Dear Confreres and mission Collaborators,

                         Greetings in Peace!

       It’s amazing how fast time flies! Before we realize it, September is here again, our yearly mission month. As the Society of the Divine Word marks its 137th anniversary on the 8th of September this year, I wish to invite you to glorify and thank God with us for the gift of missionary vocation and the grace to collaborate in God’s mission. Verily, your being one with us has been a source of strength and inspiration in the sharing out of our missionary charism worldwide. “So you became an example to all believers…For not only did the message about the Lord go out from you throughout…but the news about your faith in God has gone everywhere.” (1Thess 1:7-8) In announcing the year of Faith, his Holiness Pope .Benedict XVI wrote: “today as in the past, he (Christ) sends us trough the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth…The celebration of the year of Faith and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization will be favorable opportunities to relaunch missionary cooperation…” (Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 World Mission Message)

         This year’s Mission Month let us reflect on the theme: SHARING THE FAITH…THROUGH COLLABORATION in the light of the Pontifical announcement mentioned above. Our Mission Poster provides us six images very expressive of what we are and are called to be. Image 1 (Left Top): Three members of the three Religious Congregations St. Arnold Janssen founded, namely, Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration or Pinks Sisters, Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit or Blue Sisters and Society of the Divine Word or SVDs go ‘high tech’ as they work together. It portrays that the three congregations are one in heart in their missions. “We feel especially called to this aspect of God’s mission in our world today because of our interculturality, a defining trait of our Society from its birth and God’s particular gift to us and to our mission”. (SVD XVII General Chapter 2012) Image 2 (Center Top): A Divine Word Missionary hand in hand in prayer with other community members. It features interconnectedness among the baptized and the consecrated. Image 3 (Right Top): Newly elected officers of the Abra SVD Friends take oath of Office during a Eucharistic celebration. It signifies a deeper commitment to mission and loving concern for every SVD’s well being. Image 4 (Left Below): During Mass offertory, two SVD priests together with seminarians receive from parishioners a sack of rice being offered. It speaks loud of the generosity and readiness of the people in their ever untiring support to God’s mission. Image 5 (Center Below): Round the clock the Pink sisters take turn in solemn prayer. It reveals an ever active missionary aspect of their contemplative life. And lastly, Image 6 (Right Below): ‘Missio Dei’ is dynamic. It projects Divine Word Missionaries journeying along with members of the local Clergy, other Religious congregations, Local Government Unit (LGU) personnel and Indigenous people elders and representatives. After looking at ourselves through these “3D optics” in relation to our common mission, let us take a “fish-eye” view and come up with a well composed single photograph – a “portrait” of COLLABORATION in Mission.

         Once again on behalf of the SVD Mission Pilippines I wish to convey my profound indebtedness (utang a naimbag a nakem in Ilokano) for your unquantifiable mission supports. Our thanks to God “…through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the whole world is hearing about your faith.” (Rom. 1:8)

 Wishing you and your loved ones God’s hundred-fold blessings, I remain.

  Devotedly Yours in His mission,

  Fr. Emil B. Pati, SVD

PHN Mission Secretary