Dear Members and Readers,
Fr. John Paul Herman, SVD, was appointed the Director of SEDOS in June 2022. He was born in India on 27th June, 1962, and is a member of the Congregation of Divine Word Society. He has been an active missionary in various parts of India. He specialized in Communication and has been working and teaching communication in various institutions and seminaries. He worked for 10 years (2000-2010), as the director of Mass Media Commission for Archdiocese of Delhi. He also worked for the conference of India for the Commission of Social Communications in Northern India, Madhya Pradesh Regions and Jaipur Diocese in Rajasthan State (2000-2022). He also headed the Communication Centre of the SVD Society in Indore for six years (2014-2020). He holds two doctoral degrees; one in Hindi Literature from Devi Ahilya University, Indore (India, 1995-1997), and another in Communication from the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome (2010-2014).
NEW EMERGING CHALLENGES
I feel privileged to be part of SEDOS. As a member of the Divine Word Society (SVD), I feel especially glad that I have been chosen for this great work for the mission. It is an opportunity not only for me but for all of us to think, reflect and explore. A new world, with new opportunities as well as new challenges, has emerged before us. We are called upon to put our heads and hearts together to find new ways to face them. When we come together, the mission becomes possible, for the Lord is there to guide us.
The growing fundamentalism, the post-Covid situation and the tussle between nations are some of the new situations that have arisen in recent times. As we share in the Mission of Jesus, we are all called upon to share and bring the peace of Christ to the whole world and in particular to every heart.
This year, seeing the needs of the time, the theme for the Bulletin “Formation for Mission” was aptly chosen. As new challenges are emerging, SEDOS thought that there is a need to look into the formation of new missionaries who can explore and find new ways that are suitable for our time. At the Seminar we had very prominent speakers who enlightened the participants with their outstanding presentations.
In the Bulletin, the first article is by Antonio Pernia, SVD, who shares his reflection on the need to foster the missionary Spirit in formation, rather than focusing on the missionary work. In the second article, Maria Ha Fong Ko, FMA, in her Italian presentation explains how Jesus formed his disciples to become true missionaries. He called them to abide with him and having experienced him, he sent them out as shepherds. Mary L. Gautier, in her article, “International Sisters in the United States: Lessons We Have Learned” focuses on the situation of the religious sisters who came from various parts of the world and lived in the United States. They too are part of complex migration patterns that circle the world today. Then we have the article on “Formation and Accompaniment of Formators”, by Len Kofler, MHM, and “The ‘Why’ of On-Going Formation” by Emma Paloma, ICM, inviting us to reflect deeply on formation itself. Another soul-searching presentation is by Daniele G. Giusti, MCCJ, on Covid-19 epidemics. The last article is by our former Director Peter Baekelmans, CICM, who takes us to the Past, Present and Future of the Missionary Religious Institutes and their Christian Witness.
I am sure these articles will help us to reflect and explore our understanding of formation for mission as well as to face the new situations and to become effective missionaries. John Paul Herman, SVD