Una historia para Navidad y para todo el año

El Padre Arnoldo quería que los estudiantes de filosofía y teología formaran un grupo de la asociación San Vicente de Paúl para ayudar a los pobres. Lo que indujo a nuestro Fundador a introducir esta práctica fue la consideración de que nuestros cohermanos en las misiones a menudo tendrían que tratar con los pobres.

Los padres misioneros del Verbo Divino, John Boevi, de Ghana y Agustín Chinnappan, de India; comparten su experiencia en el Curso de Formación Misionera Internacional, organizado por el Centro Misionero Maryknoll, durante los días 6 al 15 de julio del 2016, en Cochabamba, Bolivia. El curso de Formación Misionera Internacional, es una propuesta creativa, seria y afianzada en la exigencia de formación que recomendó la Conferencia de Aparecida, para todos los creyentes cristianos católicos.

El 7 de febrero de 2015, los misioneros del Verbo Divino, que trabajan en la archidiócesis de Accra (Ghana), participaron en una conferencia organizada por el vicario para la Vida Consagrada en esta diócesis, el Padre Andy Campebll, SVD.

SVD Province of ARS (Argentina South)
Summer missions revive Christian communities Summer holidays in Argentina are quite long.

South Africa
The SVD Lay Associates in our diocese is a very active group. They have Vademucum prayer book and other SVD published books for their prayers. These people come from various parishes in our diocese. All of them make use of our SVD prayer books to lead different types of prayers in their parishes. Many of the other parishioners are enthused by these prayers and it is a big help in the church services. Some of the priests in our diocese also tell me regarding the SVD Prayer books that we have given to the lay associates and they are helping them to conduct prayer services in the church. In our diocese we do not have many formal prayer books that can be used for the ordinary people. Vattapparayil, Sunny

Friends of SVD is a lay group started by our SVD seminarians in theology here in Nairobi. It started in Divine Word parish, Kayole, Nairobi, Kenya. This group was introduced to pray for the SVD missionaries all over the world. They have adopted SVD prayers and meet frequently. Though it started as a small group in our parish, now it has spread to other SVD parishes in Kenya and recently a group has been formed in Arusha diocese, Tanzania. This group in Nairobi is to support SVDs through prayers and occasionally with their presence in our major SVD events like, Perpetual professions, Deaconate and priestly ordinations and other SVD gatherings where these group could be invited to participate and do some help. Right now the membership of Friends of SVD could be over 60 in number and we hope to spread to more parishioners.
Fernandes, Leo

The association of the Friends of SVD (Association des Amis de la SVD) in our province is existing from 2005, they have a few success stories to narrate. They thought of visiting the house of formation (Postulancy). The purpose of this visit was to know the young postulants who are in formation and to support them morally, spiritually and physically. In the course of this visit there was an exchange of views between the young and the visitors. During this visit our SVD Friends offered also their gifts in kind and gave some monetary contribution to support the young postulants. It is good to know that most of the SVD friends in our province are old and young women who struggle each day under the rain or the heat of the sun to gain a meagre amount to feed their family. However the little that they earn, they share it with our young postulants. It is a sign of their participation and support to the SVD mission and their missionary engagement in the association of the SVD friends. This visit is part of their programmes that they have established since the beginning of year 2013. I thank them for their engagement and encourage them to continue and to progress into the mission support.
Kolo, Bernabas

Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association was launched on 2010, but it was no follow up after launching. On the beginning of the year of 2013 we tried to reorganize the group. We decided to start it in the township parishes. We went from parish to parish to introduce to the people about the group. The response we got from people were very promising. On 25 January 2014, we organized a day of recollection and meeting with all people who are willing to join the group. We tried to establish the group by forming a new committee in two parishes in town (Holy Spirit Parish – Nkulumane and Holy Family Parish – Nketa). We also set up the programmes of the group in the both parishes for the whole year of 2014. At the moment we have 29 members from these two parishes. We are planning to get more members from other parishes and mission.

Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association has lay people from all categories: parishioners, collaborators, workers and friends formed into groups who have accepted with joy to live the SVD Spirituality and to collaborate in our mission works in parishes and institutions where the SVD work. The objectives of the Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association are to pray for all the missionaries - SVD missionaries in particular; to support SVD missionaries in their mission territories and to voluntarily support the missionary work of the SVD in cash and in kind.
Grenda, Tadeusz

Indonesia Ende:
Serve God through SVD Serve God through SVD (SGS) is a small group lay associate that is very much committed to the future of SVD worldwide mission. The members of the group are approximately 40-50 persons. Interestingly, none of the members of the group lives in Ende Province. Most of them live in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia.

Surprisingly, most of the members of group are not church goers of SVD parishes in Java’s big cities run by our SVD confreres. Just few of them are parishioners of SVD Parishes. It means they do not have a permanent contact with the SVDs. However, they know our Society and become supporters and sympathizers through word of mouth that they get from their friends a who tell them about SVDs missionary work. Some of them become SVD friends even by accident when they frequent and attend the mass in the SVD parishes. The main reason of the foundation of the group is their concern. These people are really concerned with the fact, that SVD seminarians need financial assistance, since the foreign benefactors are decreasing in their numbers. So, the foundation of the Group was initiated when some member of the group visited our major seminary at Ledalero, Maumere in 2011 on their trip to the pilgrimage of Semana Santa (Holy Week) tradition in Larantuka, East Flores. During their short stay in our Major Seminary at Ledalero, they met the Rector Fr. Leo Kleden and found out the commitment of SVDs scholastics who are preparing themselves for worldwide mission work. Since then, the group had been very committed to contribute to the formation house in Ledalero. The mission of the group is to focus on financial assistance to cover the living-cost and educational cost of our seminarians until their ordinations. Some of their “spiritual sons” have been ordained last year. As a Mission Secretary in coordinating with Fr. Mikhael De Fretes, I sent the Ordination News Letter, Invitation and First Assignment Appointments to the group. This lay group does not cover the entire cost of the seminarians. Their financial assistance, however, relives and eases the burden of the huge cost that our province has to bear. Their supporting action is very helpful and it is a blessing to our Society.
Tenga, Hubertus

Indonesia Jawa:
We have an interesting group of paguyuban soverdia (SVD lay-partner) in Bali-Lombok district. The members are composed not only the elderly people, but include their children. Many activities are done together. They have many programmes - besides the spiritual aspects such as holy hour, Blessed Sacrament adoration, recollection and masses, they have also social activities, such as: visiting sick, visit to some remote stations and bringing groceries and other necessary items for the Catholic brothers and sisters there, and they have a choir too and they are ready to go to some parishes.
Meko, Hendrikus

Germany: Expressing Gratitude Personally
It is worthwhile to have a good databank of our donors, in which we keep record when, for what purpose and how much somebody has made us a gift.

Argentina South: Semana Misionera en los Colegios
La Provincia Argentina Sur de la Congregación del Verbo Divino desarrolla su trabajo misionero en dos grandes campos: las parroquias y los colegios.

Poland: Children Mission Day

In Nysa, the confreres with the help of Mission Animation Centre in Pieniezno organized Children Mission Day 10 years ago.

On the last weekend of March, in the parish of Our Lady Mary Help of Christians in the city of Jacarei, a lay group attended the Missionary Formation Meeting organized by Fr. Arnaldo Alves.

My testimony talks about a very humble man whose dedicated work and commitment to social issues has very significant impact on a large, oppressed population in the Republic of Congo. This man is Pere Silverio Maurutto SVD, the vicar of St. Amand parish in Kinshasa.

One of the confreres is involved in a very special ministry for boys and girls students who are preparing for the National Entrance examination. There is a group of approximately five hundred students living in a Mega study hostel preparing for the entrance examination to Universities.

In our attempt to revive the SVD Lay Associates in Zimbabwe, we had a day of recollection and a meeting on January 25, 2014.The recollection was attended by 22 Catholics. It was organized by Fr. Francis Bhoka and Fr. Edson Mlambo.

On March 1-3, 2013 a weekend retreat was held at Divine Word Seminary in Pieniezno. Various benefactors, Friends of the SVD and employees and supporters of the Mission Department participated in the event. The three day retreat offered liturgical celebrations for the 48 participants from different parts of Poland, including Eucharistic celebrations officiated by various SVDs, Vespers with the SVD community, and the Way of the Cross, among others.

Si María de Magdala volviera hoy, ¿qué nos diría? ¿Aceptaríamos nuestro discipulado misionero con la prontitud y amor que ella mostró a su amado Maestro? ¿Quién era realmente María Magdalena?A estas y otras cuestiones intentamos dar respuesta en el XI Encuentro Misionero que celebramos en Dueñas (Palencia-España) entre el 12-13 y 14 de octubre. Para ello nos reunimos entre esos días unas 120 personas -laicos y religiosos- venidos de Palencia, Ponferrada, Valladolid, Zamora, Navarra, Alcorcón, Móstoles, Madrid, Mérida y Cádiz.

Este año el lema era “Y la Palabra se hizo carne… y tiene rostro de mujer”. A la luz del evangelio de Juan 20, 1-18, todo el encuentro giró alrededor de cómo Jesús rompe esquemas, dejándose encontrar por una mujer, confiándole a ella la misión de anunciar la Buena Nueva de la Resurrección a los discípulos. No a Pedro, no a Juan… el discípulo amado. A ella, a María Magdalena.

Comenzamos haciendo una aproximación histórica, geográfica y social a su figura, derribando falsos mitos sobre su condición de prostituta (que la Biblia no menciona jamás) y por el contrario descubrimos a una mujer con pecados y debilidades que perdonar (como todos nosotros) pero libre y rica, que lo deja todo por amor a su Rabí y se convierte en testigo y líder de su comunidad. Luego analizamos, trabajando en grupos, nuestro propio itinerario espiritual de encuentro con Jesús, dejándonos empapar por la Palabra para entender nuestras propias luces o tinieblas en el camino de madurez de nuestra fe. Salpicamos los diferentes momentos con oraciones, imágenes, poesías y canciones evocadoras, alusivas al tema, intentando ver el rostro femenino de Dios.

Tuvimos tiempo de analizar el rol de la mujer en la Iglesia, en la Historia y actualmente, y el compromiso para que ese papel –ninguneado por un sistema patriarcal desde tiempos inmemoriales- tenga la trascendencia y dignidad que Jesús le dio, poniendo a las mujeres en el lugar que les corresponde y al que tienen derecho. Por eso, una parte importante fue la presentación del proyecto misionero que el p. Janssen Madanu SVD, misionero indio que actualmente es párroco de Virgen del Alba en Alcorcón, nos ofreció a los asistentes. Un recorrido por la realidad de las mujeres en las tribus de la India -concretamente en Rourkela- donde la religiosa Sumita Kujur imparte educación y capacitación a mujeres y niñas, cursos de costura y confección, charlas para saber hablar en público, encuentros donde se les instruye sobre sus derechos como sostén fundamental de las familias y la sociedad, que hace ahora extensivo a hombres y jóvenes para educarlos en igualdad con ellas. También celebra encuentros donde consigue convocar hasta a 1200 mujeres, pues a pesar de la extrema pobreza en la que viven, su fe es muy grande, haciendo a pie inmensas distancias para asistir a las eucaristías y celebraciones.

Nuestra apuesta por este proyecto no sólo es económica (que requiere de nuestro esfuerzo para financiar las actividades que se realizan en la zona y así darle continuidad a largo plazo; por ello establecimos un precio simbólico del encuentro, montamos un mercadillo de abanicos artesanales y de discos de música folk castellana -gracias a las donaciones de los laicos participantes- y colocamos una pequeña urna para aquellos que quisieran colaborar con este importante proyecto) sino que intenta cambiar el orden de las cosas, sensibilizando y denunciando la desigualdad, la injusticia y la pobreza que casi siempre azotan a las mujeres.

Como broche de oro, además de la velada de fiesta el sábado noche (con concursos de dibujo, duelos de canciones y muchas risas) pudimos disfrutar de una exhibición de bailes típicos del sur de la India, ejecutado por bailarinas indias que, ataviadas con vistosos trajes, deleitaron a los presentes con sus movimientos y su música. Y como queríamos que todo el encuentro tuviera “sabor indio” la Eucaristía que celebramos el domingo -presidida por el p. Janssen- comenzó con un ritual de flores, incienso, luz y música típica de la India. Las mujeres, como no podía ser de otra manera, tuvieron un lugar preponderante en el altar, en la lectura del Evangelio y en el canto del Padrenuestro en tagalo por parte de mujeres filipinas. Coronamos todo con una paella comunitaria, finalizando este fin de semana con buen sabor de boca.

Pudimos “conocernos y reconocernos” en el rostro del Maestro que nos llama por nuestro nombre, para salir con más fuerza a anunciar el Evangelio. Él conoce nuestros momentos de tiniebla: dejemos que su Gracia ilumine nuestro trayecto de ver-creer-anunciar, retirando nuestras vendas para vislumbrar todas las ocasiones de encuentro que nos permiten descubrir en el otro, sea hombre o mujer, el rostro de Jesús Resucitado.

Por: Laura Díaz Bilbao, LVD

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