Member's Login

" To witness to God's love, as told in the Scriptures, sending us to transform all creation through self-giving and dialogue. "

Pope Francis meets with the SVD in Rome

Pope urges Verbites to trust in God and be brothers in proclaiming the Word of God

Pope Francis on June 22 met members of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) participating in their General Chapter near Rome.
 

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis on Friday encouraged the Divine Word Missionaries to trust in Divine Providence while preaching the Gospel, especially to those who are excluded, abandoned and trampled, while remaining united as brothers in their vocation and mission. 

The Pope’s exhortation came in a talk to 155 members of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), popularly known as Verbites, who are participating in their 18th General Chapter which began Nemi, near Rome, on June 17.   

Noting the theme of their general chapter, “'The Love of Christ impels us’ (2 Cor 5:14): Rooted in the Word, Committed to His Mission”, the Pope said it has a “clear Pauline and missionary flavour” and urged the Verbites to return to their roots and origins as envisioned by their founder Saint Arnold Janssen.  In this regard he encouraged them to trust in Divine Providence, to proclaim the Word of God and to be a community of brothers.

Trusting in Divine Providence

Pope Francis encouraged the Verbites to renew their trust in Divine Providence and to go out without fear, to witness to the joy of the Gospel, which many make happy.   They must be courageous in taking risks and not be an impediment to the action of the Holy Spirit.  This trust, he said,  renewed every day in the encounter with Jesus in prayer and in the sacraments will help them be open to discernment, to examine their own life in trying to do God's will in all their activities and projects.

Proclaiming the Word of God

The Pope reminded the Divine Word Missionaries that proclaiming the Word of God to all people, in every time, place and culture, using every possible means, is their charism.  Besides being a legacy it is also challenge that awaits them today, especially in their mission to those who don’t know Christ as yet as envisioned by their founder.   

Community of brothers in mission

Lastly, the Holy Father urged them to be a community of brothers united by the Lord, walking together and loving one another, which he said is “the greatest evangelization.”  “The world, like the Church,” he said, “needs to feel this fraternal love despite its diversity and inter-culturality,” where “everyone is at the service of others and no one more than the other.”

This unity the Pope said will help them overcome difficulties and go out “meet other brothers who are outside, excluded from society, abandoned to their fate, trampled underfoot by selfish interests.”  He said they are “sent to realize the spirit of the Beatitudes through works of mercy” by “listening to and responding to the cries of those who ask for bread and justice; bringing peace and integral promotion to those who seek a more dignified life; consoling and offering reasons for hope to the sadness and suffering of so many men and women of our time.”

Roots and cemeteries

At the end, the Pope set aside his prepared text and spoke off hand.  He told the Verbites that going back to their origins is not an abstract spirituality but are roots that give life, for which they must be cared for and loved.  Secondly, he asked the Verbites to think of the cemeteries in distant lands in Africa, Asia, the Amazon and around the world where many a Verbite missionary lay buried -  young men who died gambling with thier lives.  

 

Mission Statement

VISION

A religious missionary community of priests and brothers inspired by the Holy Triune God, proclaiming the reign of God by sharing intercultural life and mission among ourselves and our dialogue partners, following the example of Saints Arnold Janssen and Joseph Freinademetz

MISSION

To witness to God’s love, as told in the Scriptures, sending us to transform all creation through self-giving and dialogue

Featured Gallery

Featured Video

One Heart many faces

SVD Spirituality Song

Arnold Janssen Mission Foundation INC (ALS)

Sunday Reflections

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 26, 2018

John 6, 60-69

 

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard, who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

 

 


Reflection

He was clearly no leader like Joshua, yet Bro. Ralph Felix ruled with an iron fist. Seminarians remember him as a stickler for rules regarding order in the dormitory and study hall. Many also recall how he insisted on punctuality in activities as well as sportsmanship in athletic competitions, no matter how hard they competed.

Showing his softer side, this American missionary loved to teach songs; among his favorite had this refrain: “For united we stand, divided we fall.” It was his way of imparting to the young men aspiring to the missionary and religious life the value of unity in the Church as well as in the Society.

He was aware of the painful episodes marked by pockets of strife in the history of the Body of Christ caused by Arius, Nestorius, Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, and a host of brilliant but misguided men who rocked the unity in the Church with their tempting but dangerous heresies. Battles were fiercely fought to preserve the unity of the Church led by men like Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, John Duns Scotus, Erasmus, and for a time, even Henry VIII. In Jesus’ time, people who could not accept established and scripturally based truths, sadly went away.

The story of dissension and non-acceptance leading to a sad break of unity already took place in the lifetime of Jesus. Confronted with the truth that he was the bread of life, that his flesh was real food, and his blood was real drink, many of his disciples went away from his company. For this reason, Jesus sadly asked those who stayed behind, “Will you also go away?”

Many centuries earlier, Joshua (his name is an older version of “Jesus”) challenged the Israelites who were wavering in their loyalty to the covenant, thereby endangering the unity among the people. Joshua challenged his people to choose between serving the Lord or serving the gods of the Amorites. To a man the Israelites declared, “We will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

Paul wisely told the early Christians at Ephesus who were also on the brink of losing that vital unity, to preserve oneness by being “subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Years of training under Bro. Ralph equipped those who later became religious missionary brothers and priests with the discipline which steeled them for the rigors of rough and tough mission assignments. Above all, they remembered the wisdom of the words, “For united we stand, divided we fall,” when confronted with the right truths (orthodoxy), when frictions regarding the right praxis (orthopraxy) arose.

 

By Fr. Flor Lagura SVD 

Visitors Counter

11899278
This Week
67899


  • Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/st.freinademetzcenter.png): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585

  • Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/St Joseph Freinademetz centre. png): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585

  • Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585

    Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585

    Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585

    Warning: getimagesize(D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph/images/linkage/): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in D:\InetPub\vhosts\n3wp0rt-1993.package\svdphc.ph\modules\mod_jqueryimagescroller\tmpl\default.php on line 585
 
 
 
Find us on Facebook
Follow Us