AJSC Newsletter

Newsletter # 2

Steyl - January 07, 2005

SVD / SSpS / SSpSAP


In This Bulletin:

  1. Season's Greetings
  2. Loss of a Good Friend
  3. Activities of the Team since our Last Newsletter
  4. New AJSC Programs
  5. AJSC Materials to be made Available
  6. Recent Publications
  7. Blessed New Year 2005

1. Season's Greetings

Warmest greetings for the new year 2005 from the Central Team of the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center in Steyl.

Here we are with AJSC Newsletter No. 2 according to schedule. So you can see we are serious about maintaining contact with you in this way! Our thanks to those of you who wrote to us after receiving AJSC Newsletter No. 1. Please keep sending us information about what is happening in your province/region in the area of spiritual animation.

The AJSC Newsletter is being sent out in five language versions: English, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Indonesian. Please let us know if you wish to receive another version than the one you are reading.

Use the following address: ajscinfo@steyler.nl

2. Loss of a Good Friend

Henry Heekeren passed away on 14 December 2004. As superior general (1977-1988) he had recognized the fundamental need for ongoing renewal in spirituality and had promoted it vigorously. He specially emphasized a spirituality which grows out of deep respect for and contact with people, particularly the poor and marginalized -- he appointed a coordinator for Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation. And he emphasized too a spirituality nourished by Sacred Scripture, the Word of God. This led the 1988 SVD General Chapter to a renewed self-awareness among the SVD of being the Society of the Divine Word.

The same General Chapter decided to establish the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center (AJSC) in Steyl. Together with the present SSpS Congregational Leader, Sr. Agada Brand, Henry became the first director of the AJSC. It was a totally new undertaking and Henry and the Team had to find their way. Many of you were participants in some of those early programs.

On 14 December, the day Henry died, two of the Central Team returned to Steyl and the new Team were together for the very first time. It is surely significant that Henry passed on just as the new Team were taking over. Providential too that Sr. Agada was in Steyl for a meeting and thus was able to take part in Henry's funeral.

Yet, despite his many notable achievements, for those of us who knew him well, Henry will be missed more for his warm and encouraging presence. Henry had that special gift of conveying to every person he met the impression they really mattered for him and, for that moment at least, had his full attention. That is spiritual animation in daily life -- helping each person become more aware of their own beauty and value.

3. Activities of the Team since our Last Newsletter

For the first time the three month SSpS tertiate or renewal course was held in Steyl. It was a Spanish-Portuguese course and our Team were responsible for the sections on our spirituality and charism today and on the founding generation, and the guided retreat. We coordinated the two weeks which the SVD renewal course spent in Steyl before they proceeded to Oies and Nemi. We also conducted the ten days guided retreat for both groups and for the Dei Verbum Biblical Course in Nemi. We have guided a good number of retreats for all three Congregations in various places, as well as given preached retreats. Sr. Franziska guided several Contemplative Retreats. Michael was one of three who gave input at the SVD Asia-Pacific Formators' workshop in the Philippines.

4. New AJSC Programs

The AJSC Core Team has developed a variety of programs for spiritual animation and we have conducted them in very many provinces and regions, usually with the collaboration of local SAT members. These programs would include:

In the responses to the Questionnaire (reported on in the last issue of the AJSC Newsletter) several new themes were suggested for the Team to develop with the focus on our religious-missionary life. We discussed this in our planning sessions and for a start we have decided that we will be able to offer programs on the following four new themes:

If any province or region would like to invite the Core Team to conduct programs (workshops and seminars or retreats) on any of the above themes, please contact us and we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements.

Due to the composition of the Team programs can be handled in the following languages: English, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish.

5. AJSC Materials to be made Available

In the responses to the Questionnaire an oft repeated request was to make more materials available. We will try to respond to this felt need. Fr. Pernia has permitted us to make use of the SVD Generalate website to make materials available for use throughout the congregations. On the Generalate website there are two areas, one restricted to SVDs who have registered, and a Public Area to which anyone has access via the internet. In the Public Area is a box or folder marked AJSC. Simply click on it to open the folder and look for material according to choice of language. You will be able to read and download the material. The address is: http://www.svdcuria.org/public/ajsc/

Put it immediately among your Favorites!

If you have material which you think could be useful for others, please send the material in electronic format to us at: ajscinfo@steyler.nl

We will enter only materials concerning our congregational history and spirituality and mission. It is not intended for general articles on spirituality or theology, unless they seem specially helpful for conducting spiritual animation programs. Of course, it will take some time before the system is fully functioning, so be patient if you try several times and find the storeroom bare!

6. Recent Publications

In the Newsletter we would like bring to your attention any books recently published on our spirituality and mission. Our listing will not be exhaustive but will just indicate titles that have been brought to our attention.

For both publications contact: Sekretariat Arnold-Janssen address: sekr.aj@steyler.nl

Recent books by Sr. Franziska Carolina Rehbein of the AJSC:

 

Please let us know of similar recent publications. And please continue to keep us informed of animation programs that are being conducted in the provinces and regions. Thank you.

7. Blessed New Year 2005

We send you our best wishes for the new year 2005. But we do so under the dark shadow of the tsunami disaster in Asia with so many thousands of victims. It seems none of our confreres or Sisters were injured by it, but some have lost members of their family. May they and all of you experience more deeply the strengthening and hope-bringing presence of the Incarnate Word.

This is the wish of all the AJSC members as we move into a new year in his name. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Central Team of the AJSC
Emmie,  Franziska,  Matilde,  Michael,  Peter
and Simon.