Sunday, January 24, 2016

AUS Achievements and Celebrations

Fr Anthony Le Duc chose a topic from Theravada Buddhist Environmental Spirituality for his Doctoral Thesis at Assumption University, Bangkok. He was hoping to go beyond theory and to help provide practical resources for local communities living in environmental crisis.

Theravada Buddhist Environmental Spirituality is completely congruent with SVD spirituality and charism. The topic crosses over into four key areas which align with SVD values: other cultures, other religions, to the poor and to creation. Fr Anthony says “Creation is something that human beings must enter into relationship with in such a way that promotes well-being for both ourselves as well as nature.”

Five young Divine Word Missionaries, who have undertaken their formation in the AUS Province, were Ordained for the Priesthood or Diaconate recently, and are now preparing to be sent out on their First Mission Assignments.

Marianus Supardi and Uili Uvea were ordained priests, during the Mass at St Paschal’s Chapel, Box Hill, while Michael (Peter) Pengfei Wu, Anthony Hong-zhou Li and Laurensius Wae Woda were ordained deacons.

When Fr Wim Valkx joined the SVDs in 1953 he observed “A visit to our minor seminary in Teteringen was decisive. I liked those priests who were working in overalls. …just like ordinary men.” Since his First Vows in 1955 Wim has worked tirelessly in PNG and AUS. To this day Wim continues to minister whilst living in the retirement community in Marsfield. He is greatly appreciated by all who benefit from his wisdom and compassion. His 60th Anniversary of First Vows was celebrated by the Marsfield Community, lay partners and staff.

AIDS education and awareness remain a priority of the SVDsat Mother of Perpetual HelpCentrein Nong Bua Lamphuin Thailand. The staffis training teachers to continue AIDS education in the schools. Local nurses and police have also been trained.For a good part of 2015 the hospice had a lower intake of patients requiring extra care. As a consequence of this, Villa Marie has become more of a rehabilitation centre though the number of patients has risen of late.Due to the dedication and hard work of the confreresand staff many patients are now managing their own Antiretroviral Therapy and enjoying the benefits of a more fulfilling life.

To better prepare new confreres for ministry in Northern Territory District, Fr Jim Knight has just completed anIntroduction Course on Australian/ Aboriginal Culture that was taught through-out 2015. The new confreres also learnt the local Arrernte Language. The acculturation process is most beneficial for new confreres so they can be more effective in their various ministries. Interculturality is a priority of the SVDs and those who minister in the Northern Territory need to be very aware of the culture and language of our Australian indigenous people.(Written by Pia Haves, AUS Provincial Secretary, was published in SVD ASPAC JOURNAL 2015)

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