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Monday, 02 March 2015 10:43

Orientation & acculturation courses help prepare missionaries

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SVD-orientation-groupThe first months of 2015 have seen the Australian Province of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) preparing new missionaries for their ministry in Australia with two orientation and acculturation courses getting underway– one in Victoria and one in Central Australia, reports In the Word, the SVD e-newletter.

The first months of 2015 have seen the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) AUS Province preparing new missionaries for their ministry in Australia with two orientation and acculturation courses getting underway– one in Victoria and one in Central Australia.

The Summer Orientation into the Australian Culture program in St Leonards, Victoria was held for the newly arrived young SVD seminarians/students and missionaries, while the Central Australia SVD Orientation and Acculturation Course got underway in Alice Springs for confreres recently assigned to the Central Australia District.

Formation Director Fr Boni Buahendri SVD says the Summer Orientation program for young missionaries recently arrived in Australia was held in January, and included participants from Indonesia, Argentina, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.

“It was a lovely and successful program,” Fr Boni says.

“Most of those who took part are Overseas Training Program (OTP) students and young SVD missionaries who are preparing themselves to work and begin pastoral ministry in Australia.”

Fr Boni says the three-week program is developed especially to help newly arrived missionaries come to better understand Australia and its people and culture.

“As young missionaries, everything is new for them,” he says. “Therefore, in order to feel at home in this country and to help them in doing good ministry in this country, they have to learn more about the language, culture, weather, food, way of living, and so on.

“This program helps them with the issues of culture shock, loneliness, and some professional standards issues in the Catholic Church in Australia. It helps prepare them for cross culture ministry and mission.”

The young missionaries covered topics including: the story of Australia as a nation, including the first and early migrants to Australia; the story of Catholicism in Australia; spirituality and pastoral ministry with the Indigenous peoples of Australia; plants and animals of Australia; how to behave in public; professional standards; women in Australian culture; and multicultural living in Australia.

Read the article in full and learn about the summer orientation program from the Society of the Divine Word Australian Province.

Subscribe to in the Word, the Enewsletter of the Society of the Divine Word Australian Province, to get the latest news sent to your inbox.