Chapter 1
Chapter 2
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The 18th General Chapter gathered SVD members from every PRM around the world to the Centro Ad Gentes in Nemi from June 17 – July 14.

All together, 46 national origins were represented and many more languages were spoken beyond the official two languages of English and Spanish used in the sessions and the liturgy.

If one were to describe the nature of the month-long gathering of SVDs, it could be said that it was a combination of meeting, retreat, and celebration of SVD identity all rolled into one.

Our roots

In choosing the theme “The Love of Christ Impels Us (2 Cor 5:14): Rooted in the Word, Committed to His Mission,” for the general chapter, one could see the intention of the Society to return to its most essential source of inspiration—the Word of God.

Indeed, the Word played a key role throughout the chapter as the Word was read, heard, shared and prayed in the liturgies, and in the Bible and life sharing sessions. The Word was necessary for the deliberations and decisions that involved the life and mission of the members of the Society now and in the future.

Besides finding inspiration in the Word, the Chapter also drew inspiration from the spirituality of the founding generation, presented to the capitulars by Fr. Jürgen Ommerborn, SVD and Sr. Maria Cristina Avalos, SSpS. They gave valuable insights into how Arnold Janssen understood himself and the Society in relation to God.

According to Fr. Ommerborn, the Founder lived and worked with the conviction that he had been called by God to found the Society of the Divine Word and the two sister congregations. His consecration to the Holy Spirit on October 3, 1887 illustrates his deep belief that “our Society is to be a total instrument in God’s hand,” and that “the Society must seek to die to its own will.”

Inspiration also came from Pope Francis, whom the capitulars had an opportunity to meet during the first week of the general chapter. In this special audience, Pope Francis also reminded us Divine Word Missionaries to return to our roots as laid out by our Founder, and to carry out our mission to the poor and the marginalized courageously, creatively, and with deep trust in God’s providence. Pope Francis said, “St. Arnold was convinced that in the life of a missionary there is nothing that can justify the lack of courage and trust in God.”

Finally, inspiration also came from the wisdom of one another as we shared our experiences and articulated our thoughts and hopes for the future of the Society through various Congregational Directions and priorities.

Fr. Heinz Kulüke and the Leadership Team

Posted in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota” - August 2018

Other Notes

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Reflection on the 18th GC Stmt - Finance - Nos. 34, 35

In this clip of Spiritual Animation, Fr. Dante Salces Barril, SVD of Central Philippines shares his thoughts about Finances in the Intercultural Living in the context of the Statement of the 18th General Chapter, Nos. 34, 35 (subtítulos en Español)
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Reflection on the “Bridge Builders” in the Intercultural Living

Fr. Marek Vaňuš, SVD General Coordinator for Bible Apostolate shares his thoughts about Bridge Builders in the Intercultural Living in the context of the Statement of the 18th General Chapter, No.33  (click on “CC” for subtitles in Spanish)
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