Beatification process begins for Pink Sisters cofounder | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

t0614col-pure_1The Generalate of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters from Steyl (Netherlands) announced that the Holy See has given the go signal for the beatification process for its cofoundress and first superior general, Adolfine Tönnies, known as Mother Mary Michael. In the Philippines, the Adoration Sisters are popularly known as the Pink Sisters because of the color of the contemplative nuns’ habit.

A “Nihil Obstat,” (Latin for “nothing hinders” or “nothing stands in the way,”) a declaration of no objection to this initiative has also been signed by Cardinal Angelus Amato last March 19. It opens the way for the beginning of the beatification process, starting at the diocesan level.

The request for beatification was initiated on Aug. 26, 2014, on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the mother house of the Sisters in Steyl, and was presented to the bishop of the Diocese of Roermond, Frans Wiertz.

Tönnies was born on Jan. 7, 1862 in Horst-Emscher (today Gelsenkirchen-Horst). Having completed her schooling and subsequent training in Muenster, she worked for 10 years as a teacher in the North German town of Rendsburg.

With her desire to become a religious, she applied to the German priest Arnold Janssen, who had founded in 1875 in Steyl a house for the training of future missionaries. In 1891, he accepted Tönnies in the Congregation of Missionary Sisters, which he had founded two years previously. He then founded a second, contemplative Congregation (Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration).  Tönnies belonged to the founding sisters of this community and became its first superior general. Her religious name was Mary Michael.

Although she lived in an enclosed cloister, she remained a missionary at heart. She worked for the inner and outer development of her congregation and founded new adoration convents in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, the Philippines and China.

She died on Feb. 25, 1934 in Steyl. Today there are about 350 Pink Sisters, living in 22 convents in various parts of the world.

Piat image visits Babuyan

The image of Our Lady of Piat recently made a visitation of the Calayan islands in the Babuyanes. Organized by the Dominican missionaries of the St. Bartholomew Parish and the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, the visitation was also a religious festival of sorts, as it saw the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary, daily novenas and Masses, Marian catechetical instructions, and film showings.

Project Aral

Speaking of the Calayan Islands, a very remote territory that can be reached only by a very long ferry ride across choppy waters from the Cagayan mainland, the Dominican missionaries led by Fr. Joemar Sibug have also devoted themselves to the education ministry. Since 2010, the initiative has been called Project Aral.

In 2011, with other volunteer groups, Project Aral built a library for a public school. “It was the first public school library in  the island,” said Fr. Sibug. “We have equipped it with solar power, a laptop computer and multimedia projector. Now it has additional units of computers for the school children to learn information technology.”
This year, Fr. Sibug has launched “Project ARAL, Silid AKLATan.” “This time we would like to set up a library for Morol Elementary School,” he said. “This school is located on the eastern side of the island and takes about two hours of boat ride from the parish church in the central barangay of Balatubat. Add to that the big waves which make the area difficult to reach by boat. It would take about eight hours on foot to reach Sitio Morol from the parish church.”

“We are also gathering school supplies for about 1,500 elementary school children from kindergarten up to Grade 6,” he added. He said the kids need school bags, raincoats, slippers, pencils, ball pens, notebooks, pad paper and crayons.

Among the volunteers for the Babuyan Islands Mission 2015 is Rikki Macolor, the engineering student from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) who was one of the youth representatives at the youth encounter with Pope Francis at UST. Macolor, said Fr. Sibug,  invented a solar night light that he had taught victims of typhoon “Yolanda” to make for themselves to cope with power outages.

Other volunteers have included artists, photographers, doctors, and young professionals.

Those in Metro Manila who wish to help may call the OP Social Communications Office at Santo Domingo Church, 3544611.

Award-winning docu

A three-minute video about the Calayan project, “Books for Babuyan,” was given recognition as Best Documentary in the first People’s Empowerment for the Advancement of Communities and Environment (Peace) Awards, given by the Universal Peace Federation of the Philippines. The short video may be viewed on YouTube.

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