The SVD Lay Partners group in Marsfield has resolved to continue deepening the formation of members in Divine Word Missionary spirituality as the group moves towards being formalised as part of the SVD community.
At a meeting held by Zoom earlier this month, Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD spoke of the importance of the SVD Lay Partners in the missionary activities of the Divine Word Missionaries.
“Fr Rass also emphasised that one of the elements that he would like to achieve is the formalisation of the SVD Lay Partners as part of the SVD community,” says group-member Helen Festejo.
“This includes formulating the constitution and by-laws.”
The Lay Partners group formulated a draft mission statement last year, in collaboration with Fr Dom Flores SVD, and Fr Rass encouraged the group to keep moving forward with the draft to bring it to finalisation.
At the group’s previous meeting, in August, the Lay Partners reviewed how they had grown as a group since their foundation four years ago and how they could continue to grow.
“In that meeting, it was pointed out that we should continue with our ongoing formation,” Helen says.
“We felt that we need to persevere to grow spiritually and to align our spirituality with the Arnoldus Spirituality. This is a major part of establishing our identity as SVD.
“To put this in action, we agreed to integrate in our prayer life the prayer or prayers of St Arnold Janssen. It was also suggested that the prayer of St Arnold, which is on a banner in the chapel, be prayed at the end of every Mass.”
On Sunday, September 13, the Lay Partners gathered in the St Arnold Janssen Chapel at Marsfield for a belated joint celebration of SVD Foundation Day, which this year recognised the 145th anniversary of St Arnold’s founding of the Divine Word Missionaries. The SVD Lay Partners were also marking their fourth year.
“Since the Lay Partners’ inception, this annual joint celebration has become an important tradition in the life of the Society,” Helen says.
Fr Rass presided at the Eucharist and he led the congregation in praying the prayer of St Arnold Janssen at the conclusion of Mass.
The Mass was followed by a COVID-safe morning tea gathering.
“This was also a fitting tribute to the Blessed Virgin in celebration of her Nativity (Sept 8 – also the official date of SVD Foundation Day), whose guidance we continue to implore to guide us in all our undertakings,” Helen says.