• 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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Monday, 28 May 2018 17:22

Holy Spirit Sisters celebrate Pentecost with music, dance and communion


SSpS Pentecost celebration dance 2018 450The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters in Australia celebrated their big feast day of Pentecost with music, dancing and communion with others, including refugees and asylum seekers.

The Sisters, who were founded by St Arnold Janssen, along with the Divine Word Missionaries and another order of women religious, the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, had Pentecost celebrations in Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville and Brisbane.

In Melbourne, the Sisters joined SVD missionaries and seminarians as well as the local community for two Spirit-filled celebrations. 

The first was a gathering of singing and dancing on the Friday before Pentecost and the second was the celebration of the Eucharist at St Anne’s Parish, Kew on Pentecost Sunday.

Sr Elisabeth Hariyanti SSpS says both celebrations were joyful occasions.

“At the Mass, there was singing and dancing from both the SVD and the Sisters,” she says. “We always like to come together for these celebrations, as family.”

The Sisters began their mission in Australia as refugees from the war in the Pacific, where they had survived the Japanese prison camps and death ships of Papua New Guinea where they had been serving as missionaries.

SSpS Pentecost celebration 2018 450They honoured this heritage during the Pentecost Mass by having a group of SSPS Sisters from all around the world performing a traditional PNG dance as part of the offertory procession.

“And we began the Mass with a procession of five candles representing all the different continents where our Sisters are present,” Sr Elisabeth says.

“It was very beautiful and very inclusive. And we had some wonderful singing from the combined SSpS and SVD choir.”

Meanwhile in Brisbane, the Sisters held a Pentecost Vigil, with the theme ‘Communion with others: refugees and asylum seekers’. It was drawn from the common theme from the SSpS General Chapter, which is ‘Toward Communion – widening the circle’.

“Each year we focus on a theme which is taken from the bigger, worldwide theme,” says Provincial Leader Sr Sarita Kurikattil.

“This year, our special focus is on ‘communion with others’ and we incorporated the theme of refugees and asylum seekers, into our Pentecost Vigil reflection.”

A large crowd gathered to hear from the guest speakers, who each explored a different aspect of the situation with refugees and asylum seekers around the world and in Australia and the region.

The speakers included Phil Glendenning, Director of the Edmund Rice Centre and President of the Refugee Council of Australia, as well as Sean Cleary from the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community education in Brisbane, and Netta Sheridan from the Bracken Ridge Catholic Parish, which is well known for its generous support of refugees.

SSpS Pentecost celebration2 2018 450“Netta spoke very powerfully about the way her parish welcomes these ‘new families’ as they chose to call them, to their parish and helps provide friendship and support for them in the local community,” Sr Sarita says.

“Many of the families they have welcomed come from Iraq and Syria and one of those ladies, who came here as a refugee one-and-a-half years ago was present with us at the Pentecost Vigil, which was wonderful.

“It was very encouraging to hear what this parish is doing to welcome refugees and asylum seekers into its community and to support them, because so often we hear of the situation with refugees and asylum seekers and we think there is nothing we can do. She gave us concrete, practical ideas of what can be done and this gives us hope.

“Often, it is just about being kind to people, listening to them and through this, their time of healing might be shortened because people reached out to them and made them welcome.

“We can do simple things to help. It doesn’t have to be a big thing.”

Sean Cleary shared his experience of working with the Jesuit Refugee Service in El Salvador during the war there, a story which also had a big impact on those listening.

“He was just on fire,” Sr Sarita says. “He expressed his love for the people of El Salvador and his commitment to them. He was really passionate about his experience there and his presentation was very, very real and very powerful.”

Phil Glendenning spoke about how he had just returned from Manus Island and Nauru and explained his role as a bridge between the people who are suffering there and the Australian government, whose policy keeps the people there.

“People were very touched by his sharing and it really opened their eyes to people’s suffering and focused our attention on the question of ‘what can we do?’,” Sr Sarita says.

“And I think that Netta’s story showed us that with the leadership of a good parish priest (Fr Gerry Hefferan) and a compassionate parish community, we can do quite a lot.”

The Pentecost celebration closed with Mass, celebrated by Fr John Chalmers, followed by a shared meal and fellowship.


PHOTOS: Scenes from the SSpS/SVD Pentecost celebration in Melbourne (by Hong Duc Le SVD).