svdlogo_100 Mission Congregation Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS)

Second Congregation founded by Arnold Janssen on December 8, 1889, with Helena Stollenwerk, Hendrina Stenmanns and two more young women forming the first group. They were accepted first as maidservants in St. Michael’s Mission House while Arnold Janssen was waiting for the right time to start a new foundation. After many years of patient waiting and humble hard work, their most cherished dream to become religious missionaries was finally realized in 1889.

Blessed Maria Helena Stollenwerk,

SSpS Co-foundress

November 28, 1852 – February 3, 1900

Born in Rollesbroich in the German Eifel on November 28, 1852, Helena Stollenwerk was baptized the following day. Already as a young child she felt called to missionary work, inspired by the annual of the Holy Childhood Association (now Papal Work for Children).

At the same time she had an inclination towards adoration and contemplation. The sense of this two-fold vocation was a source of joy and spirit of self-giving. At the age of ten she became a promoter of the Holy Childhood Association.

She maintained the task for twenty years, until she entered in Steyl. The Association annuals were her “window on the world”, through which the plight of children, especially in China, filled her with concern and missionary longing. A further source of nourishment for Helena’s vocation was the Eucharist.

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To God the glory, to my neighbor the benefit,
to me the burden.

Bl. Maria, Helena Stollenwerk

Blessed Josefa, Hendrina Stenmanns,

SSpS Co-foundress

May 28, 1852 – May 20, 1903

Hendrina Stenmanns was born on May 28, 1852, in Issum, German Lower Rhineland, the eldest of seven children. Already as a child, she showed great concern for the poor and suffering whom she visited with her mother. She also cared responsibly for her younger brothers and sisters.

After leaving school, she contributed to the family income through her work as a silk weaver. The characteristics for which she was noted, a motherly and cheerful nature, kindness and a healing compassion, began to show in the young Hendrina. She always managed to find the sick and needy, and people turned to her for help and advice in all their problems. Without her being aware of it, God was developing the character and talents she would need for her future tasks.
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Our mission is to open
every heart to God.

Bl. Josefa, Hendrina Stenmanns

Recounting our history is essential for preserving our identity, for strengthening our unity as a family
and our common sense of belonging. To tell our story is to praise God and to thank him for all his gifts.

– Pope Francis –