Father Adam and a crew of volunteers help to repair a local home in Gassaway, West Virginia.

Divine Stories

Fr. Adam MacDonald, SVD (left) and a crew of volunteers help repair a local home in Gassaway, West Virginia.

There are two questions that donors never tire of asking charities such as ours. How did you use my donation? Did it make a difference in anyone’s life? We are posting these stories to answer these questions. We think you will like them. They are short and personal. The settings range from the South Side of Chicago to the “hollers” of West Virginia to the poor neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica. In every case, your generous support enabled our missionaries to touch the lives of people with the love of God. Thank you!


Working with the Poor in Brazil
Frt. Christian Castro, SVD, Brazil

My mission experience here in Brazil reminds me that what makes a church is not a building – it’s a place filled with people of faith.

Mission Meets Medical Anthropology
Prepared by Vocation Team, Chicago Providence

Fr. Alexander Rödlach is a teacher, a priest, a medical anthropologist – in short, he’s a modern-day missionary.

It's Never Too Late for Religious Life
SVD Vocation Team, Chicago

When Aloysius Aisi Oa told his family about his plans to pursue religious life, they were shocked. “My mother said, ‘Are you joking? You’re a grown man,’” he recalls with a chuckle.

Mission Trip to Jamaica
SVD Vocation Team, Chicago

In June 2023, SVD Vocation Director Fr. Tuan Hoang, SVD led an 8-day service trip to Jamaica. He was accompanied by three young adults who volunteered their time to help serve parishes and people in need on the island.

World Travels and Christianity in the World
By Theresa Carson, Chicago

“It is not easy being a missionary, but they [the people] animate our members,” said Father General Kleden, who served in Switzerland and Indonesia before his election to the General Council in Rome in 2012.

From Distrust to Awe
By Theresa Carson, West Virginia, United States

From distrust to awe, trucker converts to Catholicism in West Virginia.

Overseas Experience - A Time for Teaching and Learning
Prepared by SVD Vocation Team

Seminarian Brian Junkes, SVD, the Florida native, recently completed his Cross-Cultural Training Program (CTP) in Chad and moved back to Chicago to complete his theology studies and formation towards the priesthood, but first he shared a little more about his time in Chad.

Local Parishes Alleviate Hunger Through Divine Word Pantries
Theresa Carson, Public and Media Relations Director - Chicago Province, West Virginia

Food pantries managed by Divine Word Missionaries serve as a lifeline for families in West Virginia. In addition to national inflation, many West Virginians suffer from persistent poverty, the type of poverty that lasts for generations. Missionaries like Father Thien Duc Nguyen SVD provide food that keeps them fed when federal government assistance runs out. Annually, Father Thien buys more than 200 turkeys for Thanksgiving. This year, he and his volunteers anticipate that they will need many more to meet the need. During the past year, they have been helping between 330 and 350 families each month. You can provide a Thanksgiving meal for someone who is suffering.

Baking With Heart in Antigua and Barbuda
By Father Robert Ratajczak SVD, Antigua and Barbuda

I have the privilege of working with the Hispanic immigrant community on the beautiful islands of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. It has been both a joy and a challenge. While it brings me great joy to see the progress and success of our programs and spiritual care, it also can be difficult to witness the hardships that these diligent people face.

Religious Brothers Work With the People
Prepared by SVD vocation team, Jamaica

Divine Word Missionary brothers are men committed to living Consecrated Life in response to a call from God. They focus on their God-given talents and share their gifts with others while engaged in a variety of ministries and Bro. Bernie Spitzley is one of them.
Young adults with candles

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