Volume 25 No. 3 | Spring 2015
Message from the Provincial Superior
Welcome to the Spring edition of Society Matters for 2015.
Lately I have been pondering that if I had to pinpoint the central role of the missionary, I think
I would have to say it is simply ‘being with’ the people, wherever you are.
In his address to our recent AUS Province Chapter meeting, former SVD Superior General, Fr
Tony Pernia, also highlighted this as a fundamental aspect of missionary life.
Fr Tony said that the missionary is sent in order to settle in and find a new home among the
“Just as the Divine Word pitched his tent among us, so also the missionary is expected to
pitch his or her tent among the people he or she is sent to,” he said.
All of us, whether living our missionary lives as consecrated religious or lay people, can gain a
lot in our life simply by ‘being with’ the people with whom we live and work. For mothers and
fathers this might mean being truly present to our children when we are together. For workers,
it could entail getting to know your co-workers better. For priests and religious it could be
spending time with parishioners, getting to know their way of life, their hopes, their dreams
and desires, as well as their daily challenges. For all of us, it could be an invitation to ‘be with’
the poor and the marginalised in our community. In being with one another, wherever we are,
we have more chance both of encountering Christ in the people we meet and being Christ’s
presence for others.
Our feature story in this edition of Society Matters tells the story of Fr Stach Kilarski SVD, a
Polish missionary who has lived for more than 30 years with the people in the most remote
parts of the PNG Highlands. When asked what he loved most about his mission there he said:
“Just being with the people”. In this edition you will also read about the spiritual gift of the
Mission Mass League. There is an account of our recent Chapter meeting, where we looked
afresh at our mission priorities, as well as the annual financial report, showing where we have
sent funds to help in overseas mission projects.
We thank you, our readers and Partners in Mission for your ongoing generosity and for
supporting us in all that we do. May God bless you.
Yours in the Word,
Fr Henry Adler SVD
Locals in the PNG Highlands celebrate having successfully helped bring a
missionary’s motorbike across a swollen river. See our feature story on Page 4.
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