Sr. Renata Sistemich

Posted on 23-04-2014

photoI was brought up in Herzogenarth, Aachen, Germany with my parents, three older brothers, grandparents and my mother’s brothers and their families all living in the same house. From my early childhood I was surrounded by a living faith. My earliest memories are connected with my fear for life due to the Second World War which started just ten days before I was born – memories of running for our lives to the nearest air-raid shelter. I used to go to the Mass daily from the time I was seven and from there to school.
When I was nine, at the time of my First Holy communion I learnt that I had a grand uncle who was a Camillian priest. He came for a short visit and I started corresponding with him about God and faith. Slowly at that time the thought of giving myself for the service of God grew in me. When I was about twelve, our parish school got a new chaplain who was a former SVD and liked to take groups of students to Steyl. I was excited to see the young candidates in Steyl and wanted to be one among them. I kept it to myself until I was fourteen. This was the end of my primary schooling and my mother was concerned to find me a job somewhere. She asked all kinds of trades I was interested in and I always said ‘no’. At last a day came to confess my desire to my parents and thus I entered the Steyl secondary school in 1955. In 1962 I entered as a postulant.
After my initial convent training, I got an appointment to the Philippines to be trained as a nurse and worked there for 16 years. I returned home in 1982 to take care of my parents who were both paralyzed due to stroke. When my father died in 1984 I moved to the infirmary in Steyl with my mother so that I could do youth ministry and vocation work while minding her. In 1988 I was transferred to Ireland to accompany a postulant and since then I have been working in Ireland as a counsellor and psychotherapist.
My relationship with God, nourished by communal and personal prayer challenges me and support of the community sustains me in my religious missionary life.

Sr. AnnIta Walsh

Posted on 22-01-2014

1375982_10151946547107264_291285969_nI entered our congregation in 1992. After completing my time of formation I professed first vows in 1996 and final vows in 2003. In October 2003 I was appointed to our Paraclete Province in the USA for ministry in Antigua.
During those initial years here, 2003-07, I was involved in Youth Ministry and Catechetics at Holy Family Cathedral Parish in St. John’s. However , after completing a Master Degree in Pastoral Ministry , I became more engaged in Pastoral Ministry at Holy Family Parish , primarily in the areas of Adult Faith Formation , liturgy and Prison Ministry.
What has sustained me in my missionary life up until, now is the great sense of purpose and joy with which this life has gifted me . I truly believe that the world is a more loving and more caring place because of what God manages to do through each one of us. The joy I receive in this knowledge , simply propels me on to want to do more; give more and be more. I find it difficult to really pin point one thing that nurtures or sustains this sense of joy and conviction within me. However, I do recognize how vital it is for me to remain centered on the Lord and not on myself. I believe attending daily Mass and being faithful to personal and community prayer helps me greatly in this task.

Sr. Yudith Anu

Posted on 22-01-2014

10062013548 (2)I come from Lamalera, Indonesia. Lamalera is a fishing village where I grew up with my seven other siblings. My call to religious life took root in the community setting of my own family. I lived in a home where family prayer such as rosary, bible reading and the Eucharist were highly valued. My father was a carpenter and my mother was a house wife. From this simple family I came to know who is God in my everyday life. The rosary and the bible reading took place every evening and it was very important and I was taught how to read the bible to prepare for the next day. My mother knew the bible very well and she chose my name out of the bible.

All my primary and junior high school were in my village and later on I have to move from my home village to go to senior high school in Larantuka, Flores. I stayed with religious sisters in the boarding school. I was training to be a Catholic religious teacher and when I got a diploma I taught for two years in my village primary school. I was happy there and enjoy teaching. During this time I talked to my parents about entering the convent. My father was not so pleased. I was about 18 years old at this time. I was also discerning where to go and what to do in my life. I was a teacher and I wanted to teach. So I went to our local congregation but the doors were closed for me. I heard about the SSpS from my brother when he was in a minor seminary next to our sisters and he talked about them during his holidays but the sisters never been to our school for vocation promotion weekend like other congregations. I wrote to one of our sisters in Hokeng about my desire to know this congregation. Immediately I got a reply from a sister who was the vocation director to come and see her. So I was delighted and went to Hokeng. A year later I entered as an aspirant for one year in Kewapante.

I have been in the convent now for 20 years. I am a missionary in Ireland and I trained to be a hospital chaplain. At the moment I am working as volunteer hospital chaplain. I feel the prayerful support from my family (my late parents, my brothers and sisters). I have been encouraged and supported by the prayer, example and witness of many good Sisters in our Congregation and by the faith and prayer of those whom I have had the privilege to minister to. Being as a Holy Spirit missionary has enriched the very act of living and knitted me into the hearts of hundreds throughout the years, leaving me with a profound sense of gratitude and communion with God and so many others.