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Our Roots

SSpS Steyl
SSpS Steyl
SSpS Mother House - Steyl
1903 Sacred Heart
1889 Capuchin Monastery
1890 Notre Dame
1888 Three Linden
1892 First 16 Received Habit
Arnold Janssen SVD - SSpS' Founder

Arnold Janssen

A man of vibrant faith and missionary zeal

“Vivat Deus Unus et Trinus in Cordibus Nostris” – “May the holy Triune God live in our hearts and in the hearts of all people” is the prayer motto of Arnold Janssen, which becomes the driving force behind his missionary zeal.


He is a man deeply rooted in God, and the mystery of the Blessed Trinity takes hold of him completely. His personal and profound experience of the Blessed Trinity leads him to the awareness of an indwelling God, who is communion and is in every person and in all creation. This experience stimulates him to dedicate his whole life to sharing God's mission – to making the compassionate love of God known to all people.

Father Arnold was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 05 October 2003 together with Joseph Freinademetz, one of the first SVDaries to China.

Maria Helena Stollenwerk - SSpS' Co-Founderess



Mother Maria, Helena Stollenwerk 

Unconditional surrender to God's will

“To God the honor, to my Sisters the benefit and to myself the burden” , writes Helena Stollenwerk in her notes; “This is to be my motto and also my earnest goal.” She strives for this day by day, even to the point of sacrificing her dearest dream and her heart's desire to go to China, to save 'poor souls' and bring them to God in the Sacrament of Baptism.


Imbued with the missionary spirit, she transfers to the cloister where she remains in constant adoration, deep silence and prayer with the Beloved, coming to the awareness that it is not an idea that calls, but God himself. We need not look for an ideal when God calls; instead, we need to discover who and what we really are, and where and how we can be a blessing for others. This is what she stands for, becoming a blessing in every situation of her life – the true meaning of being a missionary today.

Mother Maria was beatified in Rome on 07 May 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

Josepha Hendrina Stenmans - SSpS' Co-Founderess



Mother Josepha,  

Hendrina Stenmanns

"Both feet on the ground,

heart anchored in God!”

Every breath of a Servant of the Holy Spirit is to be – “Veni Sancte Spiritus” . Hendrina Stenmanns, whose longing is to be a missionary, writes to Arnold Janssen, “I desire nothing more than, with the grace of God to be the least and to offer myself as a sacrifice for the work of spreading the faith.”


Her “breath” becomes the life-giving Spirit, who directs every action, word and deed; she radiates her missionary presence of peace, warmth and joy to every person she encounters. She becomes one of the least, giving herself, her very being and her life, thereby laying a solid foundation for the beginning of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit.

Mother Josepha was beatified in 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. The Church celebrated the beatification on 29 June 2008, when the papal decree confirming the beatification was read by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins CMF, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during the celebration of a special Mass in Tegelen, Netherlands.

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