At the last General Chapter held in April 2013, one proposal that was unanimously accepted was :
• Each community, where possible, will form lay associates, including ex-sisters, as the “PH Family” (Perpetual Help).
In many of our convents we work closely with lay people and at times we have seen their great thirst for God and the things of God. Our vision/Mission statement states that we are called to journey together with others, as fellow-strugglers, towards a new creation, nourished by a spiritual force. Vatican II has also made it very clear that ALL are called to holiness. Therefore, the above proposal seemed very timely and appropriate.
We hope to gather, and have already started, small groups of ladies who have opted to call themselves the “Family of ‘Sadha Sarana’” rather than Lay Associates, for we like them to be one with us in our work, prayer and spirituality, while remaining faithful to their own calling in life as married, widowed or single. The laity are enriched with God-given talents, gifts , knowledge and spirituality. The sisters also have their own God-given gifts, knowledge and spirituality as well as a charism that is special to us as Perpetual Help sisters. It is therefore an “exchange of gifts,” that is, to see ways and means of journeying together towards God and being fellow-strugglers in our efforts to help those in need.
The plan is to meet regularly and share our spirituality as well as search for ways to live our daily lives in the conscious presence of God. Prayer methods, times of prayer, videos, discussions, faith-sharing and fellowship are all a part of this gathering. Our emphasis, above all, is on the inspiring message based on the icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help, which has a place of honour in all our communities as we Sisters are dedicated to her under this title.. Jesus turns to his Mother in a moment of pain and fear when he has a premonition of his future suffering. In today’s world of struggle and challenge which envelope all of us, the solutions the world offers are only temporary and ‘human.’ The help that Mary offers is permanent and divine, for she intercedes for us with her Beloved Son. She is our heavenly Mother who is ever ready to help and console us. She is a woman of faith and courage. She tells us, as at the Cana marriage feast: “Do whatever he tells you.” So it is the Mother who takes us closer to her Son in acquiring holiness, in and through the joys and sorrows of our life. We seek her inspiration and help.
“To Jesus through Mary.”
• A FAMILY of single, married, widowed, religious women united together….
• Of “one mind and heart” like the first Christian community…
• “Stay with us, Lord,” we say, as we journey together…
• Bind us with cords that cannot be broken, so that we respect and understand each other…