Missionary Ha Khahn with local children and residents at playground in Ludo, Equador

What We Do

Missionary Khahn Ha with local children and residents at playground in Ludo, Ecuador.

We help transform lives through God's work

The Society of the Divine Word sends its missionaries in service to vulnerable communities throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

We prepare men for missionary activity as both Priests and Brothers

Candidates for the priesthood begin with a four-year academic degree that is often earned at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa. Dedicated in 1964, it’s the only Roman Catholic undergraduate seminary in the U.S. dedicated to educating men and women for missionary service.

After graduation, candidates enter a one-year novitiate at Techny, Illinois that serves to help mature and clarify a vocation. After novitiate ends, candidates move on to the theologate formation house in Chicago where they attend classes at Catholic Theological Union, the largest Catholic school of theology in the United States.

Novice John Cho, Society of the Divine Word
Inculturation of Father Tomasz Kafka SVD

After their second year, each candidate takes part in a Cross-Cultural Training Program where they travel to a different country and, under the supervision of a local Divine Word Missionary, experience missionary life. After this experience, they return to theologate, and prepare to profess perpetual vows. Then they complete their education and prepare for ordination. 

Our brother formation program begins with a four-year academic degree, also often earned at Divine Word College. After novitiate, they profess first vows and continue formation while developing their gifts at a Chicago-area college, university, technical school, or in practical ministry. Alongside the candidates for priesthood, they also participate in the Cross-Cultural Training Program. After completion of CTP and advanced studies, they profess perpetual vows.

We send forth Missionaries to serve

More than 240 priests, brothers, seminarians, and novices serve at more than 56 ministry sites in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. These sites include the following types of ministry and service. Click here to enjoy stories from our missionaries or discover our mission locations.

  • Parishes
  • Grade Schools
  • Colleges
  • Seminaries
  • Hospitals
  • Retreat Centers
  • Social Justice Teams
  • Vulnerable Communities
Brother Doctor Jezry Kuzzman providing medical exams to children at refugee camp


We welcome home our Brothers and Priests who have devoted their life to God’s service

After spending their lives laboring in the vineyard, we care for their spiritual, social, physical, and medical needs in retirement. Currently there are approximately 55 priests and brothers living at the retirement residence in Techny. They begin their day with Mass and are provided three meals a day in our dining room. Throughout the day, they can participate in a number of activities, such as book discussion, bible study, outings, sessions with a therapy dog, and community service.

Young adults with candles

Donate Today!

Your offering to Divine Word helps our missionaries bring the Gospel of Christ to the poor and forgotten around the world.

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Serving the needs of vulnerable communities and proclaiming the Gospel throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. 
Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 36-2183817

Mailing Address

Society of the Divine Word
Development Department
P.O. Box 577
Techny, IL 60082-0577

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