MR-NET  News #12

 

 
06 June 2003   

  SVD Mission Research Network  
Mission Secretariat - Rome   

The 15th SVD General Chapter urged that all SVD mission researchers be in very close collaboration, and to focus their study and teaching on concrete issues that can help improve our missionary service, and make it responsive to present needs. And so, this occasional email bulletin shares ideas, opinions, resources and hopes about SVD mission research.

In this bulletin:

1. Ishvani Kendra, INM-Pune - SVD SEMINAR ON PROPHETIC DIALOGUE

2. Aditya Wacana, IDJ-Malang - SECOND MEETING MER-INDONESIA

3. Gabriel Afagbegee, BOT-South Africa - REFLECTIONS ON LUMKO LEADERSHIP

4. Tim Lenchak, Rome - NEW SVD BIBLICAL NEWSLETTER

5. Ishvani Kendra, INM-Pune - MISSION SCAN AND WEBSITE

6. RECENT PUBLICATIONS


1. Ishvani Kendra, INM-Pune - SVD SEMINAR ON PROPHETIC DIALOGUE

From the 16th to the 19th of February, Ishvani Kendra, the mission research center at Pune, hosted a seminar entitled: "Prophetic Dialogue: Challenges and Prospects in India." Participants included the four provincial councils of India, the SSpS province leaders, and some rectors and "opinion leaders" of the various SVD provinces. Altogether there were about 70 participants, including invited presenters-guests.

The four day seminar was very well organized. The topics and presenters were well chosen, the participation of the confreres was conscientious and sincere. The liturgical and "praying" side of the conference was well integrated into the event.

The seminar opened with the presentation of Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ, a human rights activist in the state of Gujarat. He highlighted the problem of growing threats to the traditional religious tolerance of Indian society and culture. His presentation highlighted the tone of conflict and struggle in the current situation. The next to last presentation was that of Michael Amaladoss SJ, who advocated a strong commitment to openness and dialogue, even if the situation of interreligious tension becomes more difficult. He insisted that Christians cannot choose the alternatives of withdrawing into a ghetto or of responding with violence.

It seems that this was the first Ishvani Kendra seminar designed especially for the SVD and SSpS. Generally the programs of Ishvani Kendra are designed for a wider public. This initiative of Stanislaus Thanuzraj Lazar, the director, and the current Ishvani Kendra administration was well-received. Hopefully such collaboration among the provinces and with Ishvani Kendra can continue to help explore themes of importance for our missionary activity. In fact the participants proposed that future assemblies be held to keep the discussion going regarding our SVD service in India.

Some suggestions were made regarding matters needing further considerations, whether in future Ishvani Kendra seminars or in other venues:

[For more information contact Stanislaus Lazar at ishvani@pn2.vsnl.net.in.]

Back to TOP.

¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤

2. Aditya Wacana, IDJ-Malang - SECOND MEETING MER-INDONESIA

In early November of last year, the new SVD center for the study of religion and culture at Malang, Aditya Wacana, hosted the second meeting of the Indonesian SVD Mission Educators and Researchers. The participants at the meeting sent the following brief report. The emphasis on collaboration and on doing useful research is encouraging.

Introduction:

Missiological Education and Research (MER) is an open network of SVDs with post-graduate degrees who wish to enhance professionalism in their respective areas and service the mission apostolate. To further these objectives a meeting was held at Aditya Wacana: Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture, Malang, 8 – 11 November 2002. Taking part were twenty-three SVD theologians and social scientists, 7 secretaries and coordinators of other areas, one representative from Java Province SSpS, the 4 SVD Provincials and the SSpS Java Provincial. Also present was Leo Kleden, Consultor General.

The Need to Work Together:

Scientific research is an important element to support our missionary service; its usefulness is felt by SVD missioners in Indonesia. However, individual research, and that undertaken by our centres/institutes, to date has yet to reflect inter-Provincial cooperation which tends to be sporadic and isolated. This situation does not fulfil the underlying idea and spirit behind the formation of Candraditya Research Centre as an inter-Provincial institution. Therefore, participants felt that collaboration, and the effort of researchers to support each other between the Provinces and research institutions, to be a real need.

Supporting each other is expressed by building up an information network, holding regular scientific meetings on our research, promoting the results of the research of other confreres and institutes, undertaking research together and building up collaboration with the SSpS and SSpSAP and other interested bodies.

Decisions:

1. Form a Common Research Secretariat for SVD Indonesia to collate information, create a research data-bank and support for each other. This Secretariat will be at the Candraditya Research Centre, Wairklau-Maumere, Flores for the coming three years (2002-2005).

2. Each three years MER Indonesia will hold a scientific seminar in cooperation with the Common Secretariat and our Research Institutions.

3. The job-description of the MER Indonesia Coordinator from 1995 was reaffirmed with a number of alterations (see MER Guidelines).

4. Within six months of this meeting, after studying the history of the development of the Candraditya Centre and consultation with each Provincial Councils, the Provincials will decide upon the status and role of the Candraditya Centre.

5. This meeting proposes that the upcoming ASPAMIR symposium (Madang 2005) take up the theme Violence in Multi-cultural and Multi-religious Contexts.

6. The meeting mandated our experts in Islam, under the coordination of Philip Tule, in collaboration with interested parties, to research the opportunities and challenges for a prophetic dialogue with Muslims in Indonesia. The results of this research will be presented at a seminar in Indonesia and taken to the third ASPAMIR Symposium.

These decisions need the support of the leadership of SVD Indonesia and of our social scientists and theologians who can give a meaningful contribution by focusing upon social reality and analysing it from various perspectives. To this end, the results of our research need to be disseminated by various means such as publications both in Indonesia and overseas and other effective ways.

In these ways it is to be hoped that MER Indonesia will present itself as a strategic academic network that supports our formation and mission-pastoral service, and at the same time be a source of information and insight for the local church and the wider public.

Conclusion:

This meeting has lighted a new spirit for mutual support among confreres in academic research and professional enhancement. Channels of coordination between confreres and our research institutes have become more clear and the job-description of the MER Coordinator has been renewed. In these ways an atmosphere of collaboration has become more possible.

Finally, as witnesses to the Word, may our lamps be alight when the Lord comes amidst the challenges and social changes of our times (see Mt 25:1-13).

Participants, II Meeting MER Indonesia
Malang, 11 November 2002

[For more information contact Donatus Sermada Kelen, the director of Aditya Wacana at svdmalang@telkom.net; or contact John Prior, the MER Coordinator for Indonesia at johnotomo46@hotmail.com.]

Back to TOP.

¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤

3. Gabriel Afagbegee, BOT-South Africa - REFLECTIONS ON LUMKO LEADERSHIP

Gabriel Afagbegee has been serving as the director of the Lumko Institute in South Africa for more than a year now. In his first Annual Report he makes some reflections about the leadership he hopes to be able to offer the institute:

(During my first months as director I have been) familiarizing myself with the Institute's past, endeavoring to read the signs of the present with my colleagues and, together in light of the past and present, set goals and strategize for the future. It is said a goal is a 'dream with a plan,' and so we have been dreaming and planning! But as we dreamt and planned we were aware and took cognizance of the wise saying that 'Life is what happens when you've planned something else.' Thus we tried to live positively with our disappointments, seeing them as opportunities for growth.

A question that kept presenting itself in a challenging way was: Where is my leadership leading the Institute? Put differently, at the end of my tenure as director, where would I, with and in collaboration with my colleagues, have brought the Institute? Would it be to greater height or to a reversal of what has been achieved over the years through the dedicated service of my predecessors? Challenging though it was, the question guided my reflections and actions during the year as I strived to keep the delicate balance between devoting adequate time and energy (as equitably as possible) to the various aspects of my responsibility as director: administration and management, workshop and course facilitation, research activities, writing and revising new and old books (and other training materials) respectively."

[For more information contact Gabriel Afagbegee at lumko@global.co.za.]

Back to TOP

¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤

4. Tim Lenchak, Rome - NEW SVD BIBLICAL NEWSLETTER

In early May, Tim Lenchak, the Generalate Biblical Coordinator sent out the first number of the SVD Biblical Newsletter. It is an occasional email bulletin, like this present bulletin, MR-NET News, which reports on the activities of SVDs in the biblical apostolate. If you would like to receive the bulletin, please send a message to Tim to indicate your interest.

[For more information contact Tim Lenchak at: svd.bible@verbodivino.it.]

Back to TOP

¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤

5. Ishvani Kendra, INM-Pune - MISSION SCAN AND WEBSITE

Since August 2002, Ishvani Kendra has been preparing and distributing an email bulletin of items relating to mission research. MISSION SCAN has appeared seven times since its inauguration. If you would like to receive the bulletin, kindly send an e-mail to ishvani@pn2.vsnl.net.in with the word "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.

In addition, Ishavani Kendra has recently set up a website. You can visit them at www.ishvanikendra.org.

Back to TOP

¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤ø¤º°'°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°'°º¤

6. RECENT PUBLICATIONS

SVD Mission Researchers have recently been involved in the publication of a large number of books. Those that have come to my attention include the following:

Stephen B. Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology: Revised and Expanded Edition, Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2002. Steve proposes six models for understanding contextualization, i.e., Countercultural, Translation, Anthropological, Praxis, Synthetic and Transcendental.
[Contact Steve Bevans at sbevans@ctu.edu.]

Franz Helm, La Misión Católica Durante los siglos XVI-XVII: Contexto y Texto, Cochabamba BOLIVIA: Editorial Verbo Divino, and Buenos Aires ARGENTINA: Editorial Guadalupe, 2002. The work compares the catechisms of José de Acosta (Lima, 1584) and Matteo Ricci (Beijing,1603). Both were widely used as guides and tools for primary evangelization. The comparison explores the possibilities for a more inculturated evangelization today.
[Contact Franz Helm at helm@steyler.at.]

Silvia Käppeli, ed., Lesarten des jüdisch-christlichen Dialoges: Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Clemens Thoma, Bern SWITZERLAND: Peter Lang AG, 2002. The work celebrates the long commitment of Clemens Thoma to Jewish Christian Dialogue.
[Contact Clemens Thoma at maria-hilf@kleeb.com.]

Indubitanter ad Veritatem, 2003. In recognition of Leo Elder's contributions to Thomistic studies and the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination, the seminaries of Rolduc (in the Diocese of Roermond) and Willibordhuis (Diocese of Haarlem) have published a festschrift. The volume collects articles in Spanish, English, German, French and Italian by the colleagues, friends and students of Leo Elders. The preface was written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The work also includes a full bibliography of Elder's writings. The book may be acquired by writing to professor J. Vijgen at jorgen.vijgen@skynet.be.
[Contact Leo Elders at elders@worldonline.nl.]

Franz-Josef Eilers, ed., For All the Peoples of Asia: Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences Documents from 1997 to 2001, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 2002. FABC has encouraged renewal in Asia for over three decades. This third FABC volume, like the first and second volumes, have been compiled and edited by Franz-Josef Eilers, the Executive Secretary of the FABC's Office of Social Communication.
[Contact Franz-Josef Eilers at eilers@euroseek.com.]

Back to TOP


For information about MR-Net activities in your Zone contact:   Send Notices for MR-NET News to:

  AFRAM - Marek Kowalik SVD wiselka@hotmail.com 

  ASPAC - Robert Kisala SVD kisala@ic.nanzan-u.ac.jp 

  EUROPA - Heribert Bettscheider SVD Bettscheider@t-online.de 

  PANAM - vacant

  Mission Secretary  
Tom Ascheman SVD  
svd.missec@verbodivino.it   

SVD Mission Research Network