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17 : Consecration of the crypt of the Cathedral of Chartres
29: 116th SPC Philippine Foundation Day
Calendar : courtesy of the District of Switzerland
September 8, 2020
The extraordinary times in which we live render our celebration of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary greater significance. We honor Mary not only for mirroring to us her life of faithful and courageous discipleship, but more so, for her maternal care and protection, especially during these times of uncertainty and crisis.
Through her words at the wedding at Cana:
“They have no more wine,” we hear both a heartfelt supplication and a deep concern towards her suffering children. Wine is a symbol of joy, of celebration, and of communion.
Mary was keen enough to recognize that an essential ingredient at the wedding feast was running out. Her sensitivity to the needs of the bride and the groom, point to us Mary’s deep empathy and interest in the plight of the needy, the poor, and the troubled. She acted in solidarity with the afflicted and manifested her unwavering faith and love.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.