Leader: Let us praise God!
All: And give God thanks!
Leader: On September 5, 1882, Theresa von Wullenweber pronounced her vows at Neuwerk Germany, and, in doing so, became a member of the first degree of the Apostolic Teaching Society. During the process of the beatification of Mother Mary, the Congregation of Rites asked the Sisters of the Divine Savior for suggested dates for her feastday, a day in which the Church could annually refer her to us and to all Christians as a model of extraordinary holiness and virtue. The date chosen was and is September 5th. Therefore, every year, we stop to pause, to say thanks, and to ask God’s blessings not only on us, but also on our world.
Let us listen to two readings which give insight into Mother Mary’s life.
Reading 1: In her circular letter of September 5, 1969, Mother Demetria Lang (superior general) wrote: “For Blessed Mary, September 5, 1882 marked the end of a long and seemingly fruitless search and the beginning of the fulfillment of her life’s dream. There in Neuwerk, in the ancient abbey church, a new work took its beginning, grew slowly and steadily, until it was transplanted to Tivoli, and then to Rome, in whose universal climate it took root and quickly spread to international proportions.
We cannot celebrate September 5th without being mindful also of Father Francis Jordan. He it was who, almost at the eleventh hour, opened for Theresa the door to the light; he pointed the way and established her in the course Providence had traced out for her.”
All: Thanks be to God!
Pause for Silence
Reading 2: Mother Mary’s spirituality was that of a woman for others; her virtues the community-building virtues of humility and obedience; her piety a practical ministry to the needs of people; her method the effective one of collaboration between men and women in the work of God. At the death of Theresa, known by her community as Mother Mary, there was little outside celebration of fame or sanctity. Her spirituality did not draw attention to itself. It was rather the kind in which the person is eclipsed by the work of God accomplished through her.
Nonetheless, now that the community formed by her and Father Jordan has spread and matured and remained, the reputation of Blessed Theresa is increasing. More and more widely she is recognized and appealed to as the bearer of a special gift of God.
“No one can measure,” wrote her confessor, “the degree to which this Servant of God practiced all the Christian virtues. Especially remarkable were her total dedication to her destined vocation and her concept of the apostolate. As her confessor I can affirm that she was exemplary in every way.” (Timmerman: Therese von Wullenweber)
All: Thanks be to God!
Time for Silent Prayer
Leader: Aware now of our heritage, our calling, and our mission of making known the goodness and kindness of Jesus, our Savior, we place our concerns and needs before our God.
Leader: For our Salvatorian collaborators who join with us,
All: May they reap good fruits through their generous efforts.
Leader: For Salvatorians who teach, through their lives or by their profession,
All: May the persons they touch hear and live Your message.
Leader: For Salvatorians in health care and healing ministries,
All: May their efforts bring wholeness to the spirits as well as the bodies of those they serve.
Leader: For Salvatorians in home service, raising families, doing administration, or other charitable work,
All: Enable them to serve in mutual collaboration and loving respect.
Leader: For Salvatorians in formation, and for those who serve in formation,
All: May we support them by our prayer and by our friendship.
Leader: For Salvatorians and other loved ones who witness God’s strength through their lives of pain and diminishment,
All: May Jesus, Healing Savior, be their life and their strength.
Leader: For Salvatorians and other loved ones who now rest in God’s arms,
All: May they enjoy the reward of everlasting life.
Leader: Let us pray – (together)
Merciful God, You granted Blessed Mary of the Apostles the gift of a generous apostolic love, and urged her to world-wide missionary dedication. Grant that by her prayer and her example we may serve Your kingdom selflessly and with true apostolic spirit. For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.