• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 27 June 2019 17:32

Taking time out to give thanks to God


Henry Headshot 2019 150 Light backgroundWith my time as Provincial drawing to a close at the end of this year, and still plenty of things to cross off the ‘to-do’ list, there hasn’t been much time for reflection on these past six years.

But as I write this column, it is a chance to take a few moments and consider what God has done in our Province and to give thanks for blessings received.

There is nothing more temporary than the Provincial of a religious society. They come and go, in an organised fashion, with almost monotonous regularity. And this is a very good thing.

The SVD Generalate in Rome has just confirmed that the next Provincial of the AUS Province will be Fr Asaeli Raass SVD. He will take up the position on January 1. I am delighted at Raass’s election and wish him every blessing for the years ahead.

Together with the Provincial Council, the Provincial is tasked with leading a Province for a period of time, doing one’s best to help the members discern what God is asking of them at this time, in this place, and then, handing on the baton to another.

I have enjoyed my time as Provincial, although of course there have been challenges. Chief among these was the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the response required of all religious orders/congregations/societies to ensure that those abuses can never happen again.

Our Province is working hard on its safeguarding policies and procedures and is fulfilling the many detailed tasks required for entry to the National Redress Scheme. We are working proactively on building a culture of safety, awareness and respect for all. This has been important work and it will, of course, be ongoing.

I have just returned from Myanmar where, after an invitation from the Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Bo SDB, our Province has established a presence. This has taken much prayer, discernment, planning, and hard physical work from some of our confreres, but I am filled with hope for its potential. The Biblical ministry we are engaged in there is fundamental to the SVD charism and Cardinal Bo has said that the people are hungry for the Word of God. What a privilege to play a role in filling that hunger and sharing the lives of the people. Having established our presence, and with a team of confreres now in place there, we place its future in God’s hands.

Another highlight as I look back over the last six years is the growth in relationship with our Lay Partners in Mission. The SVD has always enjoyed strong support from lay friends and in recent times we have moved to explore ways of formalising that friendship and support. A Lay Partners Group has been established in Marsfield and we hope to do the same in other places in due course. We see the hand of the Holy Spirit in this development and we give thanks for it.

This reflection is not a good-bye, of course. There are still six months ahead before I step down, and much to be done. However, I will be taking the next three months as home leave back in Europe and so Raass, who is the current Vice-Provincial, will provide these columns and lead the Province in my absence. I’ll look forward to catching up with you again in a few months’ time.

Yours in the Word,
Fr Henry Adler SVD