• 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

Friday, 30 July 2021 10:48

Online retreat a time of prayer & reflection for AUS Province


Qld District praying Province retreat 2021 550Members of the SVD AUS Province have been enjoying a time of reflection during July, as they took part in the annual Province retreat, which, due to the pandemic, was offered online this year by American biblical scholar, Fr van Thanh Nguyen SVD.

Fr van Thanh, who is Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, delivered the retreat on the topic, ‘The Love of Christ Impels Us: A Retreat with Saint Paul and the 18th General Chapter’, to confreres from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Myanmar.

The retreats were staged throughout the month, with Fr van Thanh leading the retreat for each District in the Province.

Fr Albano Da Costa SVD, from the Melbourne community, said he found the overall experience of participating in an online mode of retreat to be good.

“In general we had about two hours of retreat input on Zoom each day for five days and I found it a very enriching and worthwhile spiritual exercise,” he said.

“In particular, the special characteristic of this online retreat was that it was purely scripture based and it immensely helped me to reconnect back to sacred scripture.

“Moreover, in spite of the fact that we have been in an extended fifth lockdown in Victoria, the virtual retreat gave me an opportunity to reconnect with the rest of the confreres in the AUS province and the feedback and questions were equally very stimulating after each virtual input.”

Fr Albano said he found the theme illuminating.

Province Retreat 2021 screenshot 550“Although the retreat director highlighted various aspects of the missionary life-style of Saint Paul, I found it fascinating to come to a deeper understanding of just how important it is to highlight the two important characteristics of every Christian disciple,” he said.

“Firstly, that every Christian disciple is invited to have a centre (which is the person of Jesus Christ) and secondly, in all that the Christian disciple says and does should have a face (meaning to concretise his actions) in love and charity.”

Fr Albano said he was also struck by the fact that although St Paul laid great store on his independence, he did not work alone, but was aided by a number of fellow-workers, who he addressed as collaborators, as many as 57 of them, who formed a web around him.

“So, with this 'team' Paul aimed his proclamation of the gospel at both Jews and Gentiles,” he said. “Therefore, it is the combination of these factors that turned Paul into what he ultimately became: a missionary.”

Fr Raja Kommareddy SVD, who is a member of the Sydney community, said he welcomed the opportunity to take part in the Province retreat during Sydney’s pandemic lockdown.

“It was truly an amazing experience for me to do the virtual retreat during this time of pandemic, where traveling and gathering are restricted to a minimum,” he said.

“Even at this time of pandemic, we are able to use digital technology to take time off and contemplate on our missionary religious life.

“The God of love has not stopped us connecting ourselves with Him even at this pandemic time. Overall, it was a great opportunity and experience to see each other and reflect on a virtual retreat.”

Fr Raja said the highlight for him was Fr van Thanh’s insights on St Paul becoming a transforming missionary disciple who is grateful to God and to those who collaborated with him in mission and ministry in all situations.

“This deep sense of gratitude and thankfulness reminds me to continue to be grounded in Christ in my missionary journey. It also gives us assurance that we share the graces and blessings of God to one another by way of our life.”

The final tranche of the retreat was held this week, with members from Thailand, Myanmar and Central Australia taking part.


TOP RIGHT: Members of the Queensland District pray together during the Province Retreat.

BOTTOM LEFT: The retreat, presented by Fr van Thanh Nguyen SVD from Chicago, was delivered online.


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