Divine Word missionaries celebrate 125 years in America

When the Missionaries of the Divine Word came to North America, they were following German immigrants first to the shores of the United States and then into the Midwest. They came to evangelize, but also to raise money and vocations from among German-American Catholics. That history is displayed in an online interactive exhibit created by the Society of the Divine Word Chicago Province Archives that was unveiled on Oct. 15, the 125th anniversary of the arrival in New Jersey of Divine Word Brother Wendelin Meyer, uncle of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Cardinal Albert Meyer.
Divine Word Father Joseph Eckert poses with youth following a baptism at St. Elizabeth Parish in this photo from the 1920s. (SVD Chicago Province Archives)
The first full issue of Christian Family was printed in January 1906, allowing the society to reach a new audience in America. (SVD Chicago Province Archives)
The Society of the Divine Word Holy Spirit Chapel in the 1920s. (SVD Chicago Province Archives)