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News & Events
Thursday, 22 December 2022 11:34

Carols & food parcels ring in joy of the season

Santa Teresa iron crib 2022 250The Advent period has been a tuneful and generous one around the SVD Australia Province, with a number of SVD parishes holding Christmas Carol events for the first time since COVID, and others preparing food hampers for those in need this Christmas season.

In Santa Teresa, Central Australia, the community held their first ever Carols event and their famous Christmas lights display took place in the usual spectacular fashion, lighting up the desert sky. On top of that, the isolated Indigenous community was also blessed to receive a brand new giant nativity scene.

Fr Jim Knight SVD 250Fr Jim Knight SVD has been remembered as a much-loved family-member and a wise and dedicated missionary priest, committed to those on the margins, especially to the people with whom he ministered in Papua New Guinea and Central Australia.

Fr Jim’s Funeral Mass was held earlier this month at the St Arnold Janssen Chapel in Marsfield, following his death in Sydney on November 24.

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250As we prepare to celebrate the great feast of Christmas – the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ - let us do so with gratitude in our heart for all that the Incarnation brings us.

When I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my priestly ordination this month, I was struck by the Advent focus on the coming of Emmanuel, ‘God with us’.

ACU hosting Care of Oceans 250A recent conference hosted by the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania, called ‘Our Ocean Home’ was an example of synodality in action, according to SVD Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass.

The online public event, hosted by Australian Catholic University (ACU) and supported by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, brought together the Bishops of Oceania with experts from the region for a synodal conference towards the General Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO) in February 2023.

Fr John Quang SVD 250Working in a large, multicultural parish in the Wellington Archdiocese, New Zealand, has both challenges and joys, but for Fr John Quang SVD, it’s one of the best assignments he’s ever had.

“I love it in New Zealand. I’m really happy here,” he says.

Dorish Maru SVD students Nov 2022 250Students from the SVD formation house, Dorish Maru College, have closed their text-books for another academic year and are heading off to local parishes to gain first-hand pastoral and intercultural experience.

Seven newly arrived students who have been undertaking their English-language courses or their first year of Theology studies at Yarra Theological Union will participate in the SVD Students Summer Acculturation Program.

Tin Trinh ordination 250The Divine Word Missionaries joyfully celebrated the Ordination to the Priesthood of Tin Minh Trinh SVD this month – and for the first time, the ordaining prelate was Bishop Tim Norton SVD, Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane.

The Ordination took place at St Christopher’s Parish, Syndal in Melbourne, where Tin has been serving as Deacon and featured contributions from the local Vietnamese community, in tribute to Tin’s home country.

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250As we head into the hectic time of year leading up to Christmas, the Church calendar gives us an opportunity to step back from all the busyness and take some time for prayer, reflection, and outreach.

Advent is a beautiful season of preparation for the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord and it is the perfect antidote to all the seasonal rushing, spending and partying.

Fr Clement Baffoe with school kids vertical 250After a long Victorian lockdown and months of uncertainty, on the 28th of November, 2020, I was ordained a priest in Melbourne, writes Fr Clement Baffoe SVD. This week, on the 28th of November, I have been ordained for two years. One month after my ordination, I was assigned to the Townsville Diocese. In fact, I was one of three confreres to be assigned to this new SVD mission in far North Queensland.

How then would I describe my two years as a priest? First and foremost, I must say it has been a time of grace, God’s goodness, mercy and great learning. From celebrating the normal weekday Masses, hearing confessions, visiting our schools to share quality time with our teachers and pupils whether in school Masses, liturgies or assemblies, visiting patients at the Townsville University Hospital, our two nursing homes, to celebrating baptisms, weddings and funerals, etc, it’s been a time of encountering God, myself and those to whom I minister.

Janssen Centre solar panels 250 lighterThe Janssen Spirituality Centre in Boronia, Victoria, is looking forward to sunny days ahead, for both visitors and residents, following the installation of solar panels on its roof.

The installation of the panels means that now all three of the larger SVD houses – at the Provincial Centre in Marsfield, Dorish Maru College in Melbourne and now the Janssen Centre – are largely producing their own electricity and requiring less fossil-fuel generated power.

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