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General Chapter XVI-2006

Fr. Antonio M. Pernia re-elected
Superior General of the SVD

Today, 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 1984-85.

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

Fr. Keler was born on November 4, 1948 in Syrynia (Poland) as the younger of the two sons of Karl and Victory.

He did 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 term.

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)

Fr. 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

Br. 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.

Fr. Estanislau Chindecasse

Fr. 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

Fr. 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 brothers.

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

Fr. 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