Our Global Salvatorian Community: Sister Lilly Kurian, SDS
During 2023 Catholic Sisters Week, we’re shining a light on the international members of our General Administration, or Generalate, in Rome. Over the week, we’ll share the answers of our seven Team Members to questions about their call to religious life and what it means to belong to the international Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior.
Prior to her current position as General Vicaress and Councilor, Sister Lilly Kurien, SDS involved herself in the fields of formation and leadership within the Salvatorian Indian Province. Now, she serves her international congregation of more than 1,000 sisters ministering in 26 countries on five continents.
1) How did you come to know the Sisters of the Divine Savior and decide to enter?
It was in 1983 when I decided to deeply follow Jesus by joining the religious way of life. At that time, I only knew one congregation, Sisters of the Destitute, who had a community in my hometown and belonged to my parish. It is a congregation founded in Kerala, India. I expressed my desire to join this group of Sisters. The Superior at that time, Sister Savio, was delighted about my decision. However, in my conversation with her, she suggested that I visit another Congregation, Sisters of the Divine Savior (Salvatorian Sisters), who were searching for a place to establish their first community in India.
Sr. Savio had a connection to our Motherhouse in Rome. While she was a student in Regina Mundi, Rome, she stayed at our Motherhouse. She showed her gratefulness for Salvatorian hospitality through her desire to help Salvatorian missionary sisters recruit vocations. So, in 1984, I travelled to the Salvatorian Convent in Villoonni, India for a ‘Come and See’ experience. After a few weeks I decided to join the Salvatorian Sisters.
2) What was your ministry prior to serving in international Leadership?
I spent a major part of my mission in the field of formation and in leadership service.
3) What is your most memorable experience as a Salvatorian Sister?
My most memorable experience was witnessing the ability and potential of special needs children at our Sathirthya Special School in India. There was so much to learn from them and the joy on their faces radiated the Divine in them. Their innocence and desire to share sincere love even in their vulnerability was remarkable. It is a joy to know that we, the Salvatorian Sisters, can make a difference in the lives of these special children who are God’s most beautiful creation.
4) Why is international collaboration important to the Sisters of the Divine Savior?
International collaboration is important because it is one of the characteristics of our Congregation. It is our identity to share our lives and to serve wherever we are, without reservation. Our mission is not limited to any particular place or ministry. We have success stories of international collaboration, and it is very enriching, especially in the fields of formation, mission, and leadership.
International collaboration has also promoted growth and a wider field of assistance and expertise throughout the Congregation. It has challenged us to see differences in a positive and constructive light, creating and deepening the need for “we” instead of “I.”. This experience of international collaboration has given us the opportunity to pool our resources and potential at the service of the Mission – making the Divine Savior known and loved throughout the world.