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Installation of
Superior General Paulus Budi Kleden
and His Council

Father Paulus Budi Kleden

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As was already announced at the closure of the 18th General Chapter, Fr. Paulus Budi Kleden and his council: Fr. Jose Antunes da Silva (Vice Superior General), Fr. Xavier Thirukudumbam (Admonitor), and Consultors, Bro. Guy Mido Mazola, Fr. Raymun Festin, Fr. Eryk Koppa, and Fr. Anselmo Ribeiro assumed office on September 30, 2018 with the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by the outgoing Superior General Heinz Kulüke and the new Superior General Fr. Kleden. The Eucharist was held at 5:00 PM.

Participating in this joyful occasion were our confreres from the three Roman communities, namely, Collegio del Verbo Divino, Centro Ad Gentes, Nemi with the Indonesian confreres taking renewal course and Collegio San Pietro, along with our SSpS, headed by the Congregational Leader Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann from the Generalate in Via Cassia. Also in attendance were SVD Bishops Emmanuel Fianu, SVD, of the Diocese of Ho, Ghana and John Barwa, SVD, of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, India. Also present were our SVD employees, delegates from the Filipino Verbo community, and guests. The Ambassador of Indonesia to the Holy See, Mr. Antonius Agus Sriyono and his wife, and Bishop Adrianus Sunarko, OFM, of the Diocese of Pangkal-Pinang, a friend of Fr. Kleden, also graced the occasion.

The Installation

The installation of the new Superior General and his council took place within the Eucharist. Fr. Heinz walked in procession next to his successor, Fr. Kleden following a group of Indonesian sisters and SVD confreres singing a traditional religious song in procession. From the celebrant’s chair Fr. Heinz presided over the introductory rites followed by a brief introduction. After the gospel, Fr. Heinz as the outgoing General formally announced the election and installation of the new Superior General and his council, “…in the name of the entire Society of the Divine Word we welcome Fr. Paulus Budi Kleden as its 12th Superior General….May all members of the Society assist him and his Council with their prayers so that, assured of God’s continual grace, he may faithfully fulfill that responsibility which we have entrusted to him.”

Sign of acceptance and approval

With these words there was a thunderous applause from the approximately one hundred fifty faithful who gathered at the Chapel of the Collegio del Verbo Divino. Fr. Heinz then led in a symbolic gesture that delighted everyone. He handed Bibles to the Superior General and his Council signaling the transfer of authority, responsibility and leadership within the Society. After the rite of installation the new Superior General gave a reflection.

Taking note of the intercultural aspect of our Society, the Prayers of the Faithful and the readings were done in different languages, songs in Italian, Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, Kikongo, Japanese and Tagalog were belted out , some of them by different choirs The offertory procession was led by the newly elected General Councilors each carrying a symbolic gift representing their country of origin. Such gesture demonstrates the intercultural leadership in the Society.

Before the final blessing the newly installed Superior General thanked the outgoing General Administration for their dedication and commitment to the Society for the past six years. He singled out in a special way the leadership of former Superior General Heinz Kulüke.

Sharing the joy of new leadership in the Society

After the Liturgy of Installation the members of the Arnoldus Family and other guests gathered for cocktails and meal to celebrate and toast the new Leadership Team. It was also a moment to rightfully acknowledge the work and dedication of the previous Leadership Team. The new General Leadership Team were received warmly in the Indian tradition of welcome and the Indonesian way of welcome. A meal followed with the joyful spirit and belief that to be committed in our mission we are impelled by the love of Christ.

The celebration was an event that showcased our interculturality and oneness as an Arnoldus family. From the liturgy to the agape the members of the Colegio community worked together thanks to the leadership of the Rector, Jose Nicolas Espinosa and his Council.

Sonny de Rivera