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DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES (SVD)
ST. ARNOLD JANSSEN was born on November 5, 1837 in Goch, Germany. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1861. In his lifetime he founded three (3) religious congregations:
* in 1875, the Societas Verbi Divini (SVD)
in 1889, the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSps)
in 1896, the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (SSpSAP)
The founder also established seminaries in Germany, Austria, Rome, the United States and various parts of the world. He sent missionaries to numerous countries.
Would you like to know more about us?
The SVD is an international religious missionary community of Priests and Brothers with more than 6,000 members including those who are in temporary vows. It was founded by St. Arnold Janssen in Steyl, Holland on September 8, 1875.
We are INTERNATIONAL. The SVD is a modern congregation counting among its number men from 65 different countries. In any country where we are present, members from different nations work together.
We are MISSIONARY. Primary evangelization is our priority. We go to places where the Society sends us.
We are RELIGIOUS. We take the vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience; and we live in community.
SVDs are PRIESTS and BROTHERS. Together they form a missionary team
SVD in the World
Inspired by St. Arnold’s motto…the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief may vanish before the light of the Divine Word…, missionaries were sent to non-Christian countries like China, Japan, New Guinea and some parts of Africa. Likewise, they were also sent to some Christian countries in South America through urgent appeals from bishops.
The conditions of the blacks in the US convinced the founder to start the mission there. The SVDs, wherever they are assigned, promoted the development of the local clergy both secular and religious. One of the first Chinese SVD priests was the late Thomas Cardinal Tien. The first native priests of our mission in Indonesia were SVDs. The first US SVD seminary was established at Bay St. Louis, Missippi.
Through all these apostolates, the SVD became an international religious missionary society. At present, more than 6,000 SVD priests, brothers, and scholastics are scattered in 65 countries on every continent. This gives us the reason to say: THE WORLD IS OUR MISSION.
The Philippines is the last country where SVD missionaries were sent by St. Arnold. From a pair of missionaries who arrived and worked in Pilar, Abra on August 15, 1909, it’s membership flourished tremendously. Because of this promising sign, more mission stations were given to the SVD through some bishops’ consent and request. With this rapid expansion, SVD Philippines decided to divide itself into three territorial provinces in 1981 namely: Northern Province, Central Province and Southern Province.
Presently, there are about 526 Filipino SVD priests and brothers. Some are engaged in administering and teaching in leading schools like the Divine Word Colleges in Luzon and the two Universities in the Visayas – the University of San Carlos in Cebu City and the Holy Name University in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Faithful to St. Arnold’s vision and mission - to spread the Word of God in mission – the SVD continues to engage in the formation of its members, other religious and the diocesan clergy. Formation centers and seminaries are being maintained by SVD Philippines to address the need to strengthen committed members as well as to prepare those who will respond to the call of God.
SVD Vocation Centers are located in the following: In Luzon: Christ the King Mission Seminary (Quezon City) and Divine Word Formation Center (Urdaneta City, Pangasinan); in the Visayas: Brother’s Formation House and SVD Vocation Office for Clerics ( Cebu City) and in Mindanao: Divine Word Formation Center (Davao City).