Working with the saints next door

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By Marlon Bobier Vargas SVD

Editorial Verbo Divino (EVD) is a global publishing company and the major communication ministry of the Society of the Divine Word in Spain. Located in a small town called Estella, EVD has been serving the Catholic Church since 1956. It plays an essential role in proclaiming the Word of God.

In addition to publishing Bibles in several languages, EVD produces theological books, magazines, journals and prayer booklets. In this digital age, EVD also creatively ventures into new forms of multimedia to make the Divine Word more accessible to the people of God.

During the last phase of my Cross-Cultural Training Program in Spain, I had the opportunity to see the inner workings of EDV and to work with the lay staff and SVD confreres there.
Saints next door_1aEDV employees busied themselves: laying out publications, editing, accounting, sales, marketing and shipping. I helped digitalize the latinoamericá edition of DOCAT, which is a resource for young people who want to learn the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

My main task involved transferring content from one electronic resource into the mobile application software—a lot of copying and pasting. After finishing DOCAT, I received a new task—adding content to La Buena Noticia, EVD’s daily Scripture mobile application. More copying and pasting.

While working besides my colleagues in the office, I heard them sharing ideas and plans for other projects. I was filled with pride and thought, “I can do that too!” I wished to be a part of other projects, but I also wanted to joyfully accomplish the task assigned to me.

God responded to my prayer. After closer observation, I saw that there is profound meaning in repetitive tasks. My confreres do repetitive work in our community, such as preparing breakfast, shopping for the needs of community, setting the tables for meals and cleaning after the meals. They mow the lawn and care for the gardens.Saints next door_2

As missionaries, they arrange the schedule of Mass presiders; preside at Mass; participate in community prayer; join the weekly Bible sharing; and attend funerals to offer condolences.

Likewise, the lay staff have their own repetitive tasks, such as editing, reviewing, conceptualizing, laying out the publications, packing, billing and delivering the orders. All the staff members perform tasks in collaboration with the whole team.

They performed their jobs every day with dedication. I realized that although my tasks seemed simplistic, they contributed to the overall work. I felt fortunate to be part of the team.

In his third apostolic exhortation entitled Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis wrote: “Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence.”

My colleagues at EVD and in the Divine Word community are those holy neighbors. The daily collection of repetitive tasks makes a sacred routine. Together, we proclaim the Divine Word.

To learn more about EVD in Spain, visit the official website www.verbodivino.es.

Divine Word seminarian Marlon Bobier Vargas fulfilled his Cross-Cultural Training Program (CTP) in Spain. This fall, he returns to Catholic Theological Union in Chicago to complete his last two years of studies.

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