Bro. Steve Pardy, SVD
Bro. Steve Pardy was born in Madison, South Dakota. He entered the Divine Word Missionaries in the fall of 1955 and professed First Vows in 1958. He professed Final Vows in Techny and was missioned to Rome in 1961, during the Vatican Council. In addition, he has served in Papua New Guinea, the SVD Western Province in California, the United Kingdom and Australia. He currently is the Development Director for Wordnet Productions in San Bernardino, CA and continues to spread the Word of God via the airwaves.
Dayenu – My Reflection on 50 Years in Vows
By Bro. Stephen Pardy, SVD
Dayenu is part of the Passover Haggadah used at Passover Seders. The word is "Dayenu" (pronounced Da-yea-new). It means "It would have been enough. The traditional text has numerous verses. The most oft used are:
If God had only taken us out of Egypt, Dayenu.
If God had only given us the Torah. Dayenu.
If God had only given us the Sabbath. Dayenu.
Part of the Jewish Passover Haggadah includes a wonderful text entitled Dayenu! It translates to “It would have been enough” and has numerous verses all relating to the goodness of God. “If God had only taken us out of Egypt, Dayenu! If God had only given us the Torah, Dayenu. If God had only given us the Sabbath, Dayenu, etc.” “It would have been enough.”
This year marks my 50 years in vows, my “Golden Jubilee” as a member of the SVD. In thinking back on these decades “Dayenu” comes to mind. God has been so good to me and has led me to so many places and provided me with so many opportunities and I am very grateful. Permit me to illustrate.
If God had only given me one good parent for a short time, Deyanu. But no, he gave me two great parents who stayed with and supported me into my 50th and 60th years.
If God had only given me one sibling, Deyanu. But no, he gave me ten siblings, all of whom have enriched my life.
If God had only allowed me to join the Benedictines in South Dakota as was my first intention, Deyanu. But no, he led me to the SVD and its international richness.
If God had only allowed me to have a basic education, Deyanu. But no, he saw to it that I was given a Degree in Accounting and prepared me accordingly for what was to come.
If God had only allowed me to work in one country, Deyanu. But no, he let me work in four countries
and in each one as a Provincial Treasurer.
If God had only allowed me to speak in one language, Deyanu. But no, he allowed me to explore the richness of three others.
I guess I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. I entered the SVD novitiate in Techny at the age of 18 and have gone on to experience and see God’s wonders in many parts of the world. I served in Rome, Papua New Guinea, Australia, the United States and England before returning to this country where I am presently the Director of Development for Wordnet Productions.
My longest stint was in PNG, of course, and there I was able
|View an interview with actor Gavin MacLeod produced by WordNet Productions
to literally witness the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
A bottle of those seeds sits on my desk, today. With the help of supporters and benefactors, missionaries at home as it were, the Church there was built and flourishes today with its own Hierarchy and indigenous SVD members now going from there to continue to spread the Gospel in other parts of the world.
Now that my Indiana Jones days are over, the Good Lord has brought me here to California and permits me to help spread the Word of God in a new fashion: the TV Medium. Wordnet Productions creates the “Power of Love” shows and is broadcast weekly reaching about 125 to 150 thousand households a week. It is even carried by the American Forces Network around the world.
Around 1952 or so I witnessed the first American-born SVD Brother to celebrate HIS Golden Jubilee and I thought he must be terribly old and experienced. Well, maybe he was and Brother Andrew would now be celebrating his 100th anniversary. I now understand his jubilee better and while not feeling “terribly old,” I do know that I have certainly had rich experiences.
One other thought does come to mind, however. A few years ago there was the monumental film: “Schindler’s List.” I was moved by it all, as was anyone who had the good fortune to see the film. The thing that caught my mind, though, was at the end. Oscar Schindler noted in his old age that: “I could have done more.” He noted how he could have sold more of his possessions and used more money to help more people; how he could have exerted himself more and saved more from the disasters that faced them.
I see that myself now as I reach my 72nd year. For all that I did, for whatever little I was able to accomplish, I certainly could have done more.
| View an interview with actor Tim Conway produced by WordNet Productions
But who knows what now lies in store. If God had only allowed me to reach my Golden Jubilee, Deyanu. It seems the Good Lord ain’t finished with me yet. Deyanu, indeed.