• 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
    圣福若瑟神父

  • 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
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • 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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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 17:06

Fr Emil back in Oz, helping to serve Slovak community

Fr Emil Kralik SVD 350When Fr Emil Kralik SVD joined the Divine Word Missionaries in his home country of Slovakia in 1990, Communism had just fallen, and, after 40 years of persecution, people were once again able to practice their faith in full freedom.

“Before the fall of Communism there wasn’t a possibility for our priests and brothers to work as Religious priests in my country,” he says. “But after the fall of Communism, everything changed.”

Fr Emil, who is in Australia on sabbatical and to help serve Sydney’s Catholic Slovak community, was born in the small town of Teplicka nad Vahom in north-western Slovakia, where he completed his schooling before studying Engineering at University.

After completing his degree, he fulfilled 12 months of compulsory military service and worked as an engineer for six years before he decided to join the SVD.

“I’d been thinking about joining the SVD for a few years,” he says. “And then I met a group of young people who really lived their faith and I also joined the Neocatechumenate movement for a few years and started to think about the priesthood. Finally, in 1990, after the fall of Communism, I was able to go ahead with it.”

Fr Emil entered the novitiate in Slovakia and studied philosophy in Nysa, Poland before completing his theological studies in Slovakia at the Jesuit Institute in the capital, Bratislava.

After taking his final vows in 1996 and being ordained, he had hoped to be assigned to Angola or one of the English-speaking countries in Africa, but his first assignment was to his home country of Slovakia.

He did however, spend some time in the United States, learning English and undertaking further studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

When he returned to Slovakia in 2001, he was appointed as Master of Postulants, caring for men who were interested in becoming Divine Word Missionaries.

In 2004, he was asked to become Provincial Treasurer, a role he has maintained until coming to Australia in July this year.

Fr Emil says he is delighted to be back in Australia, after spending some time here three years ago helping out with the Sydney Slovakian community in the absence of their regular chaplain, Fr Henry Adler SVD.

This time, he has once again been serving the Slovak community during Fr Henry’s recent home leave, as well as undertaking some personal studies.

“The Slovak community has some tradition here with the SVD looking after them over the years,” he says.

“It’s not a very big community, but they are active and their faith is important to them.

“Apart from celebrating Mass for them, I also attend some of their other activities, like the children’s traditional singing and dancing.

“They appreciate that the SVD has someone to care for them, someone who can speak their own language.”

Fr Emil says that while his missionary life hasn’t worked out in the way he thought it would, with a foreign assignment, it has been a good life so far.

“I like the missionary life,” he says. “My expectations at the beginning were different because I expected to be assigned to a foreign country, but I have enjoyed the role I have had of growing missionaries in my country and supporting them.”

While staying in the SVD’s Marsfield community in Sydney, Fr Emil has been using his spare time to assist some confreres with building new gardens.

“My father liked flowers and had a lot of them in his garden and we helped him as children, so I like gardening,” he says.