SVD-SSpS MISSION ANIMATION

 BULLETIN BOARD #66
Rome - 12 January 2005 for SSpS and SVD Mission Secretaries and Mission Animators

 

NOTE: Provisional Liturgical Texts for the Feasts of Sts. Arnold and Joseph are available in Latin, English, Spanish, Italian and German at the SVD website: http://www.svdcuria.org/public/liturgy/index.htm
 

In this bulletin: ASIA DISASTER RECOVERY - UPDATE #5

 

1. SSpS Java: RESPONSE IN ACEH AND NORTH SUMATRA

2. SSpS India Central - JOINT SVD-SSPS RESPONSE

3. Devadass and Selvam - RESPONSE IN TAMIL NADU

4. Rome - PHOTOS

5. Pernia - ORGANIZING WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT

6. Djawa - RESPONSE FROM LEDALERO

7. Budenholzer - RESPONSE FROM THE SVD CHINA PROVINCE

 


 

1. SSpS Java: RESPONSE IN ACEH AND NORTH SUMATRA


The SSpS Justice and Peace team of the Java Province sent the following information:

"As we write this report we have given some concrete aid: 15 boxes of milk, 2 big cartons of sugar, 500 blankets, biscuits etc in cooperation with the group of Frater Eko Pr. who has great experience in disaster management and other social services. Our staff will undertake the supervision of distribution in Aceh and North Sumatra from the 7- 11 January. The latest information from Aceh says that alongside the reconstruction and work, the danger of kidnapping and trafficking of children is also emerging. So the SSpS-JPIC Jawa, plans to send Sisters to gather more information on the situation and to distribute more medicines. The team shall work conjointly with the SVDs in Medan."

Sr. Stefani Handayani, SSpS Provincial Java, Indonesia adds:

"In spite of the heart-breaking stories and harrowing experiences, there are also many miraculous stories of escape and survival. The hand of God is truly at work in all these. Sr. Paularita’s younger brother in Aceh was spared, although many members of her sister-in-law’s family are unaccounted for. Sr. Maria Fransisca and Sr. Ruth are already in Medan with supplies of medicine particularly, for children."

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2. SSpS India Central - JOINT SVD-SSPS RESPONSE

 

Sr. Preethi Thomas SSpS, the Provincial of the India Central Province sent information about their response to the tsunami disaster:

"We were in search of ways and means to be directly involved in, besides constant prayers and night vigil. When we enquired with the SVDs who are living close to the affected region, they informed us that there was no need of personnel for the relief work since there are many religious and formation houses around. They advised us to mobilize to develop a fund to reconstruct housing and to sponsor children for education.

"The national JPIC Coordinator of the SVDs invited us to join them to create a fund called Arnoldus Response to concretely express our concern and we responded to it positively. Every diocese, parish and small human community (SHC) is actively involved in the fund-raising campaign. We, too, join them, and a part of our collection is given to the local unit and the rest we have decided to pool with the SVD -SSpS provinces for rehabilitation and education of the children. Our plan is also to provide the grief stricken people with job-related materials like boats and fishing nets.


"Our two schools are appealing to students, teachers and parent to contribute their share generously. All our communities have cancelled any sort of celebration and have minimized other expenses so as to be in solidarity with the people. Thus we intend to create a good sum to respond to this dreadful disaster."

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3. Devadass and Selvam - RESPONSE IN TAMIL NADU

 

Fr. Savarimuthu Devadass SVD, the director of the Divine Word Social Service Society and Fr. Selvam SVD, the director of Arnold communications have sent a series of updates, all of which can be found on the SVD website http://www.svdcuria.org/public/infonews/provinces/20nn/200n/0412idin/index.htm. The following information was received on 05 January 2005:

"Greetings from SVD Hyderabad Province. With immense gratitude for the your kind favors that you have done towards the Tsunami victims, here by I would like to present a short report of visits to the coastal villages situated in Nagapattinam district in the State of Tamil Nadu. The province Tsunami relief operation team visited the villages namely Keechankuppam, Akkaraipettai, Pappakoil and Kallar. All these villages have been wiped out and it is estimated that more than 6,023 have been killed in the villages of Nagapattinam district alone and the death toll may raise.

"The Vellankanni Shrine Basilica is situated in Nagapattinam district. Devotees from all over India gathered together to celebrate Christmas at this holy place. The parish priest of the Shrine said that there were about 1500 people who gathered on 26 – 12 – 2004 to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. The Eucharist celebration began at 8:00am and almost 1000 people participated. After the mass they went to the beach as usual for a walk and to have their breakfast. The beach is always a busy place for there are many vendors selling necessary commodities as well as fancy and religious articles. The tsunami struck here at 9:00am and it seems the waves rose up to 20 feet high and in a few minutes time everything was washed away. The parish priest of Shrine Basilica said that he was not aware of the incident, since he was still busy celebrating Mass in the church for the devotees. Later someone informed him. At about 11:00am the tsunami struck for the second time here. The fury of tsunami was such that it swallowed more than 2000 people, including many devotees who had come to visit the shrine. The Shrine authorities have so far found 1350 bodies in the shrine vicinity and they have buried them.

"Housing, Boats, Education: The people who are alive are shifted to the safer places like schools, colleges, multi purpose halls and are accommodated well in different camps. We visited four camps and distributed the necessary items like Rice, Towels, Saris, plates and other nutritious items for the victims. However the people are trying to get back to normal life and are leaving from the camps to go back to their villages to restart their lives. The people are requesting us to help them to put up temporary shelters as well as to purchase catamaran boats and nets. The students are requesting us help them with the purchase of text books, notebooks and other stationery items so that they can start going to the schools and colleges. It is estimated that a total sum of Rupees 479 crores (approx. 110 million US dollars) could be the loss incurred in Nagapattinam district.
 

"Counseling: Another need is counseling for these traumatized victims. It takes patience, gentleness, compassion and the ability to listen with love and understanding. So our counseling team is continuing its ministry in the affected areas.

"One the the immediate needs of these affected people are taken care of, we propose to initiate rehabilitation measures to help the people to lead a normal life in the coastal areas."

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4. Rome - PHOTOS


Photos from Tamil Nadu can be found on the SVD website http://www.svdcuria.org/public/infonews/provinces/20nn/200n/0412idin/index.htm . Photos are not sent with the newsletter because many of our confreres and sisters have very limited access to the internet.

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5. Pernia - ORGANIZING WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT

 

0n January 4, Fr. Antonio Pernia, the SVD Superior General, sent a circular letter to all of the Provincial and Regional Superiors of the Society. The letter gives instructions about contributing to the newly established South Asia Earthquake Fund.

"We have been besieged here at the generalate with inquiries about how individuals, groups, provinces/regions, communities can help. We need to organize all these efforts, so that adequate help may reach the most needy in the fastest and most efficient way. Thus, upon the recommendation of the treasurer general, we suggest the following arrangement:

1. Help from Aid Agencies (e.g., Caritas Internationalis) - Help from Aid agencies should be directed to our Mission Procure at St. Augustin. A considerable amount has already been received and is being channeled to Indonesia and India. Eventually project applications from these provinces will be directed partly to this Mission Procure.

2. Donations from SVD Provinces/Regions, Houses/Communities - Donations from, or made via, our SVD provinces/regions, houses/communities should be transferred to the generalate account with the Mission Office Techny or Missionsprokur Sankt Augustin. With these donations, the generalate is building up a "South Asia Earthquake Fund" which will be used to finance relief and rehabilitation projects in the affected areas.

3. Donations to the Mission Offices - Mission offices which receive donations from their benefactors should set up a special "South Asia Earthquake Account." We ask these mission offices to provide the generalate a monthly report of this account.

4. Project Applications from the Affected Areas - Applications for funding from the affected provinces/countries (i.e., Indonesia and India) should be directed to the generalate. The generalate will then assign the projects to the various mission offices or the generalate "South Asia Earthquake Fund."

Dear confreres, the focus of our attention right now is naturally on the emergency help which is badly needed by so many people in the affected areas. But beyond this emergency help, we also need to think of the help that will be required towards rebuilding the devastated areas. The needs now and in the future are staggering. In this context, no help is ever so small. Every effort counts.

It is with a sense of optimism that I make this appeal at such a time of solidarity as the beginning of a new year. As I wish you God's blessings for the new year, I thank you also for your expressions of solidarity and gestures of generosity."

[Further questions about donations and projects should be sent to the Treasurer General, Fr. Bernard Rudolf, at: svd.treasurer@verbodivino.it ]

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6. Djawa - RESPONSE FROM LEDALERO

 

Fr. Jan Djawa SVD, the Mission Secretary of the Indonesia-Ende province sent a brief note regarding some responses taken by the SVD seminary community at Ledalero.

"We have been praying for the victims every day in morning prayer and Eucharist. I personally felt very sorry reading about the death of Br. Abdon's relatives in North Sumatra. On Friday January 7, during a First Friday Holy Hour, while the majority of the members were praying before the Blessed Sacrament for the dead and for those who mourned Fr. Amatus Woi SVD held a meeting of volunteers to organize a team to go to Aceh and North Sumatra. The students of our Philosophical and Theological School worked together with some organisations to collect money and donations to help a Muslim doctor go to the affected areas. Hopefully there will be no political problems with radical groups, that way the service meant for the poor people can be offered safely. In our parishes, the faithful keep praying the Novena to our Founder to support the efforts to help the victims."

[Contact Jan Djawa at: yjawasvd@yahoo.com ]

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7. Budenholzer - RESPONSE FROM THE SVD CHINA PROVINCE

 

Fr. Frank Budenholzer SVD, the vice provincial of the SVD China Province, writes regarding the response of the China province.

"We in the SVD China Province have been very much saddened by the loss of life and property resulting from the tsunamis originating off the coast of Sumatra. The scale of the destruction is difficult to comprehend. We also realize that several SVD and SSpS provinces are directly affected by the disaster. We are grateful to the Generalate for their coordination of SVD relief efforts and for the website that has been constructed allowing us to learn the situation of our SVD and SSpS brothers and sisters involved in the relief effort.

"The China Province is one of the few self-supporting provinces in the Asia-Pacific Zone. Beyond our prayers, a sizeable contribution to the relief effort seems appropriate... we feel it is difficult to respond to a tragedy of such magnitude with nothing more that a token gift.

"I should also point out that the SVD and SSpS here in Taiwan are also taking part in local efforts. Our parish in Taipei County, Xindian City has already collected on the order of one-half million New Taiwan Dollars, which will be sent directly to Indonesia. Our Kaohsiung parish is also collecting funds. Fu Jen University has a campaign for each full-time employee to contribute one day’s salary to the relief effort. The SVD community is fully cooperating. These funds will be channeled through the Taiwan Bishops’ Conference. Finally, it is my understanding that similar efforts are being made in Hong Kong."

[Contact Fr. Budenholzer at: chem1003@mails.fju.edu.tw ]

 

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Items for the SVD/SSpS Mission Animation Bulletin Board can be sent to:

Tom Ascheman SVD

Mary John K. SSpS

SVD Generalate Mission Secretary

SSpS Generalate Mission Secretary

Divine Word Missionaries

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters

svd.missec@verbodivino.it

Missec@pcn.net