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Official Closing of the Centennial Year

See Also:
bullet REFLECTION Centennial Closing Eucharist
bullet RIFLESSIONE Eucaristia conclusiva del centenario
bullet The Centennial Resources Archives

Today, on January 15, 2009, the 100th death anniversary of our founder St. Arnold Janssen, the centennial year celebration of the deaths of our saints Arnold and Joseph was officially concluded in Rome.

The centennial year in Rome was inaugurated on January 29, 2008, on the 100th death anniversary of St. Joseph Freinademetz at the SVD Generalate and was officially closed on January 15, 2009, at the SSpS Generalate, Via Cassia. The Eucharist, which symbolized the conclusion of the centennial year, was officiated by Superior General Fr. Antonio M. Pernia and was attended by confreres from the three SVD communities in Rome, SSpS sisters and many religious and invited guests. The AJSC members Frs. Peter McHugh, Miguel Somers and Sr. Emmi Vaz, SSpS, from Steyl and the domestic staff (with their families) of the SSpS Generalate participated in the event.

The official conclusion of the centennial year began at 5.30 in the afternoon. Sr. Maria Theresia, SSpS, Congregational Leader, accorded a warm welcome to the congregation gathered in the Generalate chapel for the Eucharist. At the beginning of the mass, Fr. Pernia invited everyone in the chapel to recall with gratitude our saints Arnold and Joseph and ask the Lord for their intercession for us in our daily mission.

The reflection during the mass was given by Mission Secretary Sr. Mary John Kudiyiruppil, SSpS. The Centennial Celebration, Sr. Mary John said, is an experience of renewal for the members of the Congregations. By ‘renewal’ is meant a recapturing of the two impulses of mission: the attractional and the sending, she said. “100 years is a long time”, Sr. Mary John continued, “down the years we have given new interpretations to our spirituality and charism. Our communities are international in character but different from the Founder’s understanding of internationality. Our thrust is still mission but that thrust throws us into situations which the Founder may never have imagined. Many things have changed in manner and focus, but what has not changed is the realization that all mission is God’s mission. God’s will was primary in the lives of our two Saints. Therefore, together with Sts. Arnold and Joseph and our members and collaborators around the world, let us hold on to the conviction”.

At the end of the Eucharist, Fr. Pernia officially closed the centennial year of the deaths of our saints and said, “today we officially close the centennial year to continue to live in the spirit and carry on with the mission of Arnold and Joseph with more dedication and commitment.”

The celebrations of the evening were concluded with a sumptuous dinner, with everyone enjoying the hospitality and generosity of the SSpS sisters.

- thomas kallanchira, SVD