OUR IMPACT

 

Countless Lives Transformed

Divine Word Missionaries face the need, and act in countries all over the world.

calendar

144

Years

world-icon

80

Countries

heart-icon

6,023

Missionaries

church-icon

719

Parishes

seminaries-icon

41

Seminaries

colleges-icon

22

Colleges

universities-icon

4

Universities

school-icon

300+

Schools

379

marginalized students from tribal and low-caste families are being educated at Nabajyoti High School in Pallahara, India.

180

impoverished people are being fed every weekend at a Divine Word Missionaries parish in the suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya.

275,000

people trapped in Bidi Bidi, the largest refugee camp in South Sudan, are being ministered to by Divine Word Missionaries.

380

children who are victims of domestic abuse or struggle with substance abuse are being tutored and counseled through a year-round family rehabilitation program in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Encounter Our Missionaries

Our missionaries bring healing, education, support, and life-changing
help through the person of Jesus, the Divine Word, to the people we serve.

Learn More about Our Missionaries

OUR HISTORY

Learn about Divine Word Missionaries and how our religious order became the largest Catholic missionary presence around the world.

SEE TIMELINE
×

1830 - 1869

November 5, 1837: St. Arnold born in Goch, Germany, to devoted Catholic parents with 10 children.

August 15, 1861: St. Arnold ordained a priest for the Münster Diocese.

1870 - 1879

January 1874: St. Arnold begins publishing Little Messenger of the Sacred Heart, a magazine aimed at communicating mission news and encouraging Germans to support mission activities.

September 8, 1875: St. Arnold opens the Mission Seminary in Steyl, Holland, founded The Society of the Divine Word, also known also as Societas Verbi Divini (SVD).

1877: St. Arnold opens the Mission House for retreats and promoted the lay retreat movement.

March 2, 1879: St. Arnold sends the first two SVD missionaries to China, Fr. Joseph Freinademetz, SVD and Fr. John B. Anzer, SVD.

1880 - 1889

December 8, 1889: St. Arnold co-founds the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, a congregation of religious sisters serving the missions.

1889: Missionary work expands to Argentina.

1890 - 1899

1892 - 1909:  Missionary work expands to Togo, Brazil, New Guinea, Chile, U.S.A., Japan, Paraguay, and the Philippines.

December 1896: St. Arnold co-founds of the cloistered sisters, Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration.

1900 - 1919

January 15, 1909: St. Arnold dies at Steyl, Holland, at the age of 71.

November 5, 1909: Fr. Nicholaus Blum elected second superior general of the Society.

January 20, 1913: Arrival of Fr. Noyen in Timor.

December 2, 1919: Mozambique missionaries arrive at Steyl.

1920 - 1949

March 25, 1923: Arrival of the first missionaries in South Honan, China.

October 10, 1938: First missionaries arrive in Ghana.

September 22, 1947: Opening of the seventh general chapter.

1950 - 1969

March, 1 1954: First men arrive in Taiwan.

June 1962: First men arrive in Mexico.

1970 - 1999

October 12, 1970:  General assembly of generalate and provincials begins in Nemi.

October 19, 1975: St. Arnold beatified in Rome by Pope Paul VI.

November 12, 1977: Fr. Henry Heekeren elected eighth superior general.

February 24, 1981: Mission starts in Botswana, Africa.

2000 - Present

October 5, 2003: Saint Arnold canonized in Rome by Pope John Paul II; Divine Word Missionaries establish first house in Russia.

2019: Divine Word Missionaries launches Mission Impact in order to encapsulate their founder’s mission with the tangible missionary impact from across the world.