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The Society of the Divine Word (SVD)

The Society of the Divine Word which called Societas Verbi Divini in Latin, abbreviated SVD is the largest missionary congregation in the Catholic Church. It was founded by St Arnold Janssen in Steyl, the Nederland in 1875 during the church-state conflict called the Kulturkampf, the time when many religious groups being expelled and seminaries being closed in Germany. St Arnold Janssen envisioned the Divine Word as the sun that illumines both heaven and earth, the light of the Godhead and of the human race, the source of the warmth and ardour in his own heart, and the centre of all his devotions and activities.


Throughout our history, we have read the signs of the times by working with the poor and the marginalised in society. In 2024 we are working in more than 80 countries in the five continents.


The four characteristic dimensions of our Society are the Bible, Mission Animation, Communication, Justice and Peace and Integrity of creation (JPIC). Many SVD communities are international in character known as one heart many faces. It is the duty of the SVD generalate in Rome to appoint members from any country to any other country with priority given to those places which are most in need.


In England we organise our self as a district which belongs to the Irish-British Province. There are two parishes run by the SVD which are St Mary on the Quay in Bristol and the parish of Our Lady of Sorrow and St Brigit of Sweden in London. Beside these two parishes we have also a community in the North west London.

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