Society of the Divine Word publications
In January of 1874, Father Arnold Janssen published the first issue of Kleiner Herz Jesu Bote or Little Messenger of the Sacred Heart. The magazine primarily aimed to generate interest in the Catholic Church’s foreign missions and to promote mission vocations. In 1875, Father Janssen founded the Society of the Divine Word and opened its first missionary training center in Steyl, Holland.
Publication of magazines, books and pamphlets to support and promote missions worldwide became a characteristic of the Society of the Divine Word. In 1895, the founder sent Brother Wendelin Meyer to the United States to sell Divine Word publications for support of the Society’s burgeoning missions.
Today, the archives has an extensive collection of the original Divine Word publications printed in Steyl and at the printing presses in Techny, Ill. The following is a selected list of our early publications with their date of introduction and more recently published books.
Kleiner Herz Jesu Bote, 1874
Die Katholischen Missionen, 1877
Stadt Gottes, 1878
St. Michaelskalendar, 1879
Familienblatt Amerikanische, 1902 (For German-speaking families in America)
Christian Family, 1906
Little Missionary, 1914
Steyler Chronik, 1919
Our Missions, 1921
"Mission for the Twenty-first Century," edited by Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder
"Divine Word Spirituality: An Ascent through the Human Word" by Paul G. LaForge
"The Church and Cultures" by Louis Luzbetak
"The Founding of the Roman Catholic Church in Melanesia and Micronesia, 1850-1875" by Ralph Wiltgen
Please contact the archives for complete holdings information. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 753-7431.
The records of the African American apostolate—on deposit from the Southern Province—describe the Society of the Divine Word's early interest in and perseverance toward serving African-Americans in the Southern United States. In 1923, Divine Word Missionaries opened St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Miss., to educate African-American men for the priesthood. On May 23, 1934, the first four African-American priests were ordained at St. Augustine.
In addition materials about the development of St. Augustine Seminary and the congregations work on behalf of African-American Catholics, the archives contains correspondence with St. Katharine Drexel. These precious letters outline her generous support to the Society of the Divine Word.