Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Press Release

Bad Driburg / Generalate of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters from Steyl 
Adolfine Tönnies (Mother Mary Michael)
Adolfine Tönnies (Mother Mary Michael)

In an official letter dated February 25, 2015, the Holy See has given the go signal for the beatification process for the Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters from Steyl, Adolfine Tönnies (Mother Mary Michael). On March 19 the so-called “Nihil Obstat” signed by Cardinal Angelus Amato was received. It opens the way for the beginning of the beatification process, which first begins on the diocesan level. On August 26, 2014, on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the mother house of the Sisters in Steyl (Netherlands), the request together with all the necessary documents regarding the opening of the process was presented to the Bishop of the Diocese of Roermond, Frans Wiertz.

Adolfine Tönnies was born on January 7, 1862 in Horst-Emscher (today Gelsenkirchen-Horst). Having completed her schooling and subsequent teacher training in Muenster, she worked for ten years as a teacher in the North German town of Rendsburg. With her desire to become a religious, she applied to the German priest Arnold Janssen, who had founded in 1875 in Steyl a house for the training of future missionaries. In 1891 he accepted Adolfine Tönnies in the Congregation of Missionary Sisters, which he had founded two years previously.  When in 1896 he founded a second, contemplative Congregation, Adolfine Tönnies belonged to the founding Sisters of this community of the “Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration,” whose superior and later Superior General she became. As a Sister she received the religious name Mary Michael. Although she lived in an enclosed cloister, she was with all her heart a missionary as well. She worked for the inner and outer development of her Congregation and founded new adoration convents in Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, the Philippines and China. She died on February 25, 1934 in Steyl. Today there are about 350 Steyl Adoration Sisters living in 22 convents in various parts of the world.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Diamond Jubilee

Renewing Her Vows
The call of God is always present in one's life, but where and when it is heard differs with each individual.  Some hear it in childhood and, although they get sidetracked at times with other interests, they always seem to be heading in the direction of the monastery. This does not mean that these individuals are souls of special predilection or the like. In many instances their motivation can be less than perfect, but God uses all means, the perfect as well as the imperfect, to accomplish his designs. My own experience can be used as an example. When I was six years old my father died after a very brief illness. The reality of death and the sorrow of physical separation affected me deeply. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I would never marry because of the grief and sorrow I would experience if my husband preceded me in death. This was hardly a pure motive for entering religious life, but I believe God used this experience and motivation to awaken in me the first stirrings of a religious vocation. Several years later there was a feature story about a cloistered-contemplative Order in the daily newspaper and I was fascinated as I read about these religious who totally lived for God in prayer, solitude, and penance. I felt myself drawn and attracted to this lifestyle. As the years passed I went through all the normal stages of young womanhood and at times seriously considered marriage and various forms of religious life. But deep within there was always that attraction and pull towards dedicating myself to God in a contemplative form of life.
(Our jubilarian, Sister Mary Gemma, on her vocation to the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters)

Monday, November 11, 2013


Well, 2013 kinda got away from us... just yesterday the trees were budding with fresh green leaves.  Today those leaves are golden and red, a crunchy coating on the ground.  As far as I know, each day still contains 24 hours, and each year 365 days; how is it that they speed by at such lighting pace?  We live in the past: such marvelous memories.  Or, we live in the future: such glorious hopes.  Meanwhile, the present slips past, quiet and unnoticed.
Or maybe the present is noticed, soaked in, enjoyed to the fullest.  Time isn't flowing any faster or slower than usual but each moment overflows with blessings to the one who is alert to them.  Sometimes blessings come wrapped in thorns, sometimes they're pillowy-soft.  Always a gift from God, a chance to grow and expand our hearts.
One day, we'll be in heaven where there is no more time, only an eternal NOW.  Embrace it, live it while it is here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...Easter?

Snow on Palm Sunday = Snow Rabbits!

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blessings Times 3

We joyfully welcome our third postulant!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


What if sanctity was as simple...or maybe even as difficult as a smile?  Think about it: at work you often run into someone you know dislikes you or whom you dislike and you smile at them! Why? Because God dwells in them. Our founder St. Arnold taught us to smile at one another as we pass in the hallways: greeting the Trinity dwelling within the other.

Or what if you gave God your best smile when you are depressed or angry—that's virtue. It not only increases seratonin but brings to your mind God within you, helping you to go beyond how you are feeling. Our bedridden Sister always says: “Keep smiling—for him.” She never stops smiling and I know she suffers.  So maybe holiness can be as easy (or as hard) as smiling.