About Us

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The SVD is an international religious missionary community 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 we are present, members from different nations work together. We are MISSIONARY. Primary evangelization is our priority. We go to places where the Gospel has not yet been heard or least known. We are RELIGIOUS. We take the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obidience; and we live in community. Most SVDs are PRIESTS, some are BROTHERS. Together they form a missionary team.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Whether it's the swimming pool or the basketball court...

Whether its the centuries-old trees or the picturesque edifices...

Whether you were awed by the beautiful stained glass or inspired by the life story of a friend who happens to be a seminarian, a missionary priest or brother...

It's certainly an invitation from God.
Never doubt your calling. Never delay your response.
Join the Society of the Divine Word.

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 development of the local clergy both secular and religious. One of the first Chinese SVD priests was the late Thomas Cardinal Tien. The first local priests of our mission in Indonesia were SVDs. The first US SVD seminary for the colored was established at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

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 reason to say:


SVD Philippines

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, its 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 SVD priests, brothers and scholastics. 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 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, Pangasinan); in Visayas: Brothers' Formation House and SVD Vocation Office for Clerics (Cebu City) and in Mindanao: Divine Word Formation Center (Davao City).