The Overseas/Cross-cultural Training Program has developed in the SVD over the past several decades and has, by and large, provided participants with an enriching intercultural experience. The program has become an important element of missionary formation.
The important elements of the OTP program are the learning of a new language, experience of a new culture and supervised ministry. The program lasts for two or three years. There has been a growing realisation that future missionaries will above all profit from the experience of learning to enter into one or more areas of the four-fold dialogue.
This program of supervised ministry and cross-cultural experience is offered to confreres in formation, both brothers and seminarians, after two or three years in temporary vows.
The ministries of the SVD in the Province vary from working in multicultural parishes; caring for the homeless and underprivileged, whether in a metropolitan city of the East Coast of Australia or in the north of Thailand ; or ministering to the aboriginal people of Alice Springs or Santa Teresa.
At present we have four OTP participants in our province, two from Indonesia and two from Vietnam. In 2013 and 2014 we will welcome five more O/CTP participants from Mexico, Japan, USA, Korea and Argentina.