The Spirit Companions are a group of dedicated men and women who are devoted to assisting the directors of the SHSp Vocation Ministry and to carrying out the charism of the Sisters. This group is imbued with the spirit of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate and meets four times annually to discuss ways and means of carrying out the directives of their apostolate, especially helping with the recruitment for the semi-annual "Come and See" programs. Their focus is to become knowledgeable about the trends of those entering religious life today, distribute vocation materials in parishes and to youth groups, and actively encourage vocations to the SHSps. They are to be the "eyes and ears of the SHSps" in the surrounding neighborhoods as well as the city at large. The quarterly meetings are convened at the Motherhouse (300 Yucca Street) and the group joins the Sisters for Liturgy of the Hours and a meal, followed by their discussions.
Vocation directors are Sister Gabriel Hession and Sister Genevieve Cunningham. Current Spirit Companion members include Sean Flatley, Margaret Hall, Theresa Kleineck, Marybell Martinez, Liz Medina, Kathy Restivo, José Vielma, Warren Wilkins, and Mark Wittig.
Our Spirit Companions accompany us as we seek out and invite women to become members of our Congregation.
Even at a distance, how do you see yourself becoming a Spirit Companion with the Sisters of the Holy Spirit?
I am blessed to have the opportunity to be able to show the Sisters of the Holy Spirit my appreciation for everything they did for me in my formative years. I was too young at the time when I attended St. Margaret’s Catholic School in Pharr, Texas, to fully understand their selfless devotion to God and to their vocation. It was only in my adult life that I began to truly appreciate the value of their service to me and to others like me who grew up in poverty and with few opportunities for advancement.
The education, the religious training, and, more importantly, the lessons by example that the Sisters of the Holy Spirit provided me in my early years laid a strong foundation in my life—one that has allowed me to build a great life. It has given me much pleasure during recent years to rekindle the relationships I had with the Sisters who taught me as a young child. I am particularly grateful to have expressed my thanks and my appreciation to those Sisters who have since passed. They were still my teachers—especially with their strong faith and courage when facing the end of their lives. May God bless all the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and the wonderful work they continue to do on this earth.
--Jose R. Vielma, Edinburg, TX