Society Matters | Volume 28 No. 1 | Autumn 2018

Volume 28 No. 1 | Autumn 2018 2 Message from the Provincial Superior Happy 2018 to all our Society Matters readers and Partners in Mission. As you receive this edition of Society Matters in your letter box in late February and early March, the AUS Province of the Society of the Divine Word is embarking on a new and exciting Mission. From March, we will have the first of four missionaries taking up his assignment in Myanmar, our newest Mission outreach. It is the culmination of a long preparation process, following an invitation from Cardinal Charles Bo to come into his diocese of Yangon to pursue Bible ministry there. Having been present in neighbouring Thailand for several years now, the SVD AUS Province is delighted to now be able to respond to the need of the people of Myanmar, who have endured decades of civil war and ethnic unrest. In particular, Cardinal Bo has asked us to do what our name, Divine Word Missionaries denotes – that is, to help develop the Biblical ministry in Myanmar. In particular, I wish to pay tribute to two of our confreres, Mission Secretary, Fr Truc Quoc Phan and Fr John Hung Le, who have been in Myanmar overseeing the extensive repair and rebuilding work that needed to be done on the house we will use as our base, which is located in the Sacred Heart Parish, about 1.5 hours from Yangon itself. Fr Jacob Kavunkal SVD will be the first missionary from the AUS Province to take up residence in the SVD house, and he will be followed later in the year by three other confreres. Those three missionaries will first go to the Philippines to undergo a preparation program, consisting of a month-long workshop on Bible Ministry in Asia, followed by a period in which they will join Bible ministries in the Philippines before going to Myanmar. Beginning any new missionary endeavour is exciting and perhaps a little daunting, but we are looking forward to getting to know the language, the culture and the people. We have much to learn from the people of Myanmar and we hope it will be the start of a wonderful relationship. Please join us in this new Mission endeavour with your prayer and support. Yours in the Word, Fr Henry Adler SVD Provincial Superior Cover Story: School children from SVD schools in Madagascar, where education is one of a number of community initiatives helping communities to tackle poverty. See full report on Pages 4-5. Appeal Office: 199 Epping Road, Marsfield NSW Locked Bag 3, Epping NSW 1710 Australia Telephone: +61 2 9868 2666 Victoria: 100 Albion Road, Box Hill, Vic 3128 Tel: +61 3 9890 0065 Queensland: 96 Lilac Street Inala QLD 4077 Tel: +61 7 3372 5658 New Zealand: 6 Stanley Street, Wainuiomata 5014 Tel: +64 4 970 8405 Published by Divine Word Missionaries Incorporated, ABN 51 885 667 646