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…