The Sisters of the Handmaid of the Divine Redeemer (HDR) in Ghana’s capital, Accra, are marking their 60th anniversary since the establishment of their order with a call to walk in the footsteps of Mary as a model of their lives.
“Handmaids walking in the footsteps of Mary to our Lord Jesus Christ is the HDR’s Christian journey and must be an important concept of our faith, attitudes towards God, fellow men and women,” said Sr. Mary Matilda Sorkpor, Superior General of the HDR, during the Eucharistic celebration at Agormanya in the Koforidua Diocese on 2 February.
The theme of the Sisters’ diamond jubilee celebration is, "60 Years of Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer, Our Achievements, Challenges and the future Prospects."
Bishop Bowers founded the Congregation together with Mother Providential Hein, HDR (a former SSps missioned to Ghana) on 2 February 1957, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which in 1997 was instituted by Pope St. John Paul as the World Day of Prayer for the Consecrated Life.
Sr. Sokpor said being a Handmaid is the attitude that the founder of the Congregation, Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers expected from them, noting that Handmaids walking in the footsteps of Mary was a whole gift of the founder to them.
She quoted Bishop Bowers who stated in the formative years, “In imitation of the obedience of our Divine Redeemer and Our Lady, the HDRs are called together to lead a dedicated life in prayer and humility. Love and serve joyfully our neighbours by spreading the Gospel in our apostolates, particularly the integral development of women.”
The Mother Superior urged the Sisters to continue to offer the humble gifts of themselves in total dedication of their thoughts, words and actions to the loving service of the Divine Redeemer and to the welfare of their neighbours.
Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of the Archdiocese of Accra and the Moderator of the HDR urged the Sisters to pray and work towards the future canonization of their founder, Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers, SVD.
In a Sermon he said Bishop Bowers was inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit to establish the Congregation, hence the need for the Sisters to become the true light of salvation for one another.
He entreated the Sisters to be open to the Holy Spirit and seek the Lord to have a deeper knowledge of him, speak about him and spend more time with him.
He prayed that the glory of God would be seen in all their endeavours and they would endeavour to become true and authentic lights to the glory of God, urging them to pray and fast for the salvation of themselves, women and the Church.
(Damian Avevor, Ghana )