Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Kids from KinderGardens in slums run by Sarva Seva Sangh, Mumbai gathered at St. Arnold’s Hall, Andheri (E) on Saturday 5th December 2015.

Children's Day was celebrated at Janvikas, Indore (INC-India) with the children from the Bridge Course Centers (Non-Formal Education centres for the working and drop out children) situated in different slums of Indore city. Around 150 children gathered for the celebration. Ms. Seema Virang, Councillor, Indore Municipal Corporation was the Chief Guest and Fr. Nicholas Martis, Rector, Catholic Ashram Palda was the Guest of Honour.

By:Daisuke Narui, SVD

There were so many refugees sitting on benches, floor, outside the station at the Vienna Central Station. Literally, the station was flooded with refugee people. At that time, most of refugees arriving at Vienna station do not remain in Austria, but proceed to Germany or other northern countries next morning. An SVD parish, Pfarre zum Göttlichen Wort, which is located near the station, has been helping those people and I could see a part of their activity on 14th September, 2015.

Open-pit megamines, deforestation, eviction of families and whole communities. Indigenous peoples and traditional communities threatened by those interested in mining their territories. Pollution of the water, the land, and the air.

Mining transportation channels impact hundreds of communities living along the pipelines or railways that export the vast majority of our minerals.

Fr. Joseph Dillon SVD, our Irish confrere, has worked in several parishes. He recently moved to the parish of Saint Mark in Sao Paulo. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Joseph sees the evolution and progress of this catastrophic event as a challenge. He describes here some of his observations and reflections.

Fr. Joseph recalls the celebration of Palm Sunday in the parish. The Churches were empty, and only one mass was celebrated. On top of that, there was no procession of palms, just a virtual one. The restrictions are justifiable, and the death rate has risen to 3000 a day in Brazil. Then Fr. Joseph begins to express his dissatisfaction with how the pandemic is being handled. Lockdown was never practiced in more than one city. At the start of the pandemic, the President would not accept the necessity of buying vaccines and closing the commercial side of life.

The lack of vaccines holds up the vaccination rate. Brazil, before this government, was a country renowned for its campaigns on vaccination. It's lamentable that we have sunk to such a low category in less than two years because of the president's incompetence and his ministers. Then Fr. Joseph expressed his frustration and concern on some parties and clandestine funk dances. The police cannot go to certain areas because of the danger of deaths that may occur. The only way that the police can stop funk dances, which happen in the streets, is to get there before the crowds arrive. The leaders of these funk dances organized their events through social media.

Of course, at these dances, like the ones held at Paraisopolis, there are no restrictions, no mask or alcohol gel. The young participants drink and take drugs. These funk dances start from 2:00 a.m. aided by a deafening music.
Fr. Joseph, amid the negative situations, shares a hopeful action, “In the parish where I worked, a group of people in one of the communities meets every week to produce 280 dinners for the poor. With so many mouths to feed, the problems are only starting.” Fr. Joseph adds, “We can't go back to everyday living. I have seen so much generosity in the Church groups led by ordinary simple people. They are considered heroes by the way they help their fellow men in the face of challenges. Life is too short; I need another 20 years to start to do something worthwhile for others.”

Adopted from the sharing of Fr. Joseph Dillon, SVD

In the new normal after COVID-19, the Christian community has found a new normal of spreading bliss and devotion. In first such initiative, two brothers - Father John Paul and Father Norbert Herman have launched a youtube channel ‘The Hermans’ where they are posting one self-composed devotional song every day. They already have a collection of 400 self-composed devotional songs, which will be posted on the channel in the coming days.

Every day, Christians all around the world proclaim that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Every time we make the sign of the cross we are blessing ourselves or blessing others in the name of the Holy Trinity.

In 2011 the SVDs in Hungary celebrated the 10th anniversary of its mission summer camps. These camps which were started in 2001 have drawn hundreds of young people from across Hungary, both practicing and non-practicing Catholics, even those who are not so familiar with the Christian faith.

The summer camps had a very humble beginning. It started with one single camp, but later on, since more and more young people were interested in participating, it developed into three camps every summer. Each year 300 hundred children and youth attend these camps.

Since the beginning, these camps were called Mission Camps for a couple of reasons. First of all it is a means of mission animation. During the camps the participants are introduced to the mission realities. There are usually presentations on a particular mission country or mission experience given by a missionary. The SVD confreres who are from other countries contribute to the missionary atmosphere of the camps. Through their presence during the camps the participants are introduced to different cultures where the SVD confreres come from through songs, dance and even food.

Secondly, the camps are also aimed at bridging the gaps that exist within the Hungarian society, between the haves and have-nots, between the Hungarian majorities and the gypsy minorities, between those who come from peaceful family back grounds and those who come from broken homes. It is always heart-breaking to witness that although these disparities might be difficult to overcome at the beginning of the camps by the end of the camp differences are pushed to the background so much so that true friendships and mutual acceptance take place as the fruit of these camps.

Thirdly, mission awareness is given to the participants through mission oriented programs such as making handicrafts which will be sold to support a certain mission country or a particular mission project. The participants engage in visiting the nearby nursing homes and giving some faith-related presentations at the city centre.

The fruit of these camps can be seen not only in the growing interest for these camps, but also in those who had come to the previous camps would volunteer to be helpers; and some religious vocations and a couple good marriages have also emerged from these camps.

Fransiskus Magung SVD, Mission Secretary

At our parish in Nysa we have a group of 50 people who are involved in New Evangelization. They are well prepared for this work. Most of them finished special courses organized by various Schools of New Evangelization in Poland or abroad.

The catechists have been indeed a great support to the Church in the evangelization of the people. They accompany more closely the life of the communities, especially, where the priest cannot be present continuously.

In whole state of Arkansas in United States, there are only three predominantly African American Catholic Parishes and I am the pastor of two of the three: Saint Augustine in the city of North Little Rock and Saint Bartholomew in Little Rock. In addition to my responsibility as a pastor of these two Parishes, I am also a teacher of the Bible in a Catholic High School: Mount Saint Mary in Little Rock, Arkansas.

As in many other countries, liturgical assemblies at the end of September 2020 in Slovakia were signed by the limitations of prevention against the spread of covid-19. However, it did not prevent us from celebrating the conclusion of the Year of the Word of God.

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