Father Jordan was born on June 16, 1848, in a poor, rural family in Gurtweil near Waldshut (Baden, Germany, the Archdiocese of Freiburg). He died in
Tafers near Freiburg (Switzerland) on September 8, 1918. From an early age, he had a desire to become a priest. He had to wait quite a long time to become a priest due to difficult family situations. He worked physically as a capable and respected craftsman. He had tenacity to the desired goal. At the age of 26 (1874), he began his studies of theology.
At the age of 30 (1878), he was ordained a priest. At that time, the Church in Germany experienced a difficult period of time called the Kulturkampf.
Father Jordan received a scholarship from the Auxiliary Bishop of Freiburg to study oriental languages in Rome. But as a seminarian, he felt that God was called him to help found the Church's apostolic work. During this journey, he realized that God was calling him to found new apostolic work by fully engaging in the apostolic mission of the Church with the help of all possible ways and means. When he returned to the Eternal City, he founded the Apostolic Teaching Society on December 8th, 1881, which was eventually turned into a religious institute called the Society of the Divine Saviour.
ln his work, he wanted to unite all the Catholic forces all over the world with one specific purpose: to keep, defend, and extend the Catholic faith throughout the world. Men and women, priests and laity, men of know and common people, the organizers of a variety of sectors of life: all together by varying degrees of aftiliation to the institute, should unite in a predetermined work, the common apostolic work. On December 8th, 1888, with the help and participation of the Bl. Mary of the Apostles, he founded a female branch of the Assembly, called the Salvatorian Sisters. Father Jordan was the first superior General of the Salvatorians. While permanently staying at the main house in Rome. he founded numerous apostolic institutions in Europe, Asia, and American with great courage. The last three years of this life were spent in Switzerland. lt was a very hidden life, full of great suffering. He died at the age of 70 after being severely sick for six months. In 1956, his remains were transported to Rome.
His process of beatification is in progress. On January 14, 2011, the Holy Father
Benedict XVI has instructed the Congregation for the promulgation of the decree on the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Francis of the Cross (in the world: John the Baptist Jordan). priest, founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour, born on June 16, 1848 in Gurtweil (Germany) and died on September 8, 1918 in Tafers (Switzerland).
The purpose of the Society is to strengthen, to defend and to spread the Catholic faith everywhere in so far as this is committed to it by Divine Providence.
Therefore, by exercising this ecclesiastical teaching function in word and writing, it
intends to achieve the end that all people might know more and more the one true
God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ.
The Society of the Divine Saviour, popularly known as the Salvatorians - SDS, is an international, religious, congregation of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, founded in Rome, December 8, 1881, by the Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan. Today members of the Society are engaged in apostolic activities in 42 countries all over the world. We are part of a Salvatorian Family that includes religious sisters (Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour) and laity (International Community of the Divine Saviour).
The Society ot` the Divine Saviour (The Salvatorians) is an apostolic
religious institute of priests and brothers approved by the Catholic Church.
Through the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, we dedicate ourselves
completely to God and his service in the Church.
We live in religious community and perform apostolic works.
We show to the world the goodness and kindness of Christ our Saviour by
example, by means ofthe spoken and written word, and by all means which love
for Christ inspires.
Our Society is dedicated to the Divine Saviour and its patrons are Mary, Mother
ofthe Saviour. the Apostles, St. Michael, and St. Joseph.
We cooperate with other members of the Salvatorian Family and with other
groups in promoting the knowledge of Christ the Saviour.
The Lay Salvatorians were developed and sponsored by the North American Province of the Society of the Divine Savior (and later joined by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior) as part of the Society's renewal after the Second Vatican Council.
Lay Salvatorians explore and live out the Gospel demands of ministry, service, and love within the context of the larger Salvatorian family. Father Francis Jordan, founder of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians), turned to lay people for help long before many others thought to do so. From the very beginning, Fr. Jordan saw clearly that lay people had an important and essential part to play in the Church. These concepts are still vitally important in today's world. Fr. Jordan wanted to mobilize the entire Catholic world and all its resources. He wanted to inspire all Catholics with a missionary sense of responsibility for their neighbor's welfare.
Salvatorians have as their primary goal the apostolic proclamation of the presence of the Kingdom of God already begun here on earth. Therefore, the individual Lay Salvatorian will be involved in some apostolic ministerial activity on a part-time or full-time basis. The keystone of this apostolic activity is that it involves working with, and being of service to, other people in some direct and significant way. The implication of this commitment is that the individual Lay Salvatorian is publicly voicing a decision to carry out a ministry of leadership, service, and love.
Each individual Lay Salvatorian has a unique contribution to make, based on a variety of experiences, talents, leadership potential, and professional expertise in many fields. Like other Salvatorians, the Lay Salvatorian can carry out an apostolic ministry in a secular, ecumenical, or parish setting. Lay Salvatorians are involved in such ministries as raising a family; religious education; parish work; care of the sick, needy, elderly, and children; social justice; teaching; and ecumenical work.
The Lay Salvatorians are an integral part of the Salvatorian religious community rather than an independent organization. Each member is encouraged to relate to a specific local community of Salvatorians, as well as to the national and international level. Each local community meets regularly and develops its own agenda and plan of action. On the national level, the Lay Salvatorians are directed by the Lay Salvatorian National Board. The Board consists of lay members who are elected by the Lay Salvatorians within their sectors, and one member from the Society and the Congregation. The Board charts and develops future directions and objectives for Lay Salvatorians. Salvatorians can more fully carry out their roles of leadership, ministry, and service in this inclusive community.
Catholic men and women, married or single, who are willing to explore a more explicit role of ministry and leadership in the Church and the world may apply to the Lay Salvatorians.
Poland is amongst the 42 countries where Salvatorians are working. The first salvatorians arrived in Poland in 1900. The Polish Province was founded in 1927, and has since grown to over 450 members, which is more than one-third of the total Society. The visible expansion of the province in the ‘30s was halted by the Second World War. However amongst the many initiatives since the period of war occupancy, one that is worth mentioning is the underground teaching carried out in Krakow-Zakrzowek. In this case we are talking about "the secret completion” of education at High School and University and of administering the Novltiate. The results were visible after the war, after 1945. ln the new post~war situation, Salvatorians took up the challenge of the Episcopate of Poland, and many priests and brothers started pastoral work in the parishes in the west of Poland, which belonged to Germany before the war. This is how the monastery in Bagno, near Wroclaw, which belonged to the North German Salvatorian Province before the war, came to be under the Polish Salvatorian Province.
Minor Seminaries restarted, including some catering for late vocations, and also retreat
houses and the Union for the Salvatorian Collaborators was reactivated. lt was only in 1968, that some Salvatorians were allowed to do mission work in Tanzania in East Africa. The change in the social and political situation in the ‘80s, coincided with the beginning of the "Solidarity" movement bringing with it new possibilities of expansion in the Catholic Church in Poland. An opportunity then arose to start some specialized work in Poland. Since 1997, formation activities have been dynamically growing; special mention should be of the work of the Spiritual Formation Centre in Krakow. Since 1989, the Polish Province has taken an apostolic interest in and special care of the new countries of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Hungary and Albania. The members of the Province are involved in the following apostolic works: parish work, pastoral care at the foreign missions, parish missions and retreats, apostolic work within the mass-media, spiritual formation, academic teaching at the universities, pastoral youth ministry, apostolic work abroad, pastoral work with Polish people abroad, work in hospices, chaplaincy for religious sisters and brothers, and chaplaincy in hospitals, schools and military units.
Currently. the members of the Polish Province are present in 22 countries of the world: Albania, Australia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada. Comoro, Congo, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Liechtenstein. Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, USA and now of course, in Scotland. Altogether, outside of Poland, there are 162 priests and brothers. These are working apostolically within communities that belong to the Polish Province or within other administrative units of the Society, and some are doing further specialized study. ln the UK, we work in close cooperation with the Salvatorians of the British Pro-Province.
The heart of the Polish Salvatorian Province is the Major Seminary in the village of Bagno in the Lower Silesian region, in south-western Poland. The former 18th century Bagno Palace is home to the Major Seminary of the Salvatorian Society.
All Salvatorian priests ordained since 1959 up to the present time have been educated in Bagno. The professors of the seminary are appointed by the Polish Provincial Superior from amongst Salvatorians and other Orders and also Diocesan priests who
are teaching in the Catholic University in Lublin, the Catholic Academies in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan and Krakow. The Seminary is supported only by the good will of people. The Seminary does not receive State funding.
Today, the Polish Salvatorian Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and Lay members with lhe help of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Saviour, proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people and on all continents of the world. As Salvatorians, we work in parishes, schools and universities. We give retreats and run formation programmes for spiritual renewal. For those who would like to join us as priests, religious brothers or lay members, we have our own Seminary with its own formation programme. ln the last 25 years Polish Salvatorians have established a presence in over 20 new countries. Most of those countries could be called "mission” countries, although some are in traditionally Catholic areas: Proclaiming the Saviour in Our World , in Our Times, in Our Lives.
Through all the ways of working successfully in the apostolate, the most important and essential means is by giving good example according to the saying: Words move, examples lead. All can and should be good examples and thus help others to know and love God, because "this is the eternal life that all people should know the only true God, and the One whom He has sent, Jesus Christ” (J 17,3).
Your support for the Polish Salvatorian Major Seminary in Bagno is most welcome.
Thank you for your great hearts and generosity.
The Society of the Divine Saviour - SDS
Charity registered in Scotland Charity No. SC041344