09/07/2012 06:19

Divine Word Missionaries General Chapter XVII -- 2012

Fr. Heinz Kulüke is our new Superior General

The 17th General Chapter of the Society of the Divine Word has elected Fr. Heinz Kulüke as the new Superior General of the Divine Word Missionaries.

Fr. Kulüke was born on September 29, 1956, in Spelle, Germany. He was the 2nd child of August and Paula (born Westers). After his schooling in Spelle and Hopsten, he took up studies in Electrotechnic in Spelle and Rheine. After a year of Military service in the Air Force, he did some further studies in Electrical Engineering at Bielefeld.

In 1979, he joined the SVD and did his novitiate in St. Augustin, Germany and made his first vows on May 1, 1981. At the completion of his studies in Philosophy and Theology, he was ordained priest on March 9, 1986 at St. Augustin. He was appointed to the SVD mission in the Southern Province of the Philippines. His first mission was in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao. After three years in Agusan, he did his Masters in Philosophy at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. From 1990-1992 he taught Philosophy at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines. In 1992, he went to Rome for his doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he completed in 1994. Since 1994, he is a professor of Philosophy at the University of San Carlos.

Fr. Kulüke was the Superior of the Southern Province of the SVD in the Philippines with its headquarters in Cebu City. He was elected to the office of the Provincial Superior in 2005 and re-elected in 2008 and again in 2011 for an exceptional third term. Earlier, he was the Vice-Provincial of the province from 1998-2005. Along with his teaching assignment at the University, Fr. Kulüke has held the office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs (1997-1999) and was the Rector of the SVD Community at the University of San Carlos (1996-2005).

Fr. Robert was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 12, 1957 to the late Mr. John Kisala and Mary Conroy. He has two brothers John and Thomas, of whom the latter has gone to his eternal rest.

After his primary education in St. Francis Elementary School in Chicago, Robert joined the Divine Word Seminary in East Troy in 1971. He entered the novitiate at Bay St. Louis in 1980 and made his first vows in 1981. He made his final vows in 1984. He did his philosophical studies in Epworth and theology in Chicago. He was ordained priest on March 16, 1985.

Assigned to the Japanese Province after his ordination, Fr. Kisala studied Japanese for two years before being assigned Associate Pastor at Kichijoji Church, Tokyo. Then he took up studies in Sociology of Religion at the University of Tokyo (1988-1994). In 1994, he studied German for six months at Munich.

From 1995, he was teacher at Nanzan University (Institute for Religion and Culture) and from 1999 he was formation director at Divine Word Seminary, Nagoya. In 1999, he was elected Vice-Provincial Superior of Japan. In 2004, he was elected Provincial Superior. In the 2006 General Chapter, he was elected to the General Council and nominated Admonitor General. The 17th General Chapter elected him the Vice-Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word.