encouraged the members of the SVD to have a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. He didn’t want the Holy Spirit to be the forgotten person of the Blessed Trinity.

“And I think that helps to explain why he was always conscious of wanting to do God’s will. He never rushed into decisions. He wanted to be led by the Holy Spirit and that devotion to the Holy Spirit led him to do remarkable things that other people said he was crazy to even try.

Fr Larry said St Arnold’s third chief devotion was to the Archangels.

“He had a devotion to the world of the Spirit and that again is what gave him the courage and the persistence to keep going,” he said.

“We all have to find our own devotions, the devotions that nourish us and we’re not all going to have the same ones and pray in the same way. Some people like to pray in an active way, some people like to use the imagination, some people like to use their mind, their body, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that our prayer brings us closer to God. And that is what the devotions in Arnold’s life did.”


TOP RIGHT: St Arnold Janssen and St Joseph Freinademetz represented on a banner in the SVD Marsfield community chapel.

BOTTOM  LEFT: Fr Larry Nemer SVD celebrates the Eucharist at Marsfield on St Arnold's feast day.