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News & Events

Fr Asaeli Raass profile pic 150‘Together in the Spirit’ is the theme of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday this year (Sunday, July 5), and what a perfect theme it is as we all emerge slowly from this period of COVID-19 isolation.

We might still be maintaining our social distance and our gatherings are still only small, but as Australians and as Christians, we are ‘Together in Spirit’ – something my recent years as a missionary in Central Australia really emphasised for me.

Rosary Zoom 150The month of May reminds us of our devotion to Mary our Mother. I remember going on a number of pilgrimages to well-known shrines dedicated to Mother Mary. Another thought that comes to mind when I think of the Rosary, is St. John Paul II, who had a tremendous devotion to Mother Mary. He always encouraged the faithful to cling to our Mother Mary by praying the Rosary.

I was privileged to view a video shown on EWTN News Nightly channel in May 2019 on Pope John Paul II demonstrating his love and care towards children and youth. When children were asked why they liked Pope John Paul II they replied, “He is like us, especially because he is like CHRIST”.

SSpS Sisters leadership team 2019 150The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters are celebrating 75 years of their presence in Brisbane this year, though the planned celebrations on the anniversary day, March 28, had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.T

Eighteen Holy Spirit Sisters, who were survivors of the Japanese prison camps and death ships in Papua New Guinea during World War II, arrived in Brisbane in May 1944, joining five others who had come earlier, after trekking for months across the mountains and valleys of PNG. Fifty-four of their Sisters had died tragically during the War.

Thursday, 28 May 2020 12:57

Pentecost in the everyday - a reflection

Helping hands 150 PixabayWe think of Pentecost as that special time when the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples in the upper room (Acts 2:1-13). Even though all the disciples were Galileans, they began to speak in many different languages which were, nonetheless, understood by the many people present. This came to be known as “speaking in tongues”. The Holy Spirit is indeed a Spirit of both diversity and unity, writes Fr Michael Knight SVD.

This is a very different outcome to a certain situation portrayed in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 11:1-9, in which people who speak the same language come together to build a tower (The Tower of Babel) that will supposedly reach heaven itself and make the people to be like gods.. To counter this sin of ego driven pride, God causes many languages to arise amongst those constructing the Tower and the result is that the whole project comes to an abrupt halt in complete and utter confusion.

Yosef Meda attending online zoom lecture 150Divine Word Missionary students and academics might have had their face-to-face lectures cancelled and all lessons moved online, but they are not letting the COVID-19 crisis dim their missionary zeal.

In fact, the students say that the coronavirus restrictions have forced them to adapt to changing circumstances and continue to reach out to people online, in person and in prayer, all of which are necessary attributes for a life of mission in the modern world.

Royal Commission Final Report 150The commitment of the Divine Word Missionaries AUS Province to building a culture of well-being and safety continues on a range of fronts, including an appraisal process for confreres.

The Provincial Council has asked 33 SVD members to initiate an appraisal process for themselves this year. Such a process was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, and is also aimed at ensuring the well-being of missionaries in their ministry.

Mass returns at Santa Teresa 150It was an emotional moment for Fr Prakash Menezes SVD when, after weeks of celebrating Mass in front of a phone camera at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart church in Alice Springs, he was finally able to look out and see his parishioners again.

The Northern Territory government relaxed its COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, May 15, and that very same day Fr Prakash celebrated Mass for the people.

Thursday, 28 May 2020 10:48

Wired for connection; created for love

Fr Asaeli Raass profile pic 150If the coronavirus and the enforced social isolation that has come with it has taught us anything, it is that we are social creatures who crave connection.

When we were asked to stay at home it wasn’t shopping or consumption that we missed the most, rather it was visiting our family, hugging our parents, attending our niece’s first birthday party, hanging out with our workmates or enjoying a dinner with friends at a restaurant.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 19:19

We are an Easter people - even in lockdown

Fr Asaeli Raass profile pic 150Happy Easter to you! We are still mid-way through the Easter season and there’s no doubt that we really needed Easter this year.

With lay people observing the sacred liturgies from their lounge rooms, instead of in churches, and longing to once again partake in the Eucharist, while priests celebrated private Masses streamed online, we were ready to be reminded again of the tomb-busting power of the resurrection in our lives and in the whole world.

Elmer zoom bible study 150How does one be missionary in a pandemic, when we are being urged to stay home and not go out? It is a question that SVDs in the AUS Province have been asking and they’ve come up with some creative responses.

Firstly of course, the Divine Word Missionary priests have, like most other parish priests, been livestreaming their private Mass on social media, and they have also been ensuring community ties remain strong through various initiatives.

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