PHOTO FILE: Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word, Dr Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD.
By KEVIN PAMBA
The Superior General or global head of the Society of Divine Word missionaries is in Papua New Guinea to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the presence of this Catholic congregation in the country.
The Superior General Dr Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD, who is based in the Vatican in Rome arrived in the country on 1st of August 2021 and has been in COVID 19 quarantine in Port Moresby.
He is travelling to Madang today (the 9th of August) and will join the celebrations with his brother Divine Word missionaries based in PNG and the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Madang. The celebratory programs in Madang start today 9th of August and end on the 21st August.
The Society of the Divine Word Missionaries or Societas Verbi Divini (SVD) in Latin, have been in PNG since the first six of their missionaries sailed into the shores of Madang on the 13th of August 1896 from Germany, which is 125 years ago.
Dr Kleden will visit Divine Word University, which was started by the SVDs and fellow Catholic missionaries, the Holy Spirit Sister, in 1968 as a Catholic High School which transitioned to Divine Word Institute in 1979 and Divine Word University in 1996.
Dr Kleden will celebrate the Holy Eucharist (Mass) with the SVD Missionaries and the DWU community at the St John Paul II Hall in the Madang campus at 7.15 pm on Wednesday 11 August.
He will then attend the SVD Conference in the DWU’s SVD Memorial Auditorium on Thursday 12th of August.
Dr Kleden will also attend other key celebratory events at the historic Alexishafen mission station and this would include the solemn occasion of “Remembering the Departed Souls” at the missionary cemetery to remember the missionaries and lay people who died while serving the Church over the years.
On Sunday 15 August at 9am, Dr Kleden and the SVD missionaries will celebrate a combined Mass with the Catholic community in Madang in the Holy Spirit Cathedral. Dr Kleden, originally from Indonesia, will depart PNG for Rome on the 23rd of August.
- Dr Kevin Pamba PhD is based in Divine Word University, Madang.