Society Matters | Volume 33 No. 2 | Winter 2023

Volume 33 No. 2 | Winter 2023 2 Society Matters Message from the Provincial Superior Dear Friends, Welcome to the Winter edition of Society Matters for 2023. I’ve experienced lots of different kinds of winters in my life. Where I come from, in Fiji, winter is no big deal. Temperatures are moderate all year round, and the average temperature for July is 26 degrees Celsius. The dry season does bring a welcome relief from the rainy season’s humidity though. When I was a SVD student gaining missionary experience in Ghana there was also a dry and wet season, with the dry season of the winter months still regularly bringing temperatures of 25-30+ degrees Celsius. And, during my time in Central Australia, the desert winters could get pretty cold, especially the nights, which often dip below 0 degrees. Around the world, of course, winter is harsh for many people, especially those who don’t have much in the way of warm clothing, well-insulated housing and heating. In this edition of Society Matters you will read the mission story of Fr Niran Veigas SVD who has swapped the coldest of imaginable winters with one of the mildest. Fr Niran, who hails from India has spent the last several years on mission in Russia where his initial delight in seeing snow, soon gave way to a deeper understanding of the realities of sub-zero winter living. Now, Fr Niran has arrived in the Australia Province, where he is assigned to the Tiwi Islands, off the coast of Darwin and he certainly won’t see any snow there! These two missionary assignments could not be more different from one another and his story is a great illustration of the missionary life – of the openness to new experiences, new people, new cultures and languages. We welcome Fr Niran to our Province and hope you enjoy reading his story. Also in this edition is a feature story on an SVD project which helped to sustain those hardest hit by the COVID pandemic in Saigon, Vietnam. This project and many others around the world could not happen without the support of you, our Partners in Ministry. We give thanks for you always and pray for God’s blessings on you and your family. Yours in the Word, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD Provincial Superior Cover Story: The SVD in Vietnam have been providing basic food and assistance to help migrants and the poor, who were hard-hit by the pandemic lockdowns, get back on their feet. Read more on Pages 4 and 5. Appeal Office: 199 Epping Road, Marsfield NSW Locked Bag 3, Epping NSW 1710 Australia Telephone: +61 2 9868 2666 Victoria: 100 Albion Road, Box Hill, Vic 3128 Tel: +61 3 9890 0065 Queensland: 96 Lilac Street Inala QLD 4077 Tel: +61 7 3372 5658 New Zealand: 41 Britannia Street, Petone, 5046 Tel: +64 4 971 7885 Published by Divine Word Missionaries Incorporated, ABN 51 885 667 646