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Some Thoughts on SVD Leadership Today

Some Thoughts on SVD Leadership Today

Talk to the PHC Assembly-Chapter

20-22 January 2014

DWS, Tagaytay City


Antonio M. Pernia, SVD

DWIMS Tagaytay

First of all, I would like to thank Fr. Provincial, Nielo Cantilado, for the invitation to speak to you in this assembly on the topic of Leadership in the SVD. It is my hope that some of the thoughts that I will be sharing this morning will be of help not only to those who will be tasked with the ministry of leadership in the SVD on the provincial or local level, but also to all of you, since, in one form or another, as missionaries, we are all called to exercise leadership in the Christian community.


Read more: Some Thoughts on SVD Leadership Today



  January 20, 2013

Arnoldus Hall, Divine Word Seminary Tagaytay City


Reverend Father Antonio Pernia, the 10th Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word, Dear Rectors and District Superiors of our local communities, and Confreres:

First, allow me to extend some words of gratitude to certain individuals who were called to compose the Task Forces for this Provincial Gathering. You know that not all of you were consulted, but, because we trust in your ability, so you were appointed. My thanks goes likewise to Frs. Ernie, Gil and Joks, and their staff, for making sure that all the logistical requirements for this gathering are attended to and provided for. I am confident we have prepared enough for this gathering. With all these efforts put together, may this provincial gathering truly become a celebration for all of us as companions of the Divine Word.


Social Communication As SVD Apostolate In The Philippines

Social Communication As SVD Apostolate In The Philippines

Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD*

It was as an editor that Arnold Janssen became the founder of the Divine Word Missionaries congregation (SVD). As the director of the apostolate of prayer in his home diocese in Muenster, Germany he learned more and more about the mission work of the Church worldwide and decided to found a monthly mission magazine, the "Little Herald of the Sacred Heart," which started in 1874.

One morning of that year, he read in the newspaper that the bishop of Hong Kong, Msgr. Raimondi, would visit Fr van Essen, a parish priest in a place nearby. During the interview with Bishop Raimondi, Janssen mentioned the need for a mission house in German speaking countries. He had advertised this need in his periodical but never thought of doing it himself. Bishop Raimondi tried to convince the young priest to do it himself and in fact even visited him in the latter's own place in Kempen, Germany.

It was only this way that Janssen finally took the initiative himself to buy an empty pub on the banks of the Mass River in Steyl just across the German border to open a mission house. This became the cradle of the SVDs. Right in the first year, he also ordered his own printing machines for his mission magazine and other publications he wanted to publish.

Thus right from the beginning, communication was one of the essential activities and parts of the Divine Word Missionaries. Wherever they went all over the world, in the years to come, the apostolate of the press and other means of communication became their trademark.

In the Philippines, it was only in 1924 that the first SVD-owned printing press started. This was conceived to be part of a technical school, the "Catholic Trade School," in Manila. In the further development, the school did not really get off the ground. The printing at Tayuman and Oroquieta streets, however, flourished.

Read more: Social Communication As SVD Apostolate In The Philippines

MERO (Missiological Education And Research Office)

MERO (Missiological Education And Research Office)



The office for Mission Education and Research (MER) is one of the offices of the Society of the Divine Word with counterparts in the SVD Asia-Pacific zone. As the title expresses it, the office is for mission education and mission research.

It started in 1988 with Fr. Leonardo Mercado, SVD, as its first director. In terms of mission education, for example, it launched  the annual Mission Orientation Course  for incoming foreign missionaries (Datingbayan), then followed by the vacationing foreign missionaries (Balikbayan).  The office also worked together with the Holy Spirit sisters (SSpS) in the summer seminar for Filipino missionaries going abroad (Alisbayan).  All the three programs now are run by the SSpS with SVD assistance.

Mission research was initially done through conducting missiological seminars with the outputs edited  into book form. At present MER also assists the provincial superior  in matters which involve programs on prophetic dialogue.
The office has had a series of directors. The first term (1988-1999)  of Fr. Mercado was followed by Fr. Dionisio Miranda, then by Fr. Edgar Javier and Fr. Michael Layugan. Fr. Mercado re-assumed the office in 2004.  MER at present is focused on how to implement concrete programs on prophetic dialogue for formation, school apostolate, and parish apostolate.

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