Divine Word College always has special place in my heart and life as a Holy Spirit Missionary. It is a place where the heart of our founder and co-foundresses’ spirituality is found and nurtured. It where the charism of our dear founders flows and enriches every aspect of the life of the college.
Paving the way
We, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters (SSpS) were the first women’s congregation to send members to study at DWC during the province leadership of Sr. Judith Vallimont, SSpS, who remains until this day a big advocate of collaborating with DWC by sending our sisters to DWC. We started our community there in 2006. Sr. Gladys Smith from Argentina, Sr. Maria Eugenia from Argentina, Sr. Vincent Wolff from the U.S., and myself, an Indonesian. It has indeed always been an international community, which mirrors the essence of who we really are as an international congregation. In August of that year, I began my first semester as a student at Divine Word College.
Holistic Education through and through
During my studies at DWC, it was not only a place where I gained knowledge, more importantly, it was a place where my call as a missionary sister was nurtured and strengthened. DWC was a place where the aspect of “Contemplation in action” in my religious life found deeper meaning. The spiritual life, the ministry as well as community life were the critical foundation of everyday life at DWC. Studying at DWC was a privilege for me because it offered life lessons about multicultural living because of its diverse students who came from different cultures and backgrounds. It prepared me to live my life and ministry in today’s world.
Kindness grew at DWC
From all the memories I have from DWC, kindness stood out the most. It was my first experience of higher education outside my country. I was so deeply touched by the kindness of each one of the staff and the students. I could confidently approach any teacher or student for help whenever I needed it. They would generously offer their time, knowledge and skills. I remember, when I was struggling with my math, some students approached me to set up an extra math lesson at night. We did this and it helped me so much. The students tried their best to explain to me, the old lady, helping me to grasp the math. For me the heart of DWC that impressed me most was the fact that life is not just about me and my own interests. It is about sharing and lifting each other up in life. As an educator myself, this is the spirit that I try to nurture in my students, teaching them to lend a helping hand when others are in need.
This kindness extended beyond DWC. Janel Then and Judy Berger our neighbors and faithful confidantes there at DWC blessed us, the Sisters, with their kind hearts. They open their doors to our Sisters, not only helping with English but making sure we felt at home in the USA, so far from home. Their motherly caring hearts help us cope with the homesickness of missing our own family and culture.
As I am working now with my SVD brothers on the southside of Chicago, I am grateful for the solid foundation from DWC which prepared me to collaborate with my SVD brothers in mission and spread our Founder’s dream in collaborative ministries. I thank my Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters for taking the step of sending sisters to be part of DWC.