“Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” (Eph. 1:3)
It is with a great spirit of gratitude that our sisters celebrated the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the SSVM in the United States in the Province of the Immaculate Conception, giving thanks for the constant intercession of St. Joseph. Under the care of this wonderful Patron, our Religious Family has seen time and time again the many blessings and graces received through the hands of the humble carpenter of Nazareth and thus we celebrate with great joy to the honor of St. Joseph.
Our missionaries first arrived in the USA in 1994 in East Brooklyn, NY at St. Gabriel’s Parish. Among these first missionaries were Mother María de las Victorias, and Sr. María Francisca Xavier. Our formula of vows states that we commit all our strength so as not to be evasive to the missionary adventure. These sisters and all other missionaries leave behind their country, language and culture so as to bring souls to Christ. It is by such sacrifice, generosity and faithfulness to the charism that abundant fruits and graces are poured out on the mission. We remember the words of St. Paul: “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full well that you will receive an inheritance from him as your reward.”
By God’s grace the mission in East Brooklyn continues on: the parish life of St. Gabriel and St. John Cantius, the religious education program for children and adults, youth group, visits to the sick, house visits and a thriving Third Order community.
On March 17th at St. Gabriel’s Parish in Brooklyn, NY, the Sisters had an early celebration for the 25th anniversary of the Province which is actually March 24. Some of the first missionaries, who had arrived 25 years ago to this mission were able to join us for the feast and were especially happy to see some of the same people that first welcomed them to the Province.
On the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the sisters in Washington, DC celebrated the anniversary with the Holy Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception presided by Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE, Provincial Superior. As an added grace, two sisters from the Province received a special blessing for their 25th anniversary of their first profession of vows. Afterwards, our sisters continued the celebration with family and friends with a dinner and traditional show at the IVE seminary.
We give thanks to God and Our Blessed Mother for these 25 years, full of so many graces and blessings, and for the special intercession and care of St. Joseph. “The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; she will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.” May we, like St. Joseph, be not afraid to do God’s will and bring many souls to his Son, Jesus Christ.