Diocesan News

Beatification to begin for co-foundress and first superior general of Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters

Bad Driburg, Germany (HSAS/SNR) - In an official letter dated February 25, 2015, the Holy See gave the ‘go’ signal for the beatification process for the co-foundress and first superior general of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters from Steyl, Adolfine Tönnies (Mother Mary Michael).

The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, which have a convent in Lincoln, are often called the “Pink Sisters” due to their rose-colored habits.

On March 19 the “Nihil Obstat” signed by Cardinal Angelus Amato was received. It opens the way for the beginning of the beatification process, which first begins on the diocesan level. On August 26, 2014, on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the mother house of the Sisters in Steyl (Netherlands), the request together with all the necessary documents regarding the opening of the process was presented to the Bishop of the Diocese of Roermond, Frans Wiertz.

Adolfine Tönnies was born January 7, 1862 in Horst-Emscher (today Gelsenkirchen-Horst). Having completed her schooling and subsequent teacher 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 in 1875 founded in Steyl a house for the training of future missionaries.

In 1891 Father Janssen accepted Adolfine Tönnies in the Congregation of Missionary Sisters, which he had founded two years previously. When in 1896 he founded a second, contemplative congregation, Adolfine Tönnies belonged to the founding Sisters of this community of the “Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration,” whose superior and later superior general she became. As a Sister she received the religious name Mary Michael.

Although she lived in an enclosed cloister, she was, with all her heart, a missionary as well. 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 February 25, 1934 in Steyl. Today there are about 350 Steyl Adoration Sisters living in 22 convents in various parts of the world.

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