Society Matters | Volume 29 No. 2 | Winter 2019

Volume 29 No. 2 | Winter 2019 2 Message from the Provincial Superior Welcome to the Winter edition of Society Matters. As you receive this edition in the mail, we will have already made our way through the glorious Easter season and be preparing for the great feasts of the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost. Pentecost, that awe-inspiring occasion when the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to his followers is an important time for all Christians, and the Divine Word Missionaries are no exception. I always love reading the account of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles where we read that a violent wind blew through the house in which Jesus’ followers were sitting and tongues of fire appeared and came to rest on each of them. As they were filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak in different languages, even though they were all from Galilee. Apart from the wind and the fire, the account of different languages sometimes reminds me of sitting at a table in any SVD community! Our men come from every country and are present all over the world and many speak in languages that are not their first tongue. A casual observer at an SVD meal could conclude they had wandered into the Pentecost scene! In fact, that would be fitting, as our founder, St Arnold Janssen, had a particular devotion to the Holy Spirit and sometimes felt that in Europe in the 1800s it had taken somewhat of a ‘back seat’ to the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity. He did all he could to make sure his fledgling missionary society was aware of and open to the power of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, he named one of his congregations of religious sisters the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit. I hope that here, today, in the SVD AUS Province we remain open to the stirrings of the Spirit in our daily lives and in our missionary work, and that, following Jesus’ example, we take the gifts of the Holy Spirit to all people, but especially to the poor and the neglected. In this edition of Society Matters, you will read how the Holy Spirit is guiding our two newly professed confreres, Simon and Toub, as they embark on their diaconate year and continue their journey into missionary life. You will also read of the wonderful work being done by the SVD for young women in Zambia, to empower them with education so that they can improve their lives and the lives of their families and villages. And finally, we will share with you the missionary stories of Fr Michael Madigan SVD who will soon celebrate his Golden Jubilee of priesthood, and Fr Devasagayam (Deva) Savariyappan SVD who is about to take up his new assignment in Myanmar. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in all that we do Yours in the Word, Fr Henry Adler SVD Provincial Superior Cover Story: Young women are pictured gaining new skills and further education at a hospitality training school in Zambia. Their places at the school are funded by the SVD, thanks to the generosity of our partners in mission. 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