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News & Events

Dorish Maru August 2022 Neftalis birthday 250The halls of Dorish Maru College, the SVD’s formation house in Melbourne, are once again ringing with life following the arrival of five new missionary students – the first big intake since international borders re-opened after the pandemic.

The students are from Vietnam and China. Also arriving recently are two SVD priests, who are studying English before beginning their ministry.

Students with Bishop Tim and Holy Spirit Sisters 250After two years of pandemic lockdowns and restrictions in Melbourne, the SVD students finally got the opportunity to hit the road and travel out of Victoria as a formation community during the recent winter academic holidays.

The students from Dorish Maru College visited SVD parishes and confreres as well as the Holy Spirit Sisters, shared their vocational stories and spent time with families in Queensland and New South Wales, while also having the chance to explore some of what the different parts of Australia have to offer.

Holy bible with heart shape hands on the wooden desk.I have to admit that for quite some time I have not read many SVD publications. I feel I don’t find anything new. The familiar messages of multi/intercultural, international, dialogue(s), mission, ‘world is our parish’, ‘unity in diversity’… all sound too familiar from the novitiate days and almost slogan-like. It’s the same message, just under different packaging. Social justice and climate change! Oh yeah, great! Who would not stand up for such lofty ideas in this age of the globalisation, unless one is a bigot.

Like doubting Thomas, instead of taking ideas for granted, we must keep asking questions and re-examine what is passed on to us. Renew and revive!

IAMS mission conference July 2022 SVD participants 250Synodality is ultimately about mission says internationally renowned theologian Fr Stephen Bevans SVD , who was in Australia recently to attend a major mission conference and deliver a presentation to the SVD community.

Fr Stephen, who is the Louis J. Luzbetak SVD Professor of Mission and Culture, Emeritus at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, was one of five Divine Word Missionaries attending the 15th Assembly of the International Association for Mission Studies at Morling College in Sydney this month, exploring the theme: ‘Powers, Inequalities, and Vulnerabilities: Mission in a Wounded World’.

Interculturality workshops JSC July 2022 250The Janssen Spirituality Centre in Boronia, Victoria, was host recently to a series of five workshops on interculturality, attended by both interested lay people and religious, including SVD students from Dorish Maru College.

The workshops were presented by Sr Cathy Solano RSM, who has a background in education and spent several years working in Africa. She also has a Master’s in Intercultural Studies from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.

Thursday, 28 July 2022 20:09

'God's hand is guiding me all the way'

Fr Paulo Vatunitu SVD Daly River sign post 250Fr Paulo Vatunitu SVD says God’s hand has guided him all the way in his life, from a career in banking to a vocation as a missionary priest, and he’s confident God will be with be with him now as he takes up a new assignment at Daly River in the remote Northern Territory.

Paulo was born and raised in Fiji, on the island of Vanua Levu and is the second eldest of eight children. After school, he made a career as a loans officer in the banking industry.

SVDs at 2nd Plenary Council Assembly July 2022 250The movement of the Holy Spirit in the Second Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia left the SVD participants “shaken but not stirred” and hopeful for the future of the synodal Church.

Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD, said he entered the Assembly “with the sure hope that it would not deceive nor disappoint” him (Rom 5:5).

Thursday, 28 July 2022 19:30

Celebrating vocations - new and old

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250The Catholic Church in Australia is about to celebrate Vocations Awareness Week from August 7–14. It’s a time to stop and listen in awe to the way God has worked in people’s lives and called them to walk different paths in service to God and others.

In the AUS Province we are blessed to once again have a ‘full house’ at our formation house, Dorish Maru College in Box Hill, Melbourne. The pandemic-related international border closures meant that for the past two years, the young men who had been due to start their theological studies here could not gain entry to Australia. It is a delight to now be welcoming them into our Provincial community.

Plenary Council logo 250Two of the Divine Word Missionaries who will be taking part in the upcoming Second Assembly of the  Plenary Council say that while aware of the challenges, they remain filled with hope that a Spirit-led discernment will bear fruit for the Church in Australia.

The Second and final Assembly of the Plenary Council will meet in Sydney from July 3-9, where a range of motions concerning the future of the Church in Australia will be considered and voted on.

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250As this edition of In the Word reaches you, my thoughts and prayers are with the Oceania Delegation of the Laudato Si Movement whose members are attending the United Nations Oceans Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Having recently been nominated to join the new Laudato Si Oceania Regional Council, and, of course, being a Pacific Islander myself and knowing the impact of the climate on our Pacific region and the world at large, I’m praying for those gathered in Lisbon who will give voice to the ocean and its needs.

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