There is a syndrome which many of us may not have heard of. It is called the shifting baseline syndrome. This syndrome is mostly used to refer to reference points used to measure aspects of ecosystems, for example quality and quantify of fish in a lake.
It was found that as successive generations of scientists studied a particular ecosystem, they often took the baseline as what they were able to measure at the beginning of their contact with that ecosystem. Changes over time were measured against that reference point.
When SVD student Binh Tanh Nguyen first arrived in Thailand from the United States, the first thing he did was take some time to learn the language, culture and customs of the Thai people – even though it was the country of his birth.
“I was born in Thailand in a refugee camp and raised from a wee lad in the US,” he says.
A new book on Sydney’s Slovak Catholic community tells not only the history of the community and their road towards acquiring their own church, but also stands as an encouragement for future generations, its author says.
The book, entitled ‘Memory of the faithful and believers’ also outlines the long and warm relationship between the Slovak community and the Divine Word Missionaries who have served as chaplains over several decades.
As the Royal Commission wraps up its hearings into the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse, the SVD Provincial, Fr Henry Adler, has recommitted the Province to safe ministry and to continuing to provide support and pastoral care to all affected.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse completed its hearings of Case Study 50, known as the Catholic ‘wrap-up’ last week, after three weeks in which the overall extent of abuse by Church personnel over several decades was laid bare in statistics which were described as “tragic and indefensible”.
The Feast of SVD missionary, St Joseph Freinademetz was an extra special celebration for the Divine Word Missionaries’ Marsfield community this year, as confreres, friends and guests joined together to mark jubilees for Fr Kevin Cantwell and Fr Don Grant.
Fr Kevin was celebrating 65 years in vows as a Divine Word Missionary and Fr Don Grant was celebrating 50 years since priestly ordination.
As this edition of In the Word reaches your inbox we are about to enter the Lenten season, a time traditionally set apart for repentance and deepening the spiritual life through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
All of those activities are good and I will certainly give them my best shot. But what if, this Lent, as well as turning to the Word, we were also to deepen our spiritual life by more actively seeking to love our neighbour?
As you can understand, Fr John has asked me to preach the Feast Day Homily of our Founder, St Arnold Janssen. It is an honour to be asked, so thank Fr John.
Father Arnold, that’s how we know him, was a man of vision, dedication and stubborn commitment. He was born nearly 200 hundred years ago on the border of Germany and Holland. He became a priest, a teacher, publisher, and a man fired with a desire for the Germans to do something for the foreign missions. Till then there was no German foreign mission foundation.
Every year, as Christmas nears, people all over the world set up Nativity scenes in churches and in their homes to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is no exception in Thailand. Every church, from the grand cathedral to the humble village church, has a Nativity scene. However, in some churches around the country, not all of the Nativity scenes are set up by Thai Christians. Some of them are made by Vietnamese migrant workers.
Catholic Vietnamese migrant workers are no longer unfamiliar in Thai churches. They have become a familiar sight to the local parishioners.
Holy Spirit Sisters (SSpS) of the Australian Province gathered together recently for their Provincial Assembly and Chapter meeting with the focus on discerning God’s Dreams for the Province.
“The theme of our Assembly and Chapter was ‘Recognising God’s Dream for our Province in our Present Reality’,” says Sr Sarita.
The Vietnamese migrants living and working in New Caledonia will have a comforting presence amongst them for Christmas, with Fr Truc Quoc Phan SVD arriving to help them celebrate.
With only few Vietnamese priests in the Pacific countries, Fr Truc, who is the SVD AUS Province Mission Secretary and was born and raised in Vietnam, pays regular visits to New Caledonia to help meet the faith needs of the migrant people.