Lay Associate Groups: SVD Initiatives - AFRAM


South Africa
The SVD Lay Associates in our diocese is a very active group. They have Vademucum prayer book and other SVD published books for their prayers. These people come from various parishes in our diocese. All of them make use of our SVD prayer books to lead different types of prayers in their parishes. Many of the other parishioners are enthused by these prayers and it is a big help in the church services. Some of the priests in our diocese also tell me regarding the SVD Prayer books that we have given to the lay associates and they are helping them to conduct prayer services in the church. In our diocese we do not have many formal prayer books that can be used for the ordinary people. Vattapparayil, Sunny

Friends of SVD is a lay group started by our SVD seminarians in theology here in Nairobi. It started in Divine Word parish, Kayole, Nairobi, Kenya. This group was introduced to pray for the SVD missionaries all over the world. They have adopted SVD prayers and meet frequently. Though it started as a small group in our parish, now it has spread to other SVD parishes in Kenya and recently a group has been formed in Arusha diocese, Tanzania. This group in Nairobi is to support SVDs through prayers and occasionally with their presence in our major SVD events like, Perpetual professions, Deaconate and priestly ordinations and other SVD gatherings where these group could be invited to participate and do some help. Right now the membership of Friends of SVD could be over 60 in number and we hope to spread to more parishioners.
Fernandes, Leo

The association of the Friends of SVD (Association des Amis de la SVD) in our province is existing from 2005, they have a few success stories to narrate. They thought of visiting the house of formation (Postulancy). The purpose of this visit was to know the young postulants who are in formation and to support them morally, spiritually and physically. In the course of this visit there was an exchange of views between the young and the visitors. During this visit our SVD Friends offered also their gifts in kind and gave some monetary contribution to support the young postulants. It is good to know that most of the SVD friends in our province are old and young women who struggle each day under the rain or the heat of the sun to gain a meagre amount to feed their family. However the little that they earn, they share it with our young postulants. It is a sign of their participation and support to the SVD mission and their missionary engagement in the association of the SVD friends. This visit is part of their programmes that they have established since the beginning of year 2013. I thank them for their engagement and encourage them to continue and to progress into the mission support.
Kolo, Bernabas

Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association was launched on 2010, but it was no follow up after launching. On the beginning of the year of 2013 we tried to reorganize the group. We decided to start it in the township parishes. We went from parish to parish to introduce to the people about the group. The response we got from people were very promising. On 25 January 2014, we organized a day of recollection and meeting with all people who are willing to join the group. We tried to establish the group by forming a new committee in two parishes in town (Holy Spirit Parish – Nkulumane and Holy Family Parish – Nketa). We also set up the programmes of the group in the both parishes for the whole year of 2014. At the moment we have 29 members from these two parishes. We are planning to get more members from other parishes and mission.

Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association has lay people from all categories: parishioners, collaborators, workers and friends formed into groups who have accepted with joy to live the SVD Spirituality and to collaborate in our mission works in parishes and institutions where the SVD work. The objectives of the Zimbabwe SVD Lay Association are to pray for all the missionaries - SVD missionaries in particular; to support SVD missionaries in their mission territories and to voluntarily support the missionary work of the SVD in cash and in kind.
Grenda, Tadeusz