Our story begins in the loving heart of the Triune God. Out of the loving communion of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, creation was born. Love is both: the movement inward to deeper communion and outward—inviting others into this communion. In the fullness of time, the Author of life entered the story. Empowered by the Spirit, Jesus proclaimed the Reign of God and beckoned all into friendship with the Triune God. By his words and deeds, Jesus invited back to communion all those who, in one way or another, had fallen out of it or had been pushed to the margins. He reached out to all but especially to sinners, the poor, the sick, women, and people of other beliefs. He lived the good news he proclaimed in his stories and parables: No one is excluded from the Reign of God! he transforming power of the Spirit challenged Jesus to expand his consciousness when he wanted to limit his ministry to his fellow Jews. The Spirit challenged the young Church, too, to share the good news beyond the boundaries of their religion and culture. The same Spirit filled our Founding Generation with the burning desire to reach out to people far beyond their own horizon, and to share with them the greatest gift of all:
the all-inclusive love of God. Their total commitment to mission and sense of purpose sustained them in difficulties and enabled them to make daring decisions and joyful sacrifices. Their audacity continues to inspire us. As SSpS today, we continue the story our Founding Generation began. The story of God's love from the beginning of time must be told ever new—in new words, in new lives. At this 14th General Chapter, we experienced the Spirit—the protagonist of mission—calling us to be "accomplices" in her mission and drawing all into deeper communion with God and in God. We are to be the good news we proclaim. The Spirit impels us to conversion toward deeper communion with God, with others, and with all of creation. In that light, justice, peace, and integrity of creation are not merely something we do; they are at the very heart of our religious missionary vocation toward communion. Inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit at this 14th General Chapter, we, SSpS, commit ourselves to the following directions for 2014-2020:
Toward communion widening the circle.
We nurture our personal relationship with the Triune God as the source and center of our life and mission. We treasure our name, Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit. It gives expression and impetus to our missionary spirituality and charism.
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We have grown in the awareness that all creation and life are interconnected and reflect the love of the Triune God. The Spirit has taught us to see that our mission to share "life in fullness" encompasses not just all people, but all of creation. We realize that Mother Earth has been violated and deprived of her dignity. As she suffers, so does all life.
Humankind is expanding its consciousness to global horizons. At the same time, people struggle to maintain their cultural identity and national sovereignty. Our interculturality as SSpS is an expression of the Spirit's many faces. We experience both the richness and the struggles of intercultural and intergenerational community living.
Our formation today, both initial and ongoing, asks us to be open to paradigm shifts in the expression of our consecrated life, community life, and leadership styles. Congregational structures and leadership styles have to facilitate participation and communion. We experience the value of communal discernment and participative leadership. Moreover, the way we use our resources, both human and financial, and the way we make decisions and carry out our ministries have the concerns of the poor at heart.
The movement towards globalization and planetization is changing our patterns of collaboration and communication. We are called to join hands with all those who are inspired by the same Spirit, such as our lay partners in mission and those who belong to other organizations, cultures and religions. Our efforts to pormote universal communion would be incomplete without building bridges of friendship with people of other beliefs. Sharing our stories allows us to discover the God of many names and faces.