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News & Events

Bathurst Island Tiwi school 250The theme of our SVD's 19th General Chapter and its reflections clearly indicate how missionaries need to deepen their understanding of mission, identity, charism, and spirituality. One aspect is crystal clear: we are called to become a light in the wounded world for oneself and for others.

The Divine Word Missionaries are completing a year with our presence at Tiwi Islands. During this year, it has been a time of reflection, understanding, walking along, appreciating the culture, being with the people in sorrow, and, above all, making the Tiwi people know that we are with them.

Nativity scene made by Vietnamese migrants Bangkok 2023 250Christmas is being celebrated in a range of different ways throughout the SVD Australia Province, but at the centre of it all is the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

Several parishes across the Province held Christmas carol gatherings, while in others parishioners donated Christmas hampers for those in need, and in poorer parts of the Province, basic food staples were given to parishioners to help them celebrate.

Fr Daniel Polla and Fr Rius Salu with Bp Charles Gauci installation at Daly River Dec 2023 250The Divine Word Missionaries have taken up the pastoral care of communities in Daly River in the Northern Territory and Balgo in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region, in a move which further demonstrates the SVD’s commitment to ministry with indigenous peoples.

Two SVD priests were installed by Darwin Bishop Charles Gauci this month at Daly River in the Northern Territory, while another arrived at Balgo. He will be joined by a second priest in the New Year.

Campervan at Alice Springs sign 250With the help of generous donors and partners in mission, the Divine Word Missionaries have finally taken delivery of a small campervan which will allow the missionaries in Central Australia to stay with outlying Aboriginal communities for longer periods.

Previously, the missionaries have driven hundreds of kilometres to be with the people in those communities, but often, after celebrating Mass or other sacraments, they have to turn around and make the long drive back to Alice Springs again.

Michael Nguyen SVD with seminarians in PNG 250Fr Michael Nguyen SVD who has been teaching at the Good Shepherd Seminary in the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea this year, has been appointed Dean of Studies for the next academic year, and says he’s enjoying the “vibrant tapestry” of PNG, a place he now calls home.

Fr Michael, originally from Vietnam, is a member of the SVD Australia Province, working in Mount Hagen Archdiocese at the request of Bishop Douglas Young SVD.

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250Advent is drawing to a close and as you receive this edition of In the Word in your inbox, the joy of Christmas is just days away.

This Christmas, as we struggle with the reality of significant conflict in our world, the impact of the loss of the Voice Referendum for our indigenous brothers and sisters, the cost-of-living crisis which affects us all, and general exhaustion after a long year, we look more than ever to the coming of the Prince of Peace at Christmas.

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 18:48

Not An End: Call It a New Beginning

Fr Clemente Baffoe SVD with Fr Joseph Reddy and parishioners Townsville 250As he prepares to farewell his first parish appointment since ordination for further studies in Rome, Fr Clement Baffoe SVD looks back on how his ministry with a parish community in Townsville has changed him.

"As I leave the parish, I leave better than I came in three years ago. I’ve been challenged, encouraged, supported and allowed to grow in every way humanly, spiritually, and pastorally possible," he writes.

MER presentation image 250A series of online academic presentations on the theme of ‘Mission and Dialogue Today’ which were hosted this year by the SVD Australia Province have been hailed a success with plans underway to do something similar in the future.

The Mission, Education and Research (MER) presentations ran from June to November and featured speakers from within the Province as well as overseas.

Santa Teresa 70th anniversary plaque at Little Flower Mission Arltunga2 250The Santa Teresa – Ltyentye Apurte community in Central Australia has celebrated its 70th anniversary with prayer, thanksgiving and a pilgrimage back to the location of the Little Flower Mission, where it all began.

Parish Priest of Santa Teresa, Fr Olivier Noclam SVD, said the anniversary celebration was “a really great occasion”, as the community of Eastern Arrernte people remembered not only their rich cultural history over thousands of years, but also their history as a Catholic community.

Strategy Day 2023 250The Australia Province of the Divine Word Missionaries is putting Pope Francis’ call for a more synodal Church into action by engaging in a strategic planning session using the synodal methods of deep listening and dialogue.

The fruits of that strategic planning session, which involved the Provincial Council, some confreres, lay partners, benefactors and friends, will now be sent to all confreres at District level who will be asked to apply their own discernment and feedback, using the synodal methods.

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