• 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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Tuesday, 30 July 2019 11:15

Newer confreres gather for ongoing formation in Australian ministry


Under 5s gathering 2019 Full Group 450Indigenous spirituality was one of the key themes explored when the newer members of the SVD AUS Province gathered together recently for ongoing ministry formation in the Australian context.

The three-day gathering at Boronia in suburban Melbourne, was for confreres who are either newly arrived in the Province or are under five years in final vows.

Ongoing Formation Director Fr Sunil Nagothu SVD, says the gatherings aim to help the young missionaries to be the best they can be in the context of the AUS Province.

“It is to help them understand the Church, life and SVD Mission in Australia and to develop the skills needed to minister well in the Province,” Fr Sunil says.

The program for the three days followed the SVD Handbook for ‘Under 5’s’, which set down certain prayers and topics relevant to ministry.

“Indigenous spirituality and theology for ministry was this year’s theme,” Fr Sunil says.

The confreres heard presentations from Sherry Balcombe (Coordinator - Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria & NATSICC Councillor for Victoria) along with Sister Robyn Reynolds olsh and Fr Nick de Groot SVD.

The young confreres also heard from Melbourne Parish Priest, Fr Brian Collins from St Anthony’s Parish at Noble Park, on the topic of leadership in the Australian context.

And two SVD confreres, Fr Albano Da Costa and Fr Jacob Kavunkal spoke about undertaking further studies for SVD ministry.

Fr Albano, who has recently arrived back in the AUS Province after undertaking higher studies in Missiology in Rome and London, says he found the gathering very enriching.

Under 5s gathering Mass 450“For me, the most important highlight of this gathering was that I was able to re-connect and get to know the most recent arrivals in the AUS province,” he says.

“In our time together, I found our in-group sharing of pastoral experiences of ministering in various pastoral settings along with the diocesan and SVD parish settings truly fascinating.

“On day one, the input given by Sherry Balcombe and Sr Robyn Reynolds, olsh was amazingly captivating. It further convinced me to make every effort to acknowledge, respect, learn, and express my sincere gratitude towards one of the oldest cultures of our First Nation Peoples here in Australia.”

Fr Albano says Fr Brian’s sharing on parish pastoral leadership was “uplifting and truly life-giving”.

Fr Prakash Menezes SVD, who is currently working at Santa Teresa in Central Australia, says the Under 5s gathering was an opportunity to meet newly arrived confreres and get to know confreres and their ministry placements better.

“It was also a time to share our stories, the joys and happiness, as well as sorrows and challenges of the ministry,” he says.

“The first-hand experience of Fr Brian regarding parish ministry in the Australian context was a real eye-opener … as was the opportunity to explore the possibilities of pursuing higher studies as per the needs of the Province.”

Fr Alejandro de la Sotta (Alex), who is working in Alice Springs says the gathering generated a “beautiful atmosphere” among the more newly arrived confreres.

“There was much fraternity, dialogue, sharing and welcoming from everyone,” he says. “I felt that the most fulfilling thing from the meeting was that despite our diverse views on our Church, forms of mission and many other things, we are all focused on the same goal: to bring our experiences of Jesus in a prophetic dialogue!”

Under 5s gathering 2019 group 450Fr Joseph Reddy SVD, currently assistant priest at the Macquarie Fields Parish in NSW, says there was much value in getting to know one another better and having the opportunity to understand the realities and struggles of various ministries.

“I gained the care and concern of my confreres as well as wisdom through stories shared. I came to know the struggles of our companions which gives us an opportunity to stand with them and encourage each other,” he says.

“It’s amazing to see our companions grow in wisdom and practicality of ministries and show themselves ready for future ministry undertakings.”

And Fr Firminus Wiryono (Yon), currently assistant priest at Kingston-Marsden Parish in Brisbane, says the time spent sharing stories as well as just hanging out together at a barbecue and on a bowling outing was valuable in building up a sense of brotherly companionship and the input from presenters was enlightening.

“I’m inspired to continue to get to know Aboriginal culture and spirituality,” he says. “When we know the spirituality of Indigenous people, it’s very helpful for me, as a missionary, to understand them better and really be among them. It was really meaningful.”

The newest member of the AUS Province, Fr Gideon Awudi from Ghana, says he enjoyed his first gathering of this kind in Australia.

"It was good, because it helped me understand about the Aborigines and their beliefs, and it helped me meet other confreres too."