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21 : 1710 – 310th death anniversary of Fr. Louis Chauvet, SPC Founder
Calendar : courtesy of the District of Switzerland
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Romans 12: 12
Our God of “second chances,” gave us once again the time during the holy season of Lent to be filled, directed, and empowered by His Spirit. With hearts purified and renewed, we joyfully acclaim: Christ is alive and He is our Hope! And so, as we continue the journey towards Easter, we take up the challenge to proclaim by the witness of our consecrated life that indeed, “we have seen the Lord!” (cf Jn 20:18).
The celebration of the Lenten season this year has been full of meaning, as we faced the many tragic events in our personal and collective human experiences – wars, conflict, economic woes, environmental degradation, and the outbreak of the dreadful coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These fateful events can easily tempt us to fall into the trap of hopelessness or succumb to the temptation of despair and fear, if we are not vigilant and persevering in our prayer.
In the midst of these uncertainties, we are challenged to live and act in the power of the Risen Lord and to practice the virtue of hope, a “hope that does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5) This hope is not based on our power, or accomplishments, nor on numbers and technological advancements, but on the One whom we have put our trust (cf 2 Tim 1:2) and who continues to assure us, “Be not afraid…I am with you.” (Jer 1:8)
If you have been following the news about the COVID-19, you surely must have known how the virus had spread easily from Wuhan, in the Hubei Province, China to Hong Kong, Daegu, South Korea, Italy, and to other parts of the world. In order to interrupt and slow down the transmission of the virus, schools and other workplaces were closed, travel bans and restrictions were enforced, cities and towns were locked down, big group gatherings including the celebration of Holy Masses were suspended. But what is more disheartening than the public health crisis and the threat on global economy, is the fact that the coronavirus has incited fear and anxiety among people, which, in some instances, led to social stigma, discrimination, racism and even physical or verbal violence.
We do not know exactly why or how these things are happening at this point in time. Only one thing is certain, that God’s love is greater than any malady. The Lenten season was a moment of grace, despite the impending threat of the coronavirus. It was an opportune time to discover the evangelical sense of this difficult period in our history.
The crisis has also unleashed heroic acts of charity and selfless service from people coming from all walks of life, especially the health care providers who are most at risk of exposure. These are sparks of the resurrection hope that assure us that God never abandons us. Together with Him, we will win this battle against the invisible enemy, if we too, like the Israelites heed the words of Moses: “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” (Ex 14:1315)
We are grateful to God for his continued protection. So far, our communities have been spared from the pandemic. However, in the face of this international health emergency, we cannot remain complacent or indifferent.
As Easter people, we rejoice in the joy that Easter brings: the triumph of life over death, the triumph of good over evil, the triumph of light over darkness, the triumph of hope over despair, the triumph of love over fear. May our Easter be truly a celebration of new life, renewed hope, boundless love and joyful thanksgiving!
From all us at the Generalate, we sincerely thank you for your expressions of concern, messages of support and prayers.
I wish you a blessed and “virus-free” Easter! Alleluia!
(Excerpts from the Easter Message of Mother General)
How do you know that God is calling you?
- Listen to your restlessness and note down in your journal, where God seems to lead you.
- List down your inmost feelings and thoughts and talk them out with God.
- Find the time and place to have your solitude and silence where you can think through and reflect what had happened during the day and bring this to God for dialogue.
A vocation is God’s invitation or calling to each one to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state or way of life.
It is a nagging voice that you hear from within you, making you feel restless and have that sense of an unexplainable void from within you but draws you to think of the Divine and make you interested to know Him more deeply.
Our freedom lies in discovering our own vocation and our generosity to respond it.
Vocation is a gift of God to us and our positive response to it, is our gift to Him.”
- Pray … ask the Lord to show you the vocation He has prepared for you and invites you to embrace.
- Listen … to God and beg for the courage to respond to Him freely and generously.
- Recite … the rosary as often as you can. Ask the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession.
- Find time to visit … the Blessed Sacrament or Adoration chapel and rest in His Holy Presence
- Participate actively … in the Eucharistic Celebration and receive the Holy Communion.
- Go… to confession regularly at least once a month.
- Make time to volunteer and serve … in your parish and in your community
- Do … some acts or works of charity to the poor
- Consult … a priest or consecrated religious about your vocation and spiritual concern for spiritual direction and guidance.
- Contact us … so that we may be able to assist you in any way we can.
- Faith and love for Jesus Christ and His Church.
- The aspiration to love and serve Christ through His people.
- Longing for God, desire to pray and serve others.
- Common sense – the maturity to recognize, and the willingness to respond to a situation and the needs of others.
- Possessing a regular habit of prayer and a balanced devotional life.
- Psychological readiness to pursue a sustaining, lifelong commitment.
- A sense or desire to become a consecrated religious; which may be something constant or momentary, long standing or new.
- Good moral character.
- Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
- A developing spirit or detachment that helps someone to be in the world but not of the world.
We are an international congregation present in the 5 continents of the world, spread out in 39 countries, serving the periphery in our ministries of education, care for the sick and pastoral care.
You can get in touch with us at: Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, Via della Vignaccia, 193, Rome Italy, 00163
or message us at: email@example.com
Sr. Theresa Kaetkaew Punnachet (Thailand)
“I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
Sr. Elisabeth Situngkir (Indonesia)
“For me to live is Christ.”
The letter of St. Paul to the Philippians became an inspiration for Sr. Theresa not to look back on what she has left behind in order to pursue her desire to follow Jesus through the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC). Gifted with a joyful spirit, she counts everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ
Sr. Theresa was attracted to the charism of charity of the Sisters of St. Paul in Thailand where she had her basic education. Her desire to become a religious SPC started when she was in grade school. However, the sister who knew her desire to become a nun, advised her to continue to pray for her religious vocation as she continues her studies. After she finished her Bachelor’s degree in Assumption University in Thailand, she went to London to pursue her Masteral and Doctoral degrees.
In London, she stayed in the dormitory run by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres. It was here that the seed of religious vocation flourished when she saw the simplicity of life of the Sisters. After finishing her studies, she became very active in research studies in Catholic Education in the University of London, her alma mater, working as a Research Associate. Later on she worked as an Administrator at the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education (CRDCE), Institute of Education in the university.
She also joined several pilgrimages during summer breaks and vacations from work and explored the world. While in London, she had many opportunities to do or achieve anything she wanted. However, it was during this time of overwhelming gratitude she felt from God that she ‘heard’ the call again. This time the “call” she heard in her heart was much stronger than when she heard it when she was in grade school in Thailand. Finally, she decided to join the SPC Congregation as it also fits her desire to serve Christ in the education ministry.
She went back home to Thailand, visited her old school and met her sister-teachers again, reminiscing her good old days with them. The Sisters saw that she was ready and welcomed her with joy.
“For me to live is Christ” is the scriptural text that I chose when I pronounced my vows in 2008, and until now this exhortation of St. Paul continues to inspire me in carrying out my call to follow Christ.
With the passage of time, I always get the strength by reflecting on this text. I have realized how much Jesus has given Himself as a sacrifice for us all and for me personally. The experience of Paul in following Jesus inspires me to follow Jesus devotedly. Jesus was always ‘walking’ with Paul and I believe that Jesus would do the same with me.
The desire to become a sister had always been in my heart since I was a child. But the decision to become a religious and join the SPC Congregation happened only after working for 3 years in the industry.
My response to follow Jesus happened gradually. I was an active member in our parish and has participated all its activities. A holy priest one day, gave me a book entitled, “Following the Footsteps of Jesus Christ.” He told me to read it. And so every night before I go to sleep, I would read it leisurely and spend some time thinking about it. I was so inspired to meditate the different guidelines written in that book and was drawn more and more to God. then, the feeling of wanting to be with God became stronger and finally, I understood in my heart that God was calling me to follow him.
There were many congregations to choose from and options to follow for my career. But everytime I participated the adoration prayer service of the Sisters of St. Paul, I was drawn more and more to pray and got interested to know their way of life.
After this experience, I decided to join them, (Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres), to follow Jesus.
Sr. Elisabeth is from Indonesia. Being an architect, she was busy building churches and convents back in Indonesia when she heard the call of God to follow him.