When the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters had taken root on three continents, God began to lure them to a fourth, the great continent of Africa. In June 1994 Father Dieter Skweres, SVD, Regional Superior of Togo and Benin, wrote to Mother Mary Aurora, urgently inviting her to consider a convent in Togo. He assured her of the assistance of the SVD. Of St. Arnold’s family, only we were not yet present in Africa, and Africa needs prayer, he pleaded. This pressing invitation was repeated over the next three years by veteran Togo missionary Marian Schwark, SVD and even by personal visits of Archbishop Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro of Lomé, Togo, who suggested that some Sisters go there to gather firsthand impressions and information. In November 1995, two Sisters were sent for this purpose and were very positively impressed. The Archbishop offered a temporary house, which he would renovate. September 1, 1997 was the momentous day when four Sisters landed on African soil to found an adoration convent. A week later, after preliminaries were settled, the Archbishop himself carried the Blessed Sacrament in a solemn, well participated procession from the parish church to the Sisters’ chapel, and the adoration began. A zealous Adorers’ League soon shared in the adoration hours.
The search for a permanent location ended when the government was willing to donate a suitable parcel of land, if the Sisters would provide a small infirmary on it to serve the local people. The blessing of this property and the cornerstone took place on September 1, 2001. Things moved smoothly with the expert help and support of many good people who wholeheartedly backed this endeavor. On March 21, 2004 the Archbishop presided over the blessing of the new chapel and convent. Explaining the significance of the adoration chapel for the diocese and the Church, he compared it to the Cenacle, where the faithful can gather and pray; to Mt. Tabor, where they can be transfigured into Christ’s image; to Jacob’s well, where seekers can quench their thirst for Christ, the living water. He also expressed pride that Togo is the only African country where the three Congregations founded by St. Arnold are missioned and asked those present to support the Sisters’ apostolate. The people have responded very enthusiastically and have made the chapel a true spiritual center. We look forward to the day when the spacious house will be filled with native Sisters in this “new homeland for Christ”, as Pope John Paul II called Africa.