Society Matters | Volume 33 No. 2 | Winter 2023

3 Volume 33 No. 2 | Winter 2023 Society Matters Provincial Chapter reaffirms missionary priorities Provincial Council, along with some recommendations to the Provincial Council. One of the resolutions to the Provincial Council was that it form a Future Strategic Planning Committee for the Province, to identify goals, objectives, and responsibilities. There were also resolutions to review all Province policies; to appoint a director to the Logos Spirituality Centre in Alice Springs to further the Province’s commitment to indigenous spirituality and theologies; and to recommit itself to the specialised ministry of interfaith dialogue. There were resolutions also to explore expansion of SVD ministry in other dioceses in Thailand and to request the Superior-General and Council move towards establishing the Thailand-Myanmar District as a Mission. Fr Rass says the reaffirmation of the priority given to indigenous ministry stood out strongly in the Chapter proceedings. “This confirmed some of our previous deliberations to commit to our work with indigenous peoples,” he says. “This accords with the current realities, particularly in Central Australia, and also the upcoming Voice to Parliament campaign. The brothers know it is not an easy ministry but that it is worth every bit of energy, sweat and missionary energy.” Fr Rass says he was impressed by the willingness of the young confreres to step up into challenging ministries. “There is a willingness to risk, and to trust in God,” he says. The Provincial Chapter was a positive, hopeful time of deliberation on the future priorities of the SVD Australia Province, with a focus on personal and communal renewal for mission, says Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD. The outcomes included a reaffirmation of the priority given to ministry in indigenous communities, as well as a renewed commitment to multicultural parish ministry and interfaith dialogue. “I was very impressed by the passion of the confreres to deliberate on the priorities of the Province, focusing especially on the recommendations from the SVD Generalate in Rome on personal and communal renewal,” Fr Rass says. “They were very positive deliberations, proposing ways of ongoing formation in the spiritual and community life and our mission apostolate. “I could sense the brothers loved to be there, loved to take part in the future planning of the Province and thinking and praying about what God is asking of us today.” Fr Rass says the address by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv on synodality gave “solid” food for thought. “This synodality is the dream of Pope Francis that we all want to be part of. Synodality is actually the path to a new way of being Church for the future, and, as with all new beginnings, it can be difficult and challenging. Bishop Vincent expressed all of that very well.” During the Chapter, the confreres voted on a number of resolutions, to both the General Council in Rome and the