I would like to say a few words about the special SVD ministry to which I have recently been appointed. It is the Ministerio Biblico Verbo Divino (MBVD). Although I am new to the job, it has a long history. Fr. Joseph Scott SVD dreamed of establishing a ministry to educate people about the bible and provide them with bibles and biblical literature. He started to fulfill this dream in Oakland over 19 years ago. Later when he moved it to southern California in 2009, he established the MBVD Center in San Bernardino.
The Ministerio is an official distributor of the SVD-run Editor Verbo Divino (EVD) in Spain and we import most of our materials from them. These include many different bibles and related literature in Spanish and English, including many books written by SVDs, all of which are sold to the public at affordable prices. The MBVD thereby promotes both Sacred Scripture and SVD spirituality. The MBVD serves clients throughout world. 99 per cent of our sales are by internet. Our most popular item is the Latino American Bible, which is published by our SVD confreres at EVD. All Hispanic parishes should have copies of this in their church stores.
The “team” here at MBVD consists of three men. The director, Jose and Ezequiel. Jose and Ezequiel have been dedicated and faithful workers at MBVD for more than 12 years. Jose works as the first contact. He responds to the clients, takes orders through the phone and the website, and processes the orders. Ezequiel is our “packman.” He packs all the books to be sent out. The goal is to send the books out within 24 hours of the order
I was appointed to take over from Fr Joe Scott as the director in July of this year. The plan was to work under his direction for a time and to learn the trade. Unfortunately, this was not to be. On June 17 a pallet of books fell on Joe while he was offloading books from a container. He was hospitalized with a number of serious injuries for more than a month and was then transferred to our retirement and care facility in Techny IL.
Joe was a walking computer. All the passwords, professional contacts, protocols, and processes that made MBVD run were in his head. And now this information was thousands of miles away. We had to draw information about the Center and try to keep things running from a wide range of actors. Fr Pavol stepped in to pay the immediate bills. Jose was able to get the orders and processing going again. When one of the workers cut his finger, Pavol did the first aid.
I have now been in the driver’s seat for four months. It has been a period of great struggle for me, but also of great learning. Now, by the grace of God, things are flowing along nicely. Our sales are higher than ever—we have already sold 95 per cent of our bibles and related literature, and we are anxiously awaiting a new container of stock from Spain.
As science and technology continue to dominate today’s world, we need to find new ways to adapt. We need to be completely involved in our world today and at the same time continue promote the Divine Word, and the Word of God in Scripture. This has been my main challenge here at the Ministerio Biblico Verbo Divino and I have learned that I can’t do it alone. I need your help. The success of MBVD depends on all of us working together to urge the people we serve to read the Scriptures, study them, and make them part of their lives. Here at MBVD we are ever ready to send you the resources you need to make this possible. It is our hope that the Ministerio Biblico Verbo Divino will continue to flourish and that it will fulfill in every way the wonderful dream of its founder, Fr. Joseph.
– Danh Van Pham