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.

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.

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.

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.

Polish Missionary With 25 Years in the Caribbean Named Provinicial
Theresa Carson, Public and Media Relations Director - Chicago Province

Superior General Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD has appointed Father Adam Oleszczuk SVD as the next provincial superior of the Society of the Divine Word Chicago Province.

Challenges and Triumphs in Difficult Times: A Story of Learning to Sew
By Fr. Robert Ratajczak SVD, Antigua

Sewing is a practical and useful skill, and it also can be a creative outlet that brings people together. Read more…

Educating Future Generations in Jamaica
By Father Bernard Latus, SVD

Catholic schools provide children with the invaluable opportunity to expand their knowledge, explore their passions, create community, and promote self-discipline through clarity of moral vision that is based on the Gospel. In many places, especially mission countries those schools still are the only chance to receive good quality education.

From Peace Corp to Missionary Life
Written by Theresa Carson, Techny

Affinity for the marginalized led Divine Word priest to serve in three countries.
Young adults with candles

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