General Chapter XVI-2006
Fr. Antonio M. Pernia
Superior General of the SVD
Friday June 23, 2006, Fr. Antonio M. Pernia was re-elected Superior
General of the Divine Word Missionaries for a second term of six years.
Fr. Pernia, was born on January 2, 1949, in Tagbilaran City, Bohol,
Philippines. The eighth of the nine children of Dr. Juan C. Pernia and
Petra del Mar, he had his elementary schooling at the Holy Spirit School
run by the SSpS Sisters in Tagbilaran. In 1961, he joined the SVD minor
seminary in Cebu City, and eventually moved on to Christ the King Mission
Seminary in Quezon City, Manila.
He entered the novitiate at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City
in 1967 and professed first vows in 1969. He obtained his Master's degree
in Philosophy in 1971, professed perpetual vows in 1975, and was ordained
priest on September 5, 1975.
After ordination, he taught philosophy at the Divine Word Seminary in
Tagaytay. In 1978 he was sent for further studies in Rome and obtained his
licentiate in Fundamental Theology from the Gregorian University in 1980.
Thereafter, he was assigned to the Regional Major Seminary in Davao City
where he was the Dean of Studies, Vice-Rector and eventually Rector in
In 1985, he returned to Rome and obtained his doctorate in Theology
from the Gregorian University in 1987. His dissertation was a study on the
theme of the Kingdom of God in the Liberation Theology of G. Gutierrez, L.
Boff and J.L. Segundo. Returning to the Philippines after his studies, he
taught for a year at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay (1988-89), and
later assumed once more the rectorship of the Regional Major Seminary in
Davao City (1989-93).
Fr. Pernia was member of the Provincial Council of the Southern
Province (PHS) from 1982-85, and served as the vice-provincial from
1990-93. He was a delegate of the Province to the XII General Chapter
(1982), was a member of the preparatory commission for the XIII General
Chapter (1988), and was chosen the Zonal Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific
(ASPAC) Zone in February 1992. In January 1993, he was elected Provincial
Superior of PHS. In the General Chapter of 1994, he was elected
Vice-Superior General of the Society.
During the XV General Chapter (2000), he was elected the Xth Superior
General for a term of six years and the XVI General Chapter has re-elected
him for a second six-year term.
Fr. Konrad Keler
Re-elected the Vice-Superior General
was born on November 4, 1948 in Syrynia (Poland) as the younger of the two
sons of Karl and Victory.
his primary schooling at his home village Syrynia and the secondary
education at Wodzislaw Slaski. He joined the SVD in 1966, doing his
novitiate, philosophy, and theology in the seminary in Pieniezno. He made
his First Vows on September 8, 1968 and his Final Vows on September 8,
1972. He was ordained priest on May 6, 1973 at his native village.
Between 1973 and 1978 he studied Dogmatic Theology in Rome, and
obtained a Doctorate for his thesis, “Il Valore della Soterologia e
Cristologia Atea di Milan Machovec” (Value of the atheistic Soteriology
and Christology of Milan Machovec). He then returned to Poland where he
taught theology and worked in the administration of the Polish Province.
From 1979 to 1981 he was Vice-Rector of our seminary in Pieniezno. Between
1981 and 1986 he was Vice-Provincial, and later, Provincial from 1986 to
1992, after which he spent a sabbatical year in the Philippines at the
EAPI (Athenaeum de Manila) from 1992-1993.
Fr. Keler was a member of the main preparatory committee of the
National Synod of the Catholic Church in Poland. He was a member of the
Mission Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Confrence from 1992-1994. He was
a member of the Board of Major Superiors in Poland for three years.
During the XIV General Chapter of 1994, he was elected as a member of
the General Council. In the General Chapter of 2000 he was re-elected to
the General Council, this time as the Vice-General. During the current
General Chapter, he is re-elected as the Vice-General for another six-year
The SVD General Consulters
[I had already sent you some information about the
re-elected Superior General and the Vice-Superior General. With this mail,
I am sending you some information about all the other Councilors.]
Fr. Robert Kisala (Admonitor General)
r. Robert was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 12, 1957 to the late
Mr. John Kisala and Mary Conroy. He has two brothers John and Thomas, of
whom the latter has gone to his eternal rest.
After his primary education in St. Francis Elementary School in
Chicago, Robert joined the Divine Word Seminary in East Troy in 1971. He
entered the novitiate at Bay St. Louis in 1980 and made his first vows in
1981. He made his final vows in 1984. He did his philosophical studies in
Epworth and theology in Chicago. He was ordained priest on March 16, 1985.
Assigned to the Japanese Province after his ordination, Fr. Kisala
studied Japanese for two years before being assigned Associate Pastor at
Kichijoji Church, Tokyo. Then he took up studies in Sociology of Religion
at the University of Tokyo (1988-1994). In 1994, he studied German for six
months at Munich.
From 1995, he was teacher at Nanzan University (Institute for Religion
and Culture) and from 1999 he was formation director at Divine Word
Seminary, Nagoya. In 1999, he was elected Vice-Provincial Superior of
Japan. In 2004, he was elected Provincial Superior.
Brother Alfonso Berger
r. Alfonso was born on October 23, 1961 in Capioví (Misiones),
Argentina. His parents are Emilio Berger and Romilda Hartmann. He has four
brothers and a sister.
Alfonso did his schooling in his native Capioví and joined the SVD in
1983 at Córdoba. He entered the novitiate in the following year and made
his first vows in 1985. His final vows were in 1992 at Miracatu (BRC).
From 1985-1987, Alfonso was trained to be Professor in Religious
Sciences at Buenos Aires, Argentina and later specialized in Biblical
Apostolate. For a while, he worked in Brazil (Biblical Apostolate) and was
also Assistant Novice Master. In 1995, he studied French in Paris in
preparation for his future mission in Togo-Benin. From 1996, he was
involved in the formation of laity and religious besides being formator
for SVD postulants. He worked also as regional admonitor and director of
St. Paul’s institute for the formation of laity in the Archdiocese of
Lome. He was elected to the General Council in 2000 and the current
General Chapter has re-elected him for another term.
r. Chindecasse was born in Huambo, in the central highlands of Angola
on August 18, 1958. His parents were Estanislau Sakapo and Celina Nafela.
He is the eldest of six children (three sons and three daughters). He
completed his schooling and university studies in Huambo. He studied
Philosophy and Theology at the Inter-diocesan Major Seminary of Angola,
but joined the SVD in 1980. He did his novitiate in Spain from 1981-1982
and made his first vows in 1982 at Dueñas, Spain. He made the final vows
in 1986 in Portugal.
Estanislau completed his theology studies at Lisbon. He was ordained in
his home-town on November 22, 1987. After his ordination, he worked in DR
Congo (then called Zaire) for three years before taking up teaching in the
formation house in Angola. In 1994, he came to Rome for his doctoral
studies in Philosophy. In 1999, even while he was still studying in Rome,
he was called to be in the General Council to fill the vacancy left by
Mons. Vincent Boi-Nai. (Mons. Boi-Nai was himself the replacement of Mons.
Gaspar Mudiso, both of them were nominated bishops by Pope John Paul II).
In the General Chapter of 2000, Estanislau was confirmed in his job as
a General Consulter. The 2006 General Chapter has once again elected him
to the General Council.
Fr. Gregory Pinto
r. Gregory Pinto was born on December 31, 1948 at Mangalore, India.
(Had his mother waited for another day, he would have been a year younger
today!) He is the youngest of the four children of Xavier and Maria. Both
his parents are gone to their eternal reward. He has a sister and two
Gregory did his primary and secondary schooling at Mangalore and joined
the SVD in 1967. He completed his novitiate in 1971 and made his final
vows in the same year. He did his philosophical and theological studies at
Pune, India, and was ordained a priest in 1978.
Fr. Pinto has a Master’s degree in Social Work and a doctorate in
Counseling. He is an experienced formator and administrator. He began his
missionary life as vocation promoter at Mangalore and has been rector at
the SVD Philosophate at Mysore and at the SVD Theologate at Pune. At his
return from the Philippines, after the doctoral studies, he was the
director of the Center for Spirituality and Counseling in Mumbai. From
1987-1993, he was a member of the Provincial Council of the then INS
province. From 1996-2002, he was the ASPAC Zonal Coordinator for
formation. In 2002, he was elected Provincial Superior of INM and was
elected to the General Council during the present General Chapter.
Fr. Arlindo Pereira Dias
r. Arlindo Pereira Dias was born on January 16, 1961 at Cipotânea,
being the second born of four of Corsino Dias Lopes and Belmira Guimarães
Dias. His father died in 1997 and currently his mother is 73 years old. He
has an elder brother and one with the Down syndrome having the youngest one
dead at the age of 23 years old.
After his primary education, he joined the SVD minor seminary at
Barbacena in 1972. He did his novitiate at Miracatú, São Paulo in 1983 and
made his first vows in January 1984 at Pedro de Toledo. From 1984-1985 He
did his Regency in SVD seminary, Ponta Grossa. Arlindo studied Philosophy
at Rio de Janeiro – Belo Horizonte and Theology at ITESP (Instituto
Teológico de São Paulo), São Paulo. He made his final vows in March, 1988
and was ordained in the same year on December 3.
From 1989 till 1996, he was the mission secretary of BRC. Then he was
the prefect of theology students at São Paulo. From 1999-2006, he worked
with the street people (JUPIC). During the years 1999-2001, he did his
master in Communication at the Methodist University of São Paulo. In 2001,
he was elected Provincial Superior and was re-elected in 2004. He is
elected to the General Council during the General Chapter of 2006.
In the service of the Word,
Fr. Sebastian Mattappallil, SVD