• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 12:25

US Biblical scholar to lead Province retreats


Van Thanh SVD 2012 0650American biblical scholar, Fr vănThanh Nguyễn, SVD will lead the Divine Word Missionaries AUS Province members in their annual retreat this year, despite not being able to travel from the US because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fr vănThanh, who is Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will deliver the retreat online on the topic, ‘The Love of Christ Impels Us: A Retreat with Saint Paul and the 18th General Chapter’, to confreres from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Myanmar during July.

He says, that having enjoyed visits to Australia previously, he is sorry that international border closures will prevent him delivering the retreat in person, but he is looking forward to the online experience nonetheless.

“I have done many online talks and seminars but never online retreats,” he says. “So the dynamics are going to be different and interesting, to say the least.

“I regret missing this wonderful opportunity to visit some of my favourite places in the world though.”

Fr vănThanh says the title of this year’s Province Retreat was a joint project between him and the Provincial Council. It is taken from the theme of the Society of the Divine Word’s 18th General Chapter, which drew from St Paul’s words, “the love of Christ impels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14): Rooted in the Word, Committed to His Mission”.

“For me, it is a great title and theme,” he says.

However, Fr vănThanh says he felt the Chapter did not focus adequately on the Apostle “whose missionary life can be the source of our inspiration and renewal”.

“Examining his life from the perspective of the SVD and how he is our model of mission would be a very good resource for our members,” he says.

The retreat will have three focus areas. They are:

  • On transformation: How is his life to be a source of inspiration and transformation for us SVDs today?
  • On rooted in the word: How was Paul rooted in the Word that impelled him to mission to the margins and to the ends of the earth?
  • On committed to His mission: What made Paul so committed to Jesus and the missio Dei, to run to the ‘finish line’ as it were, and what was that mission that Paul was so committed and passionate about?

“This will be my first virtual retreat via Zoom. It will definitely be interesting. I hope that this will be my first and last time directing a virtual retreat. But who knows when the pandemic will be completely over. For now, we just have to make the best of the circumstance,” he says.

Fr vănThanh says the format of this retreat will be a little different but there are also similar components. There will be two shorter talks each day. Participants will be allowed to see through a shared screen. Each talk consists of input, usually an aspect of St Paul’s life or spirituality, how St Paul can be a source of inspiration and transformation for us missionaries today, and a visual image. There will also be Scripture passages for private and personal meditation and some suggested points for contemplation.

Fr van Thanh Nguyens new book on refugees 280Fr vănThanh has just released a new book, called What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees? (New City Press).

He says the topic of migration is one that has captured his attention for a long time.

“Having been an immigrant and refugee myself, I know what it’s like to traverse borders and to survive,” he says. “Seeking shelter and means to stay afloat were part of every day’s lived experience.

“Knowing what it’s like to be a refugee and an asylum seeker helps me to be in solidarity with the millions of immigrants across the globe.

“But the problem is that most people, particularly Christians, are unaware of this global phenomenon and crisis. Perhaps people are aware of the situation but refuse to do something about it or simply because they don’t know how to respond.

“They don’t know what or if the Bible has anything to offer or say about these issues. The fact is that the Bible in general and the Church in particular, have a lot to say to teach us how to respond to today’s migration crisis.

“So what prompted me to write this book? To help Christians see that our biblical tradition has always been on the side of the vulnerable, strangers and immigrants. God, Jesus, and most biblical characters are portrayed as migrants, strangers or refugees. Those who treat them favourably are welcoming angels unawares.”

The book is available at  www.newcitypress.com or Amazon.