We in the Society are truly blessed that Brother Guy Mazola Mido, SVD, came to the General Chapter and said, “Yes” when elected.
A member of the SVD General Council in Rome—which is the leadership and administrative body for the global missionary order—said he saw good things during his visit to Divine Word College. Every six years, members of the council visit SVD provinces around the world to meet individually with SVDs and get a first-hand look at their work.
Bro. Guy Mazola, SVD, visited DWC during February 2015 and said the college provides a unique experience for its students because they come from more than twenty countries and are not only seminarians and brother candidates, but religious sisters, diocesan priests and lay people.
“This combination is really very rich, very intercultural,” he said. “The world today is ‘intercultural’ and I think interculturality is something that we have to take into consideration, especially if we want to be good missionaries.”
Bro. Guy was born on October 31, 1962 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo) and joined the SVD in 1981. He professed his First Vows on October 1, 1984 and his Perpetual Vows on August 30, 1992. His first assignment was to the Central Province of the Philippines, where he was assistant formation director in the SVD Novitiate and worked at a newspaper published by a lay organization called SVD Friends, which supports the society’s missionary work.
In 2000, he was called back to his home province in Congo to take charge of the Brother Formation program and become chief editor at the province’s publishing house, which translates the Bible into different African languages. In 2007, Bro. Guy was elected Area Coordinator for Formation of the AFRAM (Africa/Madagascar) Zone. In 2012, he was chosen to represent Congo at the SVD General Chapter in Rome, which every six years brings together SVDs from around the world. At that gathering, he was elected to the SVD General Council.
Now in his third year, Bro. Guy has traveled to many countries and gained a much greater perspective of the worldwide work of the SVD, especially among the poor. The society is also involved in education, such as at Divine Word College and particularly in Asia where it has a number of universities. He has also witnessed the talents of many of his confreres…and experienced different climates.
“This is my first time in the U.S. and the first time to experience this kind of weather—really cold weather—but it has been nice,” he said. “I have visited SVD communities in the Chicago Province and I am impressed with the collaboration among the confreres, their professionalism and the way they organize their activities.”
Attracting young men to the SVD is an ongoing effort and Bro. Guy said he was impressed by the work of the Vocation Office. He said Mr. Len Uhal, National Vocation Director, and the five SVD priests and brothers who serve as vocation directors are doing a good job connecting with young men who are interested in religious life.
“We have to see the quality of the candidate, not only achieve quantity in numbers,” he said. “That’s why I appreciate very much the way they are going to see young people personally, to talk to them, meet them and try to discover them.”
The timing of Bro. Guy’s visit could not have been better, as he was able to take in the annual Lunar New Year celebration. But even before he witnessed this signature event on the DWC festival calendar, the college and its blend of cultures was what left a lasting impression.
“It has been a very good experience for me, it’s very rich here. The formation is not only intellectual, but also spiritual and an intercultural-community experience,” he said. “I’m very happy to see how intercultural you are here and in the U.S., because that is the identity of the SVD.”