Sister Mary Johanna solemnized her final vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Congregatio Servarum Spiritus Sancti de Adoratione perpetua (SSpSAP), also known as the "pink Sisters," during a Mass for the Rite of Perpetual Religious Profession celebrated November 19 at St. Joseph's Perpetual Adoration Chapel in Quezon City, Philippines.
Sister Johanna vowed to the Superior General of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, Mother Maria Magdalena Krusein, SSpSAP, witnessed by a bishop, priests, and congregations.
She expressed her happiness, which had never happened before, after taking the vows in SSpSAP.
“I am feeling a level of happiness that I have never felt before,” she told Radio Veritas Asia (RVA).
The sister recalled the difficulty in locating her call, as she had no intention of pursuing a religious vocation. As the primary earner for her family, her sole aspiration was to diligently perform her work. She was confronted with numerous crises and situations following her 2004 high school graduation.
She once attended a vocation lecture at which a sister and a lady discussed vocation.
Enlightenment ensued as she ultimately discerned her vocation, which was to contemplate life, following nine years of searching. She returned home in a state of joy and resolved to join Pink Sister in 2014.
“God gave me the strength and courage to answer the call because it's difficult for me to return home and leave them in such a difficult circumstance,” she said. “But when God granted me grace, strength, and bravery, that was the end of it. I returned home and went to the convent.”
Sister Johanna, before becoming a member of the congregation of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, obtained a degree in information technology in 2006. However, in fulfillment of the requirements, she worked as a sales associate and cashier at a department store for four years, albeit outside the information technology field.
Additionally, she cared for an elderly individual in Dubai for three years before relocating to Hong Kong to work as a housekeeper.
Reflecting on her vocation journey, she advised people who were looking for purpose and a religious vocation to carefully consider God's guidance and avoid getting too involved in the secular world.
“When you are so involved in the spirit of the world, it's very hard to hear the voice of God calling within us. It would be best if you spent time in silence. That silence is significant for hearing the voice of God, she said. “So go to church oftentimes and adore the blessed sacrament. That's an excellent habit that young people today should develop.”
As the principal officiant of the Mass, Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco of Cubao spoke in his homily about the responsibility that every individual possesses to effect change, given that God endows each person with a unique talent that they put to use.
“It is the lesson of life that the only way to keep a gift is to use it in the service of God and the service of our people. All of us, my good friends, have a mission. Everyone needs to ask, and every person can always make a difference. The basis of this is God's call. This will make our lives fruitful and lead to their fulfillment,” said Bishop Ongtioco.
Saint Arnold Janssen established the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (SSpSAP) in the village of Steyl, Holland, on December 8, 1896. It was Mother Mary Michael, the order's first Superior General, who provided the order's initial support.
The pink sisters belong to the international mission congregations, and together with the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) and the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS), they form the so-called Arnoldus Family.
The sisters must engage in prayer and manual labor while residing in an impenetrable enclosure. Their devotional practices revolved around the adoration of the Eucharist and the recitation of the Divine Office.
The missionary nature of the foundation was manifested in the requirement for intercessory prayer and prayer for priests.
As of the present moment, their global presence is comprised of 22 convents and approximately 350 members.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.