Divine Word Missionaries blog


Divine Word Missionaries blog will share some of the latest mission updates from around the world. The more than 6,000 Divine Word Missionaries are serving in 84 countries with a variety of provinces/regions that are then grouped into four zones, namely, the European zone (EUROPA), the Pan-American zone (PANAM), the Asia-Pacific zone (ASPAC), and the Africa-Madagascar zone (AFRAM). The zones may work as geographical sub-zones wherever this seems suitable. Check back often for real-time stories from the missions.



World-famous Techny bear needs repairs

Feb 13, 2017


World-famous Techny bear needs repairs

Almost everyone who visits Divine Word Missionaries whether it is at the Techny Towers Conference & Retreat Center or at the Divine Word Missionaries Religious Gift Shop on Waukegan Road in Techny, IL, has a moment of nostalgia for the large brown bear fondly named Max. Max could very well be the first to greet you. Legend has it that Max at one point moved, spoke and sang “Happy Birthday” when you flicked his switch. Max also has a “twin” brother equally large and tall living at the Steyl Mission Museum across the street from our foundation house in Steyl, Netherlands. Here at Techny, Max first found his home in the Techny Towers for many years, beginning in 1933, greeting guests and future seminarians when it was then St. Mary’s Mission House.  Most recently for the past decade or more, he has been keeping watch over the Gift Shop quietly and peacefully. Unfortunately, he does not speak, sing or move his eyes, head or mouth anymore and his appearance has deteriorated over the roughly 85 years of his adventurous life.  

The good news is that Max can be repaired and renovated with your help.  The total repair costs roughly amount to $9,000, which would help restore the interior mechanical movement and the exterior fur coat.   We are fortunate enough to have a few benefactors who have gotten the ball rolling by donating the first $2,000. Please consider joining them in bringing Max back to life and back to the Gift Shop lobby for future generations to enjoy and create memories with. This great icon is greatly missed and always asked about by many families and patrons to the Gift Shop. Max connects our visitors to Techny, Divine Word Missionaries here, and those serving in the missions abroad.

Donate now to help repair Max, the Techny bear!

Please “Donate To” indicating “other” and write in Max the Techny bear so your donation may fulfill this goal!


On May 22, 2012, 5th-grade students from St. Norbert’s in Northbrook, IL gathered at the Mission Center to celebrate Max’s 80th birthday!