Co-Responsibility with SVD Lay Partners

Author: Mrs. Susan Noronha, SVD Lay Partner, Mumbai, INM
Subject: Nos. 48 and 49 of the 18th General Chapter Statement
Language: English, Spanish
Publisher: SVD Spiritual Animation Coordinator
Year: 2021
DDW Group

Men and women, tax collectors and fishermen, young and old, the all-inclusive team of Jesus when he began his mission.

When Arnold Janssen formed the Society of the Divine Word, there were men and women, Missionaries and contemplatives, thinkers and doers, all in their unique ways taking responsibility to continue the mission of Jesus.

One thing that stood out in Arnold’s approach was the importance he gave to lay people in the mission. He even thought of starting a congregation for lay people. Though this sounds routine in our time, in Arnold’s time it was very UNIQUE and PROPHETIC.

Down the years, SVDs and lay partners have succeeded in thinking and acting together. We share our SVD Charism and Spirituality with others – to witness to the Divine Word in our world.  In this CO-RESPONSIBILITY, we realize we are not the owners of our charism. Our charism is a gift, whose giftedness is realized in sharing it with others.

Now I bring to you stories from our four zones, which spells out this CO-RESPONSIBILITY.

AFRAM Zone
In addition to the common activities, Friends of SVD, Ghana Province, promote and network with other lay partner groups in the province. Currently there are 9 recognized groups in Ghana province.

ASPAC Zone
Disciples of the Divine Word, India Mumbai Province
, the group I belong, along with the SVDs we reached out to more than 8000 poor families with family grocery kits and hot lunch during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Feed the Hungry project is ongoing.

EUROPA Zone
Every year, on the World Day of the Poor, SVD-Partner, Germany Province invites everybody to come together in prayer, to build a Prayer Bridge, connecting people around the world, through prayer.

PANAM Zone
Rubiela and Rogelio, SVD lay partners from Misioneros Laicos del Verbo Divino, Panama, Central American Region, continue the work of evangelization through social media. During the pandemic, they invited underprivileged people to pass by their house to take items for survival.

In an interconnected world today, where ironically the divisions and polarizations are only increasing, this CO-RESPONSIBILITY has an important mission:  To RECONCILE, to REACH-OUT, to HEAL and to TRANSFORM

The world is still churning from the rampant corona virus. May this CO-RESPONSIBILITY we have taken as SVDs and lay mission partners for our planet, confirm and strengthen our commitment, to bring the light and life of the Divine Word into our world.

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