The provincial of the Divine Word Missionaries AUS Province, which covers Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Myanmar, says there’s never been a more exciting time to be engaged in mission. Source: In the Word.
“With the Plenary Council preparations and discernment underway it’s a good time to really explore the Plenary Council theme of being a Christ-Centred Church that is Missionary and Evangelising,” says Fr Asaeli Rass SVD.
“We, as an order of missionaries, are really engaging in that and responding to it.”
The Divine Word Missionaries is one of the world's 10 largest missionary religious congregations for men, with 6,000 members serving in 80 countries. They are celebrating their 100th anniversary in Australia this year.
The charism, or special characteristics of the order, are based around four pillars: the Biblical Apostolate; Communications; Mission Awareness and Animation; and Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.
They are also known for their multiculturality and for their pastoral care of migrant communities, with a strong emphasis on working in multicultural parishes and celebrating cultures, as well as engaging in interfaith at the local level and a strong contribution to missiological and anthropological research.
The SVD AUS Province trains young missionaries from around the world to serve overseas; it has also recently been accepting the invitations of various bishops to administer parishes at home.
“That’s part of our focus now. Recently we’ve been taking on more parishes in response to the requests of bishops, especially in regional areas and areas of need,” Fr Rass said.