POPE VISITS MISSIONARIES OF THE DIVINE WORD July 11, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Priesthood, SVD, Vatican.
Tags: Fr. Dennis Callan SVD, Fr. Giancarlo Girardi SVD, Fr. Heinz Kulüke SVD, Fr. Jerome Marquez SVD, Fr. Johannes Schütte SVD, Fr. Pat Byrne SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Pope Benedict XVI
ROME, JULY 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today made a private visit to the “Ad Gentes Centre” of the Missionaries of the Divine Word, located in the village of Nemi, close to his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
As the Vatican Information Service explained it was in that building, then called the International Centre of the Society of the Divine Word, that the Vatican Council II Commission on Missions met from 29 March to 3 April 1965.
Among the participants was a young theologian and expert of the conciliar assembly, Joseph Ratzinger.
Since January 2010 it has taken the name of the “Ad Gentes Centre”
The Holy Father was welcomed on his arrival at Nemi by Fr. Heinz Kuluke, superior general elect; Fr. Antonio Pernia superior general, and Fr. Giancarlo Girardi, procurator general. He then went to the chapel to meet with the 150 participants in the general chapter of the order and the community of the Mother House in Rome.
A Vatican Radio report described the visit as a “very personal trip down memory lane” as he returned to the house overlooking Lake Nemi, the setting of his fondest and “most memorable” recollections of the Second Vatican Council.
In a short unscripted speech he described as how in 1965 as a “a very young theologian of no great importance,” to his eternal wonder he was invited by the then Superior General of the world-wide order and Council Father, Johannes Schütte, to take part in an “important and beautiful task, to prepare a decree on mission.”
“His arrival was electric”, said Fr. Pat Byrne SVD, provincial superior for Great Britain and Ireland said. “The very first thing he did was kneel before the altar and the Blessed Sacrament and we joined him in silent prayer.”
“I am truly grateful for this opportunity to see this house in Nemi once again, after 47 years,” Pope Benedict said.
“I have fond memories of it, perhaps the most memorable of the whole Council. I lived in the center of Rome, in the Collegio dell’Anima with all the noise. This too was nice, but staying here, surrounded by this greenery, having this breath of nature, this fresh air, was in itself a beautiful thing. And then, in the company of many great theologians and a such an important and beautiful task, to prepare a decree on mission.”
“First of all, I remember, the General of that time, Father Schütte, who had suffered in China, had been convicted, then expelled: he was full of missionary zeal, the need to give new impetus to the missionary spirit and had invited me – a very young theologian of no great importance – I do not know why, but it was a great gift for me. Then there was Fulton Sheen who would fascinate us in the evenings with his talks.”
“Thus, these days gave birth to a good and beautiful decree, almost unanimously accepted by all the Fathers of the Council and which, for me, was also a very good complement to Lumen Gentium, from which we find a Trinitarian ecclesiology, that starts above all from the classical idea that bonum diffusivum sivi sui, good has the inherent need to communicate, to give of itself, it cannot remain self contained, the good thing, goodness itself is essentially communication,” the Pope continued.
“So, with these memories I have often thought of those days of Nemi that, as I said, are an essential part of the Council for me,” he added.
“And I’m happy to see that your Society flourishes – the Father General spoke of 6,000 members in many countries, from many nations. Clearly the missionary dynamic is alive, and it lives only if there is the joy of the Gospel, if we experience the good that comes from God and that must and wants to communicate itself.”
“Thank you for this dynamism. I wish you every blessing of the Lord for this Chapter, and a lot of inspiration: that the same forces inspiring power of the Holy Spirit that almost visibly accompanied us during those days may once again be present among you and help you find your path both for your Society and for the mission Ad gentes of the Gospel for the coming years,” the Pope concluded.
— from Xenit.org
NEW SVD SUPERIOR GENERAL IS FROM THE PHS! July 3, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Priesthood, SVD.
Tags: 17th SVD General Chapter, Cebu City, Fr. Heinz Kulüke SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Philippine SVD Southern Province, PHS
Fr. Heinz Kulüke, SVD, the Provincial of the Philippine Southern Province (PHS) was elected the 11th Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). His received 98 votes against capitulars Fr. Bob Kisala, SVD (10 votes), Fr. Greg Pinto (4 votes), Fr. Arlindo Dias (3 votes), Fr. Emmanuel Fianu (2 votes) and Fr. Jose de Silva (1 vote).
Born in 1956 in Emsland, Germany. Fr Heinz spent two years in electronics before he joined the Divine Word Missionaries in 1979. He was 22 then. Somehow he was not satisfied with his work. He confessed, “I was very good at it so I earned a lot of money, but it was not fulfilling.”
Joining the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) changed his life completely. He was ordained in 1986 after completing philosophy and theology. He had a short stay in London to practice English. When he arrived in the Philippines, he immediately studied Cebuano and was assigned in Agusan where he stayed for 2 years doing parish work. After his short stint as professor in the seminary in Davao, he was transferred to University of San Carlos in Cebu on 1989.
He recalled that, “at night I would go out and visit street children who were living on the sidewalks. I saw people looking for food in trash cans and living on the sidewalks and thought that if this is the case there must be many people living on the dump sites. So I just took my motorcycle and followed a dump truck.”
His experience brought him to the dump sites of Cebu and bravely stayed there for a month. There he share their way of life, their livelihood, their food, their struggles, their joys, their pains. “…and also their sickness,” he added with a laugh.
Soon he attracted others into his cause. A day care center was established with the effort of educating children and promoting nutrition as well as on-going formation for their parents. And the rest is history.
He became the Provincial of the Philippine Southern Province of the SVD in 2005. He was re-elected in 2008. In 2011, the members of the province decided that he should continue his mission as Provincial for the third term.
As a Provincial, he is a visionary. He has long term goals for the province which the confreres greatly appreciated. His dedication to also help the poorest of the poor in Cebu inspired so many. He also exercises efficient management in his sustainable projects for justice, peace and integrity of creation. Indeed, he is a gift to the people he served.
It is interesting to note that this is the second time that a Provincial from the Philippine Southern Province got elected as Superior General. In 2000, Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD who was also a PHS Provincial from 1993-1994 was elected to the highest post in the Society of the Divine Word.
Congratulations Fr. Heinz! God bless you in your new role as the great servant of our congregation. You have served the Philippine Southern Province with the heart of Christ. You will be always in my prayers. May the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.