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.
SVD MISSIONARIES BEGIN THEIR 17TH GENERAL CHAPTER June 28, 2012Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Priesthood, SVD.
Tags: Fr. Sebastian Mattappallil SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, SVD General Chapter
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The Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) began their 17th General Chapter at Nemi (near Rome) on Sunday, June 17, 2012. The theme of this General Chapter is “From every Nation, People and Language: Sharing Intercultural Life and Mission”. The Delegates to the Chapter, many of them dressed in the traditional clothes used by the people in their missions, joined the opening Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Superior General, Fr. Antonio Pernia. The Holy Bible was brought to the Altar in a solemn procession at the beginning of the Holy Mass.
70 Superiors and 44 elected delegates from 57 provinces and missions will represent the more than 6000 SVD missionaries working in 67 countries across the world. In addition, four brothers and 3 Generalate Officials will also participate in the General Chapter. For the first time, four lay persons (missionary collaborators of the SVD) are invited to participate in the Chapter during the fourth week. The General Chapter will elect a new team for the Generalate Administration (Superior General and six consulters). The General Chapter is expected to last for four weeks.
The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) was founded by Saint Arnold Janssen in 1875 at Steyl in Holland. Also known as Divine Word Missionaries, the SVDs are involved in pastoral, educational, biblical, communication and other specialized apostolates in all the continents of the world. The founder sent his first missionaries to China, in 1878.
The Southern Philippine Province of the SVD, came into existence with the re-division of the Philippine SVD in 1982 and is dedicated to Bl. Joseph Freinademetz. It covers the regions of the Visayas and Mindanao.
In the Visayas, we are active on the islands of Cebu (University of San Carlos, Divine Word Formation Center, Blessed Freinademetz Formation House, Bl. Arnold Janssen Parish, Radio Stations DYRF AM and DYDW FM, and Divine Word Social Communications Center in Cebu City), Bohol (Divine Word College in Tagbilaran City), and Leyte (Divine Word University). In Mindanao, we are present in the Diocese of Surigao in northeastern Mindanao (Surigao District), the Diocese of Butuan in central Mindanao (Agusan District), and the Archdiocese of Davao in south eastern Mindanao (Regional Major Seminary and DW Formation Center in Davao City).
The SVDs arrived in Olutanga Island of the Diocese of Ipil in Western Mindanao on June 4, 2005. I arrived in the area last June 1, 2009 and stayed in Nuestra Seňora de los Remedios Parish as Parochial Vicar. I was transferred to the nearby parish last May 26, 2011 when I assumed the shepherding of St. Michael Parish.
P.S. Thanks to Sebastian Mattappallil, SVD for the text…
PHILIPPINE SVD @ 100 August 30, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Arnold Janssen, Bible Animation, Family Feast, Jesus, JPIC, Mission Anecdotes, Pastoral, Pilgrimage, Pink Sisters, Prayers, Subanipa Diaries, SVD, SVD Philippines Centennial, Vocation Story, XVD.
Tags: Bishop Arturo Bastes SVD, Blue Sisters, Cebu, Fr. Anthony Salas, Fr. Carlos Lariosa SVD, Fr. Eleno Bucia SVD, Fr. Felicito Borres SVD, Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD, Fr. Jingjong Rocha SVD, Fr. Joseph Audiencia SVD, Fr. Juan Scheiermann SVD, Fr. Ludwig Beckert SVD, Fr. Melencio Balay SVD, Fr. Ramilo Mapaye SVD, Fr. Roger Solis SVD, Fr. Ruel Lero SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Fr. Virgil Alejandria SVD, Fr.Heinz Kulueke SVD, PHS, Pink Sisters, SVD, University of San Carlos
The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) is now celebrating our one hundred years of missionary presence in the Philippines. On August 15, 1909, the first two SVD missionaries arrived in Manila and began their long journey to Abra, a landlocked province in Northern part of Luzon. With only a bamboo raft, Fr. Juan Scheiermann, SVD and Fr. Ludwig Beckert, SVD journeyed on Abra River to Bangued, the capital. They reached Pilar, Cagotungan, Abra — their mission station, by horse — in their full black cassocks! Perhaps they never thought that one hundred years after, the SVD mission in the Philippines will be this big and this successful. We owe all to the grace of God.
It seems young priests are more comfortable in front of the camera
Last August 17, I arrived in Cebu for the Centennial Celebration of the SVD Philippine Southern Province. More than 100 of my confreres came to celebrate this significant occassion.
Hehe Parang Mag-Ama! Puros Hubag!
With the theme “We Remember, We Rejoice, We Renew”, we were delighted to hear anecdotes about the SVD in the Philippines. Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD shared to us never-been-heard-nor-published stories about the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines (Sample: Did you know that the SVD owned all the Church properties in one of the Archdioceses in the country after the World War II? Mahabang istorya ito!) I was really thankful to the good bishop who happened to be the ordaining prelate during my priestly ordination. So, i also took the opportunity to have photo op with him.
Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD shared about the facts and figures in the Philippine SVD. FYI, Fr. Tony is the Superior General of the SVD worldwide!!! Not only that, he is a Filipino!!! During our time with him, somebody made a remark, “100 years of the SVD in the Philippines is not enough to produce a saint, but enough to produce a Superior General.”
The SVD together with the Blue Sisters and the Pink Sisters
The Pink Sisters are praying for me! Ssshhh, wag maingay!
Our sister congregations also celebrated with us. The Centennial Mass was celebrated at the Pink Sisters Convent together with our lay mission partners, XVDs and the Blue and Pink Sisters. The presider and the mass homilist was Fr. Tony. Agape meal followed.
We also had basketball exhibition game: SVD vs. XVD (ex-SVD seminarians). Did I mention the SVD won? We were on the Sports page of the Sunstar Magazine the following day, and the whole of Cebu knew about it.
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal also joined us for the prayer before the clergy religious night. He also expressed his appreciations for the missionary work done by the SVDs in the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The SVDs listened to a fisherman from Cordova
The last day of the Centennial Celebration proved to be the most memorable and most meaningful for me. Perhaps all my other confreres will also agree. We went to Cordova, where one of the housing projects of the SVD is located. Father Max Abalos, SVD, who spearheaded the project said that it is geared toward the development and liberation of the people from poverty and oppression. The Cordova fisherfolk village has now a cooperative business and will soon establish their dried danggit business.
Mabenta ang mais ng mga fisher folks. Mga pari nag-enjoy!
Our last stop was the Janssenville in Bangkal, Soong, Lapu-Lapu City. Janssenville is another housing project of the SVD. It is a compound of 100 houses with a gate and a chapel for the housing recipients. Together with NGOs, our mission partners, fisherfolks, street children, XVDs, students, visitors, Janssenville settlers and many others, we were given a tour in the area. Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD, JPIC-IDC director, said the houses were built through the consolidated effort of the SVD and the University of San Carlos (USC) community and the beneficiaries.
Fr. Tony is given a tour in the Janssenville Compound
The Holy Mass in the afternoon was presided by Bishop Bastes. He also gave the homily in flawless Visayan language. Hehe Bol-anon man pod diay siya mao nga hasler kaayo mobisaya. Paka-paka oy!
Bishop Bastes, SVD
After that, Fr. Tony led the blessing of the whole village. We blest the 100 houses, one priest per house. (siyempre sama ako doon). It was very touching…ang bawat pamilya may isa-isang paring dala papunta sa kanilang mga bahay. Masaya ang naging kwentuhan ko with the family na nakasama ko.
Fellowship meal followed. It was like a feast. I was happy and thankful to be part of that celebration. Indeed, it was a piece of heaven. More pictures HERE!!!
Congrats SVD and may the Triune God live in the hearts of all.
PROUD TO BE SVD July 16, 2008Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in SVD.
Tags: Fr. Ewald Dinter SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD
Two great SVDs are in the news these days…makes me proud to have dedicating confreres like them. My deepest congratulations:
the charism and ministry of St. Arnold Janssen,
founder of the Society of the Divine Word,
in the changing times of the millennium.
He is the first Asian Superior General of Societas Verbi Divini (SVD),
one of the biggest international religious orders in the world.
As one of the top religious superiors in Rome,
he highlighted the Filipino presence in the global missionary work.”
He has lived among the Mangyan tribal people,
who see him as their mentor and father figure.
He travels as much as 19 hours,
sometimes on foot,
to reach his Mangyan students.”
WE REMEMBER, WE REJOICE, WE RENEW January 17, 2008Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in SVD Philippines Centennial.
Tags: Bishop Arturo Bastes SVD, Divine Word Shrine, Fr. Eugene Docoy SVD, Fr. Felix Ferrer SVD, Fr. Jerome Marquez SVD, Fr. Jerry Orbos SVD, Fr. Manuel Bongayan SVD, Fr. Pablito Tagura SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD
Divine Word Shrine, Quezon City.
128 priests, 2 bishops and more than a hundred SVD seminarians – a sea of white vestments!
We Remember. We Rejoice. We Renew.
SVD friends and several other religious congregations came to celebrate with us in our launching of the Philippine SVD Centennial (1909-2009). Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD cheerfully welcomed the community: “99 years ago, we were not here. 99 years later, we will no longer be here. Today we are here. Let us capture the moment by greeting each other I am happy you are here.”
Indeed it was a happy moment everyone wanted to capture.
We Remember. The two SVD missionaries who set foot on Philippine soil on 1909 reached their mission area via bamboo raft and horse ride. Whoa! Msgr. Arturo Bastes, SVD, DD, who presided the Holy Mass, related in his homily that the SVD Philippine mission was almost discontinued. On 1914, the Superior General Fr. Nicholas Blum, SVD wanted to abandon the mission because the war posed great danger to the missionaries. But the pioneers insisted to continue the missionary endeavor in Abra. Later on, more and more missionaries came until more and more mission stations were created.
We Rejoice. We have many reasons to celebrate. From the two simple missionary, the Philippine SVD has grown tremendously to become the biggest male religious congregation in the Philippine Church today. It has also produced 12 bishops already, one of which is a candidate for beatification. Our SVD Superior is now a Filipino in the person of Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD. It has also grown in its missionary involvement. Practically, we have covered the whole Philippine archipelago from A (Abra, which is up North) to Z (Zamboanga, which is down South).
We Renew. During the Holy Mass, the perpetually and temporarily professed SVDs prayed the Centennial Prayer composed by Fr. Felix Ferrer, SVD. That was a very solemn moment!
Bishop Bastes strongly encouraged us to “look back at the roots and the spiritual heritage of our founder. This spiritual heritage is laid on the foundation of the Trinity.” He added that “we should radically aim to enable all to achieve the fullness of human dignity by committing to defend it since human dignity in its fullness is participation in the life of the Trinity.”
Indeed, we have already widened our mission horizons. We are 100 years old in the Philippines and we know very well that the bulk of missionary work waiting for us can never be done without the prayers and support of the many people. It always inspires me to see many people helping us in our missions. The book given to me by my spiritual director in college (Fr. Stan Plutz, SVD) “Remembering SVD Missionaries” made me really very appreciative also of the efforts done of our confreres of the yesteryears. Lastly, thanks be to God who have made all these things possible for us. God indeed is never outdone in his generosity.
We Remember. We Rejoice. We Renew.
WE CONDEMN THE KILLING OF OUR BROTHER! April 2, 2007Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in JPIC, SVD.
Tags: Christ the King Mission Seminary, Fr. Francis Madhu SVD, Fr. Gerardo Gudmalin SVD, Fr. Tony Pernia SVD, Kalinga
Fr. Francis is assigned as co-pastor of Fr. Gerardo Gudmalin, SVD in Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Mission in Lubuagan, Kalinga, which is under the Vicariate of Tabuk.
The initial report of our Superior General, Fr. Tony Pernia, SVD states that “Fransiskus was already vested for the afternoon Mass at 17.30 (5:30 p.m.) when a man suddenly appeared before him and fired an M-16 armalite at him without any apparent motive. It seems that the attacker had personal problems and was wanted by the police. Our young confrere died immediately.”
The man who shot him was known to have a criminal record. The Province of Ende has been informed as well as the family of Fr. Francis.
We, his SVD confreres in Christ the King Mission Seminary strongly condemn the killing of Fr. Francis. We hope that the government would do something to give justice to our dead confrere whose only motive was to serve the people of Kalinga in his mission assignment.
Please include him and his murderer in your prayers…