Divine Word Missionaries

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The Divine Word Missionaries

he Society of the Divine Word was founded by St. Arnold Janssen on September 8, 1875 in Steyl, a small village in Holland, just across the German border.

“God’s loving grace has gathered us from various peoples and continents into a religious missionary community dedicated to the Divine Word and named after him the Society of the Divine Word” (Prologue of the SVD Constitutions).

The ultimate purpose of our mission today is the same as it has been since the time of our founder, “to proclaim the Kingdom of God’s love” as the common destiny of all humanity and the horizon toward which we travel. It is from the internal loving dialogue of the triune God that this mission emerges, a dialogue of love and forgiveness with all humanity. We do not invent our own mission – it is Missio Dei – we are called by the Father, sent by the Word and led by the Spirit.

We give witness to the Kingdom in a world deeply divided by belief, social class, culture and religion. And so we reach out to others in prophetic dialogue, seeking to bridge the divisions that keep us separated from one another and from God. Our mission in prophetic dialogue is at the service of communion and it points to the final manifestation of the Reign of God.

We understand dialogue as an attitude of solidarity, respect, and love that is to permeate all of our activities. In solidarity we reach out to others to share our lives with them in their concrete situation. In respect we reverence the uniqueness and the dignity of each person and of every human community. Above all, love binds us together in spite of our failings.

In prophetic dialogue we especially commit ourselves to people who are faith-seekers, who are poor and marginalized, who are of different cultures and who are of different religions and ideologies.

Source: Province Reports 2006 - Conclusion