The PANAM Zone SVD Formators meeting was held from 18 to 24 July 2019. 26 formators and vocation promoters, coming from 10 different countries, representing all the formation stages, met in the Divine Word Mission Centre in Quito, Ecuador. This meeting takes place every three years and this year’s theme was “A Systemic and Relational Vision of a Missionary Formation. Exposition of a Human and Spiritual Formation, in the View of family ties and relations”. Fr. Higinio Yescas Martinez, SVD from Mexico Province, presented this theme.

Wilken Fevrier is originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and entered formation for the Divine Word Missionaries at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, in August 2013. He graduated with a BA Degree in Philosophy in May 2018 and is now a novice at the Divine Word Novitiate in Techny, Illinois. Here he shares about his vocation.

From rigt to left  to right Bishop Emmanuel Fianu, SVD of the Diocese of Ho, Ghana, Bishop Zeferino Zeca Martins, SVD of the Huambo, Angola, Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD from the Diocese of Bangued, Philippines, and Archbishop John Barwa, SVD of the Archdiocese of Cuttack- Bhubaneswar, India and the members of the General Council. 

My name is Yermith Yensy Florez Lopez, I was born on the 24 of July 1982 in a beautiful hamlet called Las Flores which belongs to the municipality of Morroa, located in the department of Sucre a few kilometers away from the capital city Sincelejo.

I was brought up in a beautiful home made up of my parents and my four siblings. My Dad Miriel Faustino Florez Solorzano a very humble, simple and respectful man with a good sense of humor was so much dedicated to his occupation on the field while my mother; Justiniana María Lopez Buelvas, as a great hardworking, generous, humble and cheerful woman was also dedicated to her tasks of the home.

As a young child, I was struck by the works of the missionaries and everything that is related to the mission and for that reason I was moved to join the Infant Missionary group at the time and later the youth group of my community Las Flores. This has made it possible for me to intensify as well as clarify my desire to become a consecrated religious missionary. Thanks to the space and agents of evangelization through whose participation and animation during the important liturgical celebrations such as the Holy Week and Christmas festivities which became the source and motivation for my vocation.

It is where I felt the call of God to become His close follower. This to me is a call which requires no delay in response, because the more it delays, the more frustrating and regretful one becomes of disobedience to God’s call. The most important thing is to have a deep moment of prayer and discernment in order to clarify and give a good response to the invitation of Jesus and at the right moment.

It is in line with this process of discernment that I wish with love and affection to thank the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Help of Christians and the Villa Bernarda, who with great dedication did not only accompanied me during my vocational discernment process but have also given me and many other young people of my community a good professional formation for the rests of our life. They accompanied me during my discernment process and have helped me to broaden my horizons towards the religious life. It is through this that I had the opportunity to get to know more closely about the Divine Word Missionaries and their charism, and thanks to my uncle Fr. Edinson Méndez,SVD for sharing his experiences with me and for the visits he made with his SVD companions to our family and community.

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With a strong desire to become a consecrated religious missionary, I joined the Congregation of the Divine Word Missionaries on 28, January 2006, at the Divine word Formation House located in the city of Medellín in Colombia where I underwent my first two stages of initial formation and thus; the Propaedeutic and Postulancy for the years 2006 and 2007. This was a beautiful experience which helped me to get to know more about the Divine Word Missionaries, to discover the other horizons of pastoral evangelization, to challenge myself as a person in my desire to become a missionary and above all, to detach myself a little more from my family and community.

Later on in 2008, I traveled to Quito in Ecuador to continue with the next stage of my formation which was the novitiate. This has been another experience which allowed me to immerse myself deep into the spirituality of the congregation, with its history and foundation as well as its internationality. It was at this stage of the formation that I professed my first Religious Vows also known as the Evangelical Councils.

I later returned to Colombia in 2009 to continue my Post-Novitiate formation at the St. Joseph Freinademetz Formation House in Bogotá, where I undertook a degree programme in Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical University of Javeriana. After two years of studies at the university, I requested to undergo an Oversea Training Programme (OTP) for an intercultural and mission experience in Kenya in Africa as part of my training. My request was successfully granted and so I had the opportunity to travel to Kenya, making it necessary to abandon my studies at the university at the time for the next three years (2011-2013). It was an enriching experience which allowed me to learn a new language and culture as well as to know and live the internationality of the SVD and above all to challenge myself as a missionary.

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In 2014 I successfully completed my experience in Kenya and returned to Colombia to continue with my studies till 2016 and concluded with my degree on 27 February in the following year. On 25 March of the same year 2017, I was ordained a Deacon by his Lordship Monsignor Edgardo Cedeño in the the Divine Word parish of Garcés Navas in Bogotá. I practiced my diaconal ministry in the parish of Our Lady of Las Mercedes de Vigía del Fuerte located in the Middle of Atrato. During this time, I had the opportunity to share with the Afro-Colombians and the Emberá Katios indigenous people while simultaneously preparing for my priestly ordination.

On 13 January 2018, I was finally ordained to the Priesthood in my home parish of San Blas de Morroa by His Lordship Monsignor José Clavijo Méndez of the Diocese of Sincelejo. It was one of the best and unforgettable moments for me. Among the people present were my family, my brothers from the community, the diocesan clergy and the community in general to accompanied me. This event ended with the celebration of my first Mass in my community of Las Flores, on January 14 in the place where I was born and grew up.

Finally, as a new Presbyter of the Catholic Church and a member of the Divine Word Missionary congregation, I am prepared for my new mission to Kenya, the same place where I had my intercultural and pastoral (OTP) experience earlier. I believe it will be a beautiful opportunity to return and to continue announcing the Good News of the Incarnate Word among the people of Kenya. May the Spirit of the Risen One accompany me in this mission.

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Dear Confreres, Sisters and Mission Partners,

Arnold Janssen once writes “the objective of the Society of the Divine Word is to strive that the Society as a whole and in its individual members ever more faithfully fulfills the will of God. This requires firstly the greater sanctification of its members and secondly that the Society endeavor to become an ever more capable, more useful instrument in the hand of God. …” [To the Priests and Brothers in Argentina and Brazil, St. Wendel, 3 December 1901 (Janssen Reader, 2017, sec 321)]

Fr. Lourduraju of the Divine Word Missionaries in Hungary has been awarded as the Prima Primissima of BAZ county in Hungary for his valuable services among the gypsy community in the fields of social, cultural and educational programs. The event is traditionally hosted by the National Association of Entrepreneurs. It was held in Miskolc on the 4th of November 2017.

DECATUR, Ga. (CNS) — Religion and science have intertwined in Divine Word Father Jean Ikanga’s life and it began with a fearful mother. The woman in his native Congo desperately wanted help for her 9-year-old daughter, sick with “evil spirits.” Concerned by her story, Father Ikanga provided prayer and pastoral counseling but also asked the woman and her daughter to meet with a psychiatrist at the University of Kinshasa.

Adapted from the sharing of Fr. Valentim Gonçalves, SVD

On October 13, 2016, the UN General Assembly appointed the former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Guterres, as the next United Nations Secretary-General, to succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on 31 December. Mr. Guterres, aged 67, was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

The Community Center “El Rubio”, dedicated to educating boys and girls, celebrated its first anniversary on 6th July. It was a wonderful thanksgiving celebration for all the blessings and achievements that the Center had during its first year of service to many children who participate in this place of training, recreation and sharing.

The Foundation “Niños en la Huella” opens a new service with support from the Ministry of Social Development, aimed at serving the most vulnerable in our society. On July 7th the first residence was opened for the homeless living on the street. This new Center is a concrete example of how the Foundation “Niños en la Huella” responds generously to the signs of the times and extending a helping hand to those who really need it.


On the 28th of May 2016, a benefit lunch was organized by the Asia Pacific Group of the UNWG-Rome to raised funds for the rebuilding of Loreto Primary School in Tokou village, on the island of Ovalau, Fiji. The organizers are extremely grateful to the Rector and community of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), for making their premises available for the event to be held in their beautiful gardens in via dei Verbiti, Rome.

How to participate in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC)?

The Philippines is preparing for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Cebu City from January 24-31, 2016. The SVDs have been in the Philippines for more than 100 years. Thus, also for us SVDs, this is a very important event. Some of our confreres are involved in the preparations. Please watch this short video clip that shows how to get involved and prepare the faithful for such an important event. Participating and promoting this event is an expression of our best practices in mission animation. Please go to

International visitors are welcome to the IEC. Please share with our friends and mission partners. Details about the IEC and how to register are on the following sites:;


The four floors of the building, formerly used as a student dorm for live-in pupils at St. Wendel’s Mission House, are going to be used as shelter for refugees. There will be four different residential groups

By: Evelyn Schneider

The city of St. Wendel, Germany is renting the former boarding school dorm at St. Wendel Mission House. Refugees are going to be moving in soon. Divine Word Missionaries are looking forward to welcoming them “with open arms” in November 2015.

The month of August will remain engraved in the memories of the various street children of ORPER (Center of recuperation and reeducation of street children directed by the Divine Word Missionaries in Kinshasa (D.R. Congo), who have just completed their professional formation in esthetic and beauty, in cooking and gastronomy and in confection and fashion.

The jihadist network that was detained by the police on last Wednesday in Barcelona, which called itself «Islamic Fraternity for preaching the jihad», had among its plans to film the execution of a Spanish citizen in a similar way to the Caliphate of Syria and Iraq: beheaded with an orange overalls. It is a quantum leap in the radicalization and aims of those networks that work in Spain.

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