80 Youth from the Dioceses of Luxemburgo on Pilgrimage in Assisi

Servidoras Luxemburgo Peregrinando en Asís

With the motto “Laudato Si” Sisters Maria Madre Celestial and Maria Czestochowa participated in a pilgrimage to Assisi guided by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich and in which 80 people participated including youth and leaders.

St. Francis came from a wealthy family- his father sold fabric- and lived a carefree childhood and youth, cultivating ideas of knights and chivalry from his time. When he was twenty he joined the military and was taken prisoner. He became ill and was freed. After his return to Assisi, he began a slow process of spiritual conversion that led him to gradually leave the worldly life he had lived.  At this time St. Francis’s famous encounter with the leper took place, where Francis, got off his horse, gave the Kiss of peace and the message of the Crucifix from St. Damian’s Church. Christ on the Cross came to life on three different occasions and said “See, Francis, and repair my Church from its ruins.” And from there began his process of conversion.

We began our journey on the night of the 17th of July and we arrived the following morning to the land of St. Francis.  In the evening on the 18th we went on a walk to the Basilica of St. Francis which took us an hour and fifteen minutes. At the Basilica we had Mass, celebrated by one of our chaplains. 

On the 19th we began our hike which lasted 5 days. We hiked through mountains, went on trails some were rocky and others dry, to visit different places on “the way of St. Francis.” “The way of St. Francis” comprises places which played an important role in the life St. Francis, some were important in his spiritual life and others in the development of the Franciscan order. 

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“Here we make holiness consist in being always cheerful”

SSVM Ireland summer camp


From the 13th – 17th of July in our parish of Bunclody, we ran a summer camp for local children entitled ‘Faith Adventure Camp’ and what an adventure it was! Every day was filled with arts and crafts, theatre, songs, dance, and of course plenty of playing in the rain – it is Ireland after all and rain stops for no season! Each morning after prayer, we sat the kids down for a formation talk to start off the day and to explore what their idea of a ‘faith adventure’ was. We had some interesting answers and our goal became to show these young children the joy of the Holy Spirit in everyday adventures and the celebration of faith through learning, teamwork and fun activities. 

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News from Stykkishólmur, Iceland


“Brethren, do not be weary in doing good” (2 Thess 3:13)


Handing on the Catholic Faith in the Shadow of a Glacier

From our mission in Stykkishólmur, we have been entrusted with the task of handing down the teachings of the apostles to the children of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. We live in the largest of the three large villages on our peninsula: Stykkishólmur, population 1,100. In addition to our town, we travel to the other two villages during the week in order to teach the children catechism and prepare them to receive the sacraments. The drive is a long one. It takes about hour in good weather, more than an hour in bad weather, and when the winds are exceptionally strong and the road icy, the road (there is only one that takes us there) closes and the class has to be cancelled. As we drive, I am reminded often of what St. Thomas teaches, “The good of grace in one is greater than the good of nature in the whole universe”. I am reminded of this phrase because the scenery from Stykkishólmur to Ólafsvík is possibly the most beautiful in the world and one cannot help but marvel at the beauty of creation. Yet, all that beauty and goodness cannot compare to the goodness of grace in one of the children that we go to teach. Sometimes we are preparing only one child to receive Confirmation or First Communion, and the missionary could be tempted to think, “All this driving, all this time for one child?” 

But I am not tempted because as we drive to bring the truths of the Catholic Faith to these children, we are given the opportunity to meditate on their infinite value. If these mountains and rivers and waterfalls are only a shadow of the goodness of the whole universe, how much more is the good of grace in one of our children? “The good of grace in one is greater than the good of nature in the whole universe”, not just the good of nature here on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, but the whole universe

Teaching catechism in these towns has also taught me about the delicate love of the Lord for each soul. I feel like we are arriving at the end of the world as we drive through the mountains and valleys of the peninsula, far from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. And it is here that the Lord sends us because He “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).  At one point in the drive, we come up the side of a cliff and normally there is no one on the road in front of us or behind us. There is no town or people to be seen. There is only God´s creation, and as we turn the corner around a waterfall, in the distance, Ólafsvík comes into view. This little town is situated at the foot of a majestic glacier. It is to the souls of His children here in Ólafsvík that the Lord sends us. He knows and loves each of His children intimately, whether they are one of a million in a large city, or in a far off fishing village in Iceland. We missionaries are blessed to be His instruments, to work with Him for the good of grace in these children – so that they may grow in grace and be brought to eternal life.


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2nd Youth Gathering in the Province of Northern Europe

Dear Religious Family,

From the May 29th to the 31st the second Youth Gathering took place in the Province of Northern Europe in the convent of the Servants of the Lord in Brunssum, Holland. The youth and sisters who came from Iceland, Ireland and Lithuania began arriving a few days earlier and those from Holland and Luxembourg arrived on Friday and the Youth Gathering began that same evening.

Members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word from Italy were invited to help: Fr. Marcelo Lattanzio, IVE, a deacon, Nicolas Grace and two seminarians Eski and Andreas. We are enormously grateful to them. The IVE fathers, missionaries in Holland, Fr. Tristán Pérez, Fr. Mario Rojas and Fr. Ismael Quequesana were also present.

Because of the theme, “The True Way to Happiness”, Fr. Lattanzio presented different plenary talks about the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes remind us of the Lord´s call to follow the path with Him which, though it is difficult, brings us to true happiness. 

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Jesus Christ is born, rejoice!

Dear Religious Family,

We will begin our story of the Advent and Christmas seasons lived in our beloved town, Stykkishólmur, Iceland, with the retreat for children. With the retreat, we began this powerful time of conversion and grace.

One soul in the state of grace is worth more than all the goods of the world, and it is for this reason that Stykkishólmur changed from a simple town in the Northwest of Iceland into one of the most powerful, beautiful and noble kingdoms, because of the grace which the reception of the sacraments brings. The children from the three towns in which we teach catechism, arrived one Saturday morning, and we began the retreat with “Good mornings” about the joy of Catholic Christian life.

After that, we played games and shared lunch altogether. Later, a little talk was presented about Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Later, while we were praying the Rosary, the children had the opportunity to go to confession.

Following confessions, the Holy Mass was celebrated, and some of the children helped as alter servers. All of the children received the Eucharist. They were all very happy, especially for the reception of the sacraments. Many of these children hadn´t approached the sacrament of confession for some years, and the fruits were significant, marked by the joy they manifested afterwards.


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Renewal of vows in Iceland

Dear Family,

I want to share with you just a few out of the many graces with which the Lord has blessed us, out here in the land of fire and ice and Vikings and glaciers and wind and snow…

Syngið og gleðjist þér meyjar Krists, hann er brúðgrumi yðar.

“Sing for joy virgins of Christ, for He is your spouse”.

On Saturday September 15th, by the grace of God, I renewed my vows for three years, in preparation for professing the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and Marian slavery for all of eternity.

It was a feast just like every other feast in which I participated in the United States…but this time, in Stykkishólmur, Iceland!

What does it mean to prepare for the feast of renewal of vows in Stykkishólmur, Iceland?

 First you need a priest to celebrate the Holy Mass and three other sisters to be witnesses. Our IVE priests and sisters came from Hafnafjörður, the town that is next to our capital, Reykjavík . They joined us on Friday evening in order to celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross.


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