The Divine Word Centre is an Institute for biblical apostolate that the Divine Word Missionaries started in Hmawbi on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, in March 2018, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Yangon, H.E. Cardinal Charles Bo. The Centre was blessed by the Cardinal on 16 December 2018.
Though the Centre visualizes conducting biblical programmes primarily for the laity, since that can be done only in the Burmese language and none of the members of the current staff is able to speak Burmese, at present programmes are held only in English and they are mainly, not exclusively, for the religious and priests.
We give biblical retreats and animation talks on biblical themes, attended mainly by the religious and priests. In addition, the Coordinator, Jacob Kavunkal, teaches at the Burmese National Theological Centre as well as at the Theological Institute for the Religious. Presently we do not award any diploma for the participants of the programmes, though that may evolve in the course of time. Once the members of the staff are equipped to handle Burmese language we intend to organize short courses and introductory programmes on the Bible for the laity as well as continuing the biblical retreats and theme-based talks. These will be done both at the Centre as well as locally wherever we are invited.
Obviously, at this point our participation at the NPA is a one-way traffic in so far as we learn and enrich ourselves from the experience of other NPA participants. Our participation in the NPA is precious for us as we are still in the initial stage and struggling to carve out an identity for the Centre. Hopefully, in the course of time, others may find inspiration from our experience of working in a predominantly Buddhist country, for biblical animation.
Fr. Dr. Jacob Kavunkal SVD (Director)