Society Matters | Volume 30 No. 2 | Winter 2020

Volume 30 No. 2 | Winter 2020 2 Message from the Provincial Superior Welcome to the Winter edition of Society Matters for 2020. When you receive this in the mail, we will be well into the Easter season and approaching the great feast of Pentecost. Following his resurrection, when Jesus appeared to the disciples while they were gathered together in a room, he foreshadowed Pentecost when he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, for those whose sins you retain, they are retained’ (John 20: 22). And he told them: ‘As the Father sent me, so I am sending you’ (John 20: 21). Just like those disciples, we too are sent. But, importantly, we are not sent alone or unaided. We are sent with the strength and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that on the day of Pentecost, the apostles were once again gathered in a room together when they heard the noise of a powerful wind and tongues of fire appeared and settled on them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign languages, yet seeming to understand each other. (Acts 2:1-11) I always think that the dinner table at any SVD house in the world must often resemble that Pentecost experience, as our multicultural members come together to break bread. If each spoke in their own language, what a sight and sound it would be! The gift of the Holy Spirit, given at Pentecost, drives us forward and impels us to reach out. ‘As the Father sent me, so I am sending you’. In this edition of Society Matters you will read of SVD missionaries in India going out to the streets of Pune to find, care for, and educate young street children from a mobile school set up in a bus. You will read of three young missionaries who took their final vows to the SVD in Melbourne recently and have been ordained deacons, that is, ordained to go out, preach the Good News and be with the people; you will read a reflection from one of our missionaries about Pope Francis’ call in his letter to the Amazon for the Church to reach out to those on the edges and bring them into the loving embrace of Jesus Christ, while paying respect to their culture, their ecology and their vocation. And you will hear from our Superior- General about how the SVD is maintaining its mission during these challenging times of the coronavirus. We thank you for joining us and for sharing in mission with us. It is your support that allows the SVD to continue to reach out to people, especially those on the margins, all around the world. May God bless you, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yours in the Word, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD Provincial Superior Cover Story: Street children in Pune, India, are pictured receiving education in a mobile school bus operated by the SVD. See pages 4-5 for more. 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