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Generalate Mission Secretary
Rome - 28 August 2018

SVD DAY/WEEK/WEEKEND

Dear Mission Secretaries,

The 18th General Chapter has passed the recommendation on “SVD Day/Weekend/Week” (2.2.1). It states, “The General Chapter recommends that every PRM organize an SVD Day or SVD Weekend or SVD Week annually to celebrate our worldwide mission.” A few provinces over the years have organized an annual program of SVD Day/Weekend/Week to animate the local people on SVD missionary activities, especially expressing interculturality in our living and mission. Now, this activity is recommended for all the Provinces/Regions/Missions, so that this becomes part of our structure in mission animation. Hence, in consultation with the PRM superiors, all the mission secretaries are asked to take the responsibility of organizing this program every year.

Every mission secretary is asked to include this in his yearly action plan and fix the date/dates for this celebration. You are asked to send a report on this activity.

1. Purpose

Through this program, we enlighten the people regarding the life and mission of Divine Word missionaries who are working worldwide. With the help of this celebration, people are awakened that they have received the call to be a missionary and that this call can be realized in many ways: they can pray for the missions and missionaries, avail their time for some mission activities in the local parish or local situation, join any group to engage in spreading the Word of God, help the poor and needy or help them together with other companions, give some donation for the missions and so forth. Hence, animation is important and along with this, fund raising could be done for the worldwide mission. Animation could focus especially on our confreres’ lives, their activities, and the needs of the people.

2. Ways of celebration

An SVD Day/Weekend/Week can be celebrated in many ways; most importantly it should adapt to the local cultural situations.

  1. Suggestions
    1. Eucharist Celebration: Special prayers for SVD missions and missionaries.
    2. Intercultural Worship Service: Have a worship service. Take the offering or sing songs the way it is done in various cultures where SVDs are working.
    3. Workshops: Hold workshops with different speakers on SVD missions in the local place.
    4. Audio-visual Presentations: Obtain a video from SVD Missions or ask an SVD missionary speaker to show a video, slides, or PowerPoint presentation and lead a discussion.
    5. Mission Fair/Carnival: Include a variety of booths and activities set up in a parish or in classrooms. Include: a poster-making room, story-telling rooms (with missionaries telling about their work), a mission film room, and the use of musical instruments.
    6. Poster Contest: Have children and/or young people from Sunday School and Catechism classes, Youth Groups, etc. create posters on missions in general or various themes. Display them on the walls in the fellowship hall or foyer. Have judging and prizes.
    7. Banner: Ask a group(s) to make a special banner(s) on missions
    8. Cards: Make cards with Sunday School children and send to missionaries. These could be displayed on a wall or bulletin board before sending.
    9. Culture Show: Have people from the areas with ethnic clothes, a cultural program of various cultures.
    10. Musical Instruments: Ask missionaries to bring musical instruments of the people that they work with and demonstrate their use. Form a band and sing a song. Present it in the church service.
    11. Visit to the Missions: Young people and others could visit a local mission center such as a migration center, an indigenous mission, a slum area.
    12. Retirement Home: Do a program at a retirement home or nursing home.
    13. Skit/Drama: Put on a missions-related drama or skit.
    14. Fund-raiser: Raise money for SVD missionary support or a project by selling eatables. Or make some avenues to raise funds for SVD missions during the celebration.
  2. Liturgy
    1. Eucharist Celebration: Special service with preaching on SVD mission.
    2. Prayer of the Faithful: Organize special prayers for various missionaries and PRMs.
    3. Faith Promise Pledges: During the offering, faith-promise pledge cards are handed out. People are told to take them home, pray about what they want to pledge to give for missions over the coming year, bring the card next week and place it in the offering plate.
    4. Special Music: Include special missions songs and special music (soloists, choir, groups). Select an ethnic song or number.
    5. Interview: Interview missionaries in front of the congregation (having previously supplied them with the questions).
    6. Audio-visual Program: Ask missionaries to show an audio-visual program (slides, video, PowerPoint).
    7. Conference Call: Make a conference call to a missionary during a service.
    8. Speaker for Sunday School: Invite missionaries to make presentations of their work. This can include telling stories, audio-visual presentations, demonstrations, etc.
    9. Funds for Worldwide SVD Mission: According to the local practice, collect funds for SVD missions.

3. Involvement of SVD Lay Partners and others

SVD lay partners should be involved in planning, organizing and executing this program. This is one of the ways that we help them to share in our charism and more so highlighting the SVD missions in the world. If there are no SVD lay partners, avail the interested lay persons to organize this program and instil in them the spirit of the SVD.

4. Some Practical Aspects

Every Year, the Church celebrates World Mission Sunday, in which all the parishes get involved in this celebration to highlight the missionary nature of every Christian and their obligation. The funds collected during this celebration obviously go to the local diocese. Therefore, let us celebrate SVD Day/Weekend/Week on another day to be distinctive in the purpose and nature of the celebration.

According to the size of the PRM, this can be celebrated in one place or in many places. Mission secretaries in consultation with the provincial superior could plan out the possible venues of the celebration; we propose that this celebration could take place in the parishes, institutions and seminaries.

Certainly it is impossible to disseminate information on all the SVD missions in the world; hence it may be practical to choose one country or one Province/Region/Mission or a few countries each time giving details of that country and mission.

5. Sources that can be used

Search for materials in the following websites:

6. Fundraising for Worldwide Mission

This activity is aimed to celebrate our worldwide mission, hence kindly make efforts to collect funds for the mission. The funds that are collected through this celebration should be sent to the generalate for our worldwide mission. Your efforts at conscientizing people towards this goal will certainly bear fruit. How much you collect is not important, but certainly we appreciate all your generous contributions.

7. Sending a Report

At the end of the celebration, kindly send a short report of the celebration with one or two photos for our reference and publication.

Wish you God’s blessings on our missionary activities.

Yours in the Divine Word,

Stanislaus Thanuzraj Lazar. SVD
(Generalate Mission Secretary)