Divine Word Missionaries blog will share some of the latest mission updates from around the world. The more than 6,000 Divine Word Missionaries are serving in 78 countries with a variety of provinces/regions that are then grouped into four zones, namely, the European zone (EUROPA), the Pan-American zone (PANAM), the Asia-Pacific zone (ASPAC), and the Africa-Madagascar zone (AFRAM). The zones may work as geographical sub-zones wherever this seems suitable. Check back often for real-time stories from the missions.
Two Frater’s share their Overseas Training Program-OTP experience
Dec 16, 2016
Pictured: Frater Huy Tran SVD enjoying his Overseas Training in Chad.
Cross-Cultural Training Program (CTP) also known as Overseas Training Program (OTP) occurs sometime after the second year of theology studies in which seminarians have a one to three year mission experience engaging in another culture. Usually, the first task of the Divine Word Missionary seminarian is to learn the language of the country where they are assigned. Frater Huy Tran SVD traveled to Chad for his OTP mission experience and Frater Anthony Musonda Chisanga SVD traveled to Paraguay for his OTP experience. Here are some highlights from each of their experiences:
Raised in a Vietnamese Catholic family where pride in identifying with Vietnamese martyrs, and the desire to serve others, Frater Huy Tran SVD found his calling to be a missionary. His OTP experience in Chad further affirmed his vocation to be a Divine Word Missionary. This is a snippet of Frater Tran’s journal entry dated February 1, 2014: “That familiar, all-encompassing dark of night, which would normally signal rest, repose, the ceasing of activity and recuperation, seemed different tonight. As I lay in bed, suddenly I was filled with joy. It surprised me because joy is generally associated with home, family, loved ones, happy memories the sense of familiarity the sense of belonging, and being accepted. How strange is it that I should feel this joy here in Chad, in the heart of the African continent where most of those things seemed very absent?” Tran realized so vividly that the joy he felt was a “mission-oriented” joy and that joy is the most visible manifestation of faith.
Story reprinted by permission from Theologate Matters, Winter 2016, Volume 1, Chicago a publication of Society of the Divine Word Theologate.
Pictured: Frater Anthony Musonda Chisanga SVD celebrating with the Paraguayan parishioners he journeyed with on his OTP.
Originally from Zambia, Frater Anthony Musonda Chisanga SVD completed his postulancy and philosophy studies in Lusaka, Zambia. He then completed his Novitiate in Ghana and professed first vows in 2012. Frater Chisanga then came to Common Formation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya to continue his formation and theological studies as a Divine Word Missionary at Tangaza University College. After two years of studies, Frater Chisanga opted to go for his OTP training in Paraguay for two years. Here is a highlight from his experience: “I feel enriched having shared my life and faith with Paraguayan people. They are very welcoming people who know how to share meals in families and with relatives. I learned a lot about their way of life and faith. A large number are Catholics and religious. Unfortunately, few are practicing Catholics. Another thing that amazed me was the celebration of baptism and other sacraments. You would see many people in Church for the first time because their relative is blessing a marriage or a child is going to be baptized.”
Story reprinted by permission from CFC LINK, Christmas Edition 2016, Common Formation Centre, Nairobi.