The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (SSpSAp i.e. Congregatio Servarum
Spiritus Sancti de Adoratione perpetua) was founded by Blessed
Arnold Janssen on December 8, 1896, in the village of Steyl,
Holland with the assistance of Blessed Maria
Virgo and Co-foundress Mother Maria
Blessed Arnold Janssen was a German diocesan priest, who did not
plan to be a founder. At first, he only felt called to work for
missionary animation in his country. In the course of his work,
he saw more and more the great need for Germany to have a society
for missionaries. With great faith, he responded to this need by
founding such a society himself, the Society of the Divine Word.
Seeing the need not only for missionary priests and brothers but
also for missionary women, Blessed Arnold founded the Mission Congregation
of the Servants of the Holy Spirit. He further saw the need for
a third missionary Congregation, to support through prayer and sacrifice
the work of his first two foundations. For this, he envisioned a
strictly cloistered contemplative community with perpetual adoration
and founded the Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual
Adoration, more commonly known as the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters.
He chose the first members of this foundation from among the members
of the active missionary Congregation of the Servants of the Holy
Spirit who had volunteered for this branch.
With God's blessing, the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters took root
and began to flourish. It started modestly in 1896 in a separate
wing of the missionary Sister's Sacred Heart Convent, then in 1904
also in a separate wing in their newly built Motherhouse. By 1914,
through the efforts of Mother Mary Michaele, the cloistered Sisters
could have a separate Motherhouse of their own, Holy Spirit Convent,
which still exists today in its original structure.
By 1915, Mother Mary Michaele was able to found our first convent
after the Motherhouse, the Convent of Divine Love in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. This foundation came about through an invitation from
Archbishop Edmund Francis Pendergast, who desired to have an adoration
convent in his archdiocese. A wealthy Catholic layman, Cornelius
A. Lane, had bequeathed a generous sum to the archdiocese for the
establishment of an adoration convent. Thus the archbishop was in
a position to make a generous offer. He would purchase a suitable
piece of property, build and furnish a chapel and convent for the
Sisters, and could promise to contribute to their support. It was
a very favorable offer which the Congregation could gratefully accept.
In 1915, nine Sisters were sent from Steyl for the first community.
Some American women soon applied and were admitted. This necessitated
the establishment of a novitiate in the new convent. Up to the present,
the novitiate has remained in the Philadelphia convent, where candidates
from all parts of the United States are admitted and trained. Since
its earliest years, the Sisters have kept adoration day and night
before the Blessed Sacrament, and the people of Philadelphia have
very frequently made visits to the chapel, joining the Sisters in
In the course of time, more and more adoration convents would be
founded by Mother Mary Michaele, and after her death by her successors.
At present our international religious congregation has 20 Houses
in 10 countries and about 420 members in all.
You can find our Houses in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia,
the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Togo and the United States